On January 11th, something magical began: An event that serves a singular purpose- to provide members of the United States Military Services Branches with books- piles and piles of printed text containing beautiful stories to help our soldiers leave the battle behind and travel somewhere amazing in their minds.
AUTHORS SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS 2014 (ASOT)
(Armand Rosamilia took on the ASOT mantel from author Joe McKinney)
It’s so easy to let a year pass quickly, consumed by our own needs and desires, without pause and care for those in the world facing adversity and struggle. Combine that adversity and struggle with homesickness, the burden of freedom and shrapnel in the shoulder and you get the picture of a deployed troop. Armand Rosamilia has given all of us an opportunity to show our true colors. Are yours red, white and blue?
ASOT 2014 is entering its last month of signed-by-the-author book collections and monetary donations to cover overseas shipping costs. So far, Armand has got an ever-growing pile of books (and an equally large pile of empty post boxes, I’m sure). The last count he provided on the Facebook event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/647179418679623/?source=1) was 136 authors donating and 1,136 books and that was a week ago! I’m sure the number has risen and the event still has 4 weeks to go! I keep wondering… will the event break the 2,000 books donated mark? Wouldn’t that be amazing? 2,000 books lovingly signed by caring authors shipping to our boys and girls in uniform; can you imagine how many pages will get creased, how many laughs will lighten the war-zone air, how many flashlights will stay on a little too long to read ‘one more page?’
The ASOT 2014 event page has gathered 444 attendees and supporters with more than one veteran commenting on how much reading books meant to them during deployment. Letters and calls from home, while wonderful and heart-warming, can also increase the homesickness and oppression of the overseas environment. A book though, full of imagination and creation, can provide an escape, just the escape a soldier may need to remain sane.
Donating a signed book, purchasing an ASOT 2014 shirt, giving monies for shipping- such small things to bring a soldier a piece of a different world, a peace of mind.
Freedom is heavy, let’s lighten the load.