by: Christine Blank
15-year-old Molly was trying to be patient, but it was tough. She had ordered the perfect Veteran’s Day gift for her father, Dennis, two weeks ago. It was her dad’s first full year home from service in Afghanistan and she really wanted to make this day special.
Dennis served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 18 years and was at the frontline of many important U.S. operations, including Iraq, fighting in the Bosnian War, and serving as part of the U.S. Military peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan. It was Dennis’ last stint – during a peaceful mission – that he incurred the injury.
He was with his unit in Afghanistan near the Iraqi border, detonating mines. One of the grenades misfired and shrapnel shot through his right hand. Dennis felt a searing heat and soon after, throbbing pain. He did not dare to look but could tell from the look on his fellow soldiers’ faces that it was pretty bad. After some temporary medical attention by the medics on base, he was told he would have to fly to a U.S. Marine base in Germany for reconstructive surgery. In the end, doctors were able to save two of his fingers.
Although he had never had an injury in 18 years, Dennis knew this one could have been a lot worse. In fact, many of his fellow servicemen had limbs blown off from IEDs and, of course, some of the soldiers he served with in his early military career had been killed in the line of duty. Dennis received an honorable discharge from the U.S.M.C., and had been working on a new operation – business owner – for the past nine months.
While Molly would never understand everything her father had been through, she knew how much he loved the military life and how much he missed those he had worked with, who were his second family. The special gift she had ordered for Veterans Day was a photo book she had created herself. With the help of her mom, Molly contacted Dennis’s former lieutenant who had pictures of Dennis and some of his best friends on the base in Afghanistan. She was even able to track down photos from her dad’s tour in Bosnia after the war, through a former captain.
Molly knew the book would mean so much to her dad: that everyone he had served with thought so highly of him that they took the time to send pictures – and would later sign the book. Now, Molly was just worried that the photo book would not arrive on time. She checked her account with Shutterfly and knew that the package was on the way, but she was still concerned.
Suddenly, Molly’s mom received a text notifying her that she had a package at her apartment community’s leasing office. Molly and her mom exchanged knowing glances; Molly got excited and got on her shoes and jacket to head to the leasing office. “Where are you going?”, she her dad’s voice boom from the other room. Was he on to the surprise? She could not get anything by him. Her mom quickly made up an excuse about Molly walking the dog and she slipped out of the house.
The staff at the apartment community also knew about the surprise and was excited to see Molly when she walked into the office. Molly had gotten it just in time to wrap it, so it would be ready for her dad to open before heading out for the Veterans Day parade at 10:00 a.m. the next day.
PackageLog helps families like this every day know when their packages arrive. Touching stories like this one happen every day at the apartment communities across the nation. Not only does it make the residents happier, it benefits the community staff as well. To learn more about PackageLog click here.