The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

IN THE EVENT OF MY DEATH |

February 17, 2012

Name: Daniel Gade
Returned from: Iraq
Milblog: In the Event of My Death
Email
: daniel.m.gade@gmail.com

Before I was deployed to Iraq in 2004 I wrote a letter to my wife, Wendy, to be opened only in the event of my death. In it, I expressed my love and admiration for her, my gratitude for our life together, and my fondest hopes for her future with our daughter. She almost had to read it when I was seriously injured the following year. In the summer of 2011, while we were moving to West Point, I re-discovered the letter in a binder. I let Wendy read it, and her reaction gave me the idea for a book.

I'm currently in the process of collecting "last letters home" from others who have returned from combat alive, and from the families of those killed in action. I intend to publish around 50 of these letters with no commentary whatsoever: no politics, no opinion, and no spin. The letters will stand on their own as a tribute to all servicemembers, their spouses and families. Whether a servicemember is wounded, killed, or comes home unscathed, he or she has sacrified greatly, and his or her family has as well. Too often these sacrifices are unsung.

Proceeds will be donated to charities that serve military families.

If you'd like to contribute a letter for the book, please send it to me by either email (daniel.m.gade@gmail.com) or snailmail (3357 East Continental Road, West Point, NY 10996). Please be sure to include instructions on whether you would like your identity given, or if you would prefer to remain anonymous.

To find out more about the project, please visit my web site:
In the Event of My Death: Real Letters Home from Iraq and Afghanistan

Comments

What a wonderful idea. Although, I believe it will be a difficult read.
Extremely difficult...when you stop to think of those who actually did receive such a letter.
Would you mind if I post this on my Blog?
~AM

What an amazing book that will be! I will advertise your website on my FB page and Twitter... God bless you!

I think this is an amazing idea!!! I know a few people that have deployed overseas and i know how their families worry day after day till they return home. I will be buying this book to read myself!!!

That's an amazing idea! I know for sure I would love to read it.

Great idea, good luck:)

That,s a great idea, I would love to read it when your done.

Awesome idea. I like it! How incredible that must be, to read something like that, something so heartfelt, and to do it alive, able to see the reaction on the other person's face. Amazing. I hope your book idea works out! I will most definitely buy one!

Great idea this is a good way to back. i really appriciate what our soldiers have sacrificed for our country we love you all and God bless

Wow. What an idea! That would be a very cherished book and will symbolize much love and honor. Although no book could capture the emotion of the real life situation, it would be nice to make such a book and I am sure it would mean alot to many people.

I cant imagine having to write a last letter to a loved one. It must be really hard to even think about. I think you a great book idea and good luck!

I think that that is such a great idea! What an emotional and suburb thing you have come up with. I wish you luck on this book, and hope that this book works out the way you want it! God Bless.

This is an amazing idea! I wish you all the best with your book. god bless.

I think that is a wonderful idea for a book. Thank you and God Bless!

The book is a great idea and I am sure it would raise a good deal of money for the families. I don't know that I could read it. I think maybe you should allow the person who submitted the letter do a brief bio of the author.... I honestly don't know if I am brave enough to read the book let alone do what our soldiers do daily. Good luck and thank you.

I really like this idea of writing a book of letters about our service men and women serving our country. I would love to read this book when it comes out! I'm glad you are safe and alive.

god bless you .. and i feel writting a book is a great ideal

Kudos! This is a brilliant, beautiful idea. I have thought of writing similar letters to loved ones, just in case. I am not in the service, but I have lost loved ones and would very much appreciate to have some form of documentation or insight about how they truly felt in their hearts about me, our family, our country, or just about life in general. I cannot wait for the opportunity to purchase this book and make a small, but significant contribution to this cause. To all men and women serving our country and to their loved ones I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart for your monumental sacrifices.

this is an amazing idea! i can not wait to see this book published! i will for sure be buying a copy! Thank you for serving our country!

I think this will be a great book. Excellent idea, although I know it will be a difficult read. Thanks for your service to our country, and thanks for making this outlet for other service members!

That is awesome you came up with something like that and i hope it is very appreciated by whose letters you put in there.

So cool! I will definitely be a proud owner of a copy of that book. I'm a sucker for anything heart-moving or patriotic, and this sir will be both! Thank you for your service and sacrifices!

I personally do not have anyone in my family that is deployed but I can not even imagine the emotiones that you and your loved go through as well as many other soilders and their families. I believe that your book will be a great way of showing how you guys see the world one day at a time because only God knows if one will return home. It sounds like a great book, I hope and I am sure that it will do well.

Great Idea Daniel. For sure I will be happy to read that book and donate some money in your fund. God bless you sir.

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