For Valentine’s Day this year, Deutschers in New York gathered in our Commons to seal and send hundreds of candy-filled valentines to each other and to US troops in Afghanistan. It was a simple gesture, organized by HOOT, the Deutsch service group that organizes give-back programs and community outreach activities to make the world a better place (and us better people). We came, we sealed, and we went back to our desks. The valentines were shipped out, and that was that.
Then, weeks later, a note arrived from Kandahar:
On a day when most of us had forgotten completely about those valentines sent, this thank-you note reminded us all that a little does in fact go a long way. For these soldiers, thousands of miles away from loved ones, a little something sweet from a group of total strangers went a very long way, and this note is a perfect reminder of the significance of such simple gestures, especially to those fighting for our freedoms abroad.