Project Advent, Day 5: Care Package to Afghanistan


I'd like to tell you about my friend Nathan.  I love him.  We've known each other for almost nine years now.  I couldn't say for sure, but I'm going to guess that he's been deployed or overseas at Christmas time for at least half of those.  Nathan is in the US Army, and works with field artillery.  He takes his job and his duty seriously, but is also one of the funnest people I've ever known.  He takes care of the men in his command.  He counsels them and helps them and protects them.  I think of him as a Warrior in the true classic sense - not just a fighting man, but a thinking man and a learned man, a philosopher.  He is one of the smartest guys I know, particularly when it comes to history and languages.  Nathan's family still lives in Morton, TX, near Lubbock, and he always calls us to get together when he comes through town.  My kids are crazy about him.

He and his wife Paula were two of the first people to meet Blake when he was born in 2004.  You know up above when I said he's one of the funnest guys I know?  Here's us playing ATV polo.
In summer of 2004, when I had lost a job, and was worried about what I was going to do next, Nathan called me up one day.  At the time, he was working several jobs to support himself and Paula while she finished law school, but he treated me to lunch and really encouraged me.

Here's what made me think of him for today's entry: an electronic bulletin board.  I was driving past a school the other day, and saw on their outdoor marquee that they would be dismissed early on December 7th.  I can't see or hear that date without mentally completing the sentence with "a date which will live in infamy."  And that's when I realized that this Thursday will be the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.  Think of that for a second.  70 years.  That made me think of the military, which made me think of Nathan.  I wrote to Paula to ask if Nathan was someplace where he'd enjoy getting a package for Christmas.  She wrote back to let me know that he is, a couple of things that he would enjoy getting, and where I should send it.

He's living in a tent right now, but has access to a microwave in his office, so we sent a few comfort foods for him to enjoy, as well as a few other items he's asked for.  There's two boxes of instant macaroni, two containers of instant chili, two boxes of water bottle-sized drink mix, three tubes of lip balm, three bottles of hand sanitizer, one can of cashews, and one can of instant coffee.  I wish it could be more, but we perfectly filled the priority mail box with lots of stuff that Paula mentioned Nathan wanting.

I think that Nathan has occasional internet access from his FOB in Afghanistan, so he'll probably see this before the package arrives.  I hope you will enjoy it, friend.  Stay safe, and know that we think of you often.  When I mailed your package today, the man at the post office said, "When you talk to him again, tell him all of us say thanks, and that we appreciate his service."

Gratitude Project: Having friends like Nathan, who serve in the armed forces, makes me think of just how fortunate I am to be the beneficiary of their bravery.  I'm grateful for the freedom that I have because of them.


Danny Holwerda said...

Howdy!  Excellent - I'm so glad that the package made it there in time for Christmas, and that the whole group is enjoying it.

Nate Moore said...

Thanks Danny! Just got your Package...I'm devouring the Velvetta Shells and Cheese and have given the hand sanitizer, drink mix and peanuts to the Battery! A pic for good measure. Thanks and Love you Danny!

Paula Moore said...

Awe Danny - Thanks dear Holwerdas!  We have such good memories with y'all and the ATV polo never fails to make me laugh!  We appreciate your friendship!  

Academomia said...

What a nice thing to do for a nice family!

Katie K said...

On a related military note, "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand is one of the BEST books I have read in's nonfiction that reads like fiction and has certainly made me all the more appreciative for our men and women in service.  The sacrifices of our military are amazing.

Meredith Bray said...

I like this project best of all!  I sent out my Holiday Mail for Heroes yesterday, being sponsored by the American Red Cross.

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