Photo Courtesy of: Holly Dalton
When my husband was deployed to Iraq in 2008, I wrote and recorded a song for him called “Yellow Ribbon Prayers.” At the time I knew of very few deployment or war songs that didn’t end with the Soldier dying. Not exactly what scared girlfriends, wives and families want or need to hear. So being a singer/songwriter in Nashville, TN, I went to work and wrote a song that was very personal but would hopefully mean a lot to others as well. It turns out that it did. For more information about the song, you can read an article written by Angela Caban for the Veteran’s Journal here.
So here we are over two years later and I get an exciting e-mail from one of my good friends and a co-writer on the song, Holly Tong. She grew up in Ohio and a Soldier that was a friend of hers back home is currently on his third deployment in Afghanistan. He had been kind of down and a friend in his unit played him the song. This Soldier told him the story behind Yellow Ribbon Prayers and named the songwriters. He was surprised to hear Holly’s name listed (yes, we’re both named Holly…I realize this can be a bit confusing!) He immediately searched for her online and sent her an e-mail explaining what happened and told her he really liked the song. Turns out it’s on a playlist at their unit! How amazing! Holly immediately shared the news with me. I was absolutely delighted to hear that our song was being played and was doing so much good so far away.
Now although this is a cool story for me and Holly, I’m not writing this to promote the song. I’m writing it to show how our gestures can touch others far away from home. I know not all of us can write a song but there are so many ways that we can reach out and let our loved ones know that we care while they’re away. Send love letters, send packages, and send little pieces of love whenever you can. Your Soldier is tired, worn down and they miss you. We are what they’re holding onto over there. Just a small gesture from us means the world to them. We know how lonely it can be while they’re away but we still have the comforts of our friends, family and homes…they don’t. So don’t get so caught up in your own loneliness and forget what they’re going through. Do whatever you can to let them know how much you care and send them your very own yellow ribbon prayers.