Stockings For Soldiers

Several years ago, the Christmas spirit moved the Crowley family to help some of the most severely injured soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

They heard about Ward 57 — the amputee section of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  The Crowleys purchased 24 stockings — one for each soldier — and filled them with gifts.

The Crowley family, and their stockings.

Among them:  an Uncle Sam hat, Statue of Liberty pen and pocket calendar — all engraved with “Thanks to our heroes!” — plus a book, commemorative silver dollar with an American eagle (thanks to Sam Sloat Coins), an eagle/USA baseball hat and an M&M-filled candy cane.

An American flag pin decorated the trim of each stocking.  And each soldier received a letter from the Crowleys, commending them for their service.

They’ve continued the tradition every year.

“We believe the efforts, sacrifices and commitments provided by the men and women of the armed forces are immeasurable, invaluable and incredibly honorable,” Judi Crowley says.

“These stockings are our way of saying thank you to these brave men and women, and letting them know we’re thinking of them.

“It gives us great joy to fill up these stockings and ship them.  But when we receive a thank-you note — sometimes from the soldiers, sometimes from spouses — it really warms our hearts.  It reminds us of how lucky we are to have these brave men and women fight for our rights and our freedoms.”

(Want to help Ward 57?  Call Lisa Janet at 202-782-9759 or 202-789-1557 — note that there are restrictions on what can be sent.)

3 responses to “Stockings For Soldiers

  1. This is a wonderful idea.

    The injured soldier has so much to deal with as s/he is overcoming injuries. They of course have a million questions as they recover, and I am sure they, at times feel utterly alone. To know they We care directly–not simply by a jingle between commercials on television–is a gift that I am sure leaves the recipients speechless at times.

    To the Crowleys, you are heroes in my mind. To Dan, thank you for sharing this post. Great choice!

    I have to share …
    Having served in the military for 10 years, I learned only one thing ever came close to the pleasure of actually being home, and that was when “Mail call!” was announced. I have lucid memories of Staff Sergeant Bell at Fort Benning, Georgia, screaming “Fall in! Mail call!” followed by a stampede of eager Airborne School candidates seemingly jumping out of barracks windows to line up on the gravel. I remember what I was waiting for, “Charlie, Three-One-Three!” (C313, my roster number) and Bell’d right arm extending a letter I had about three seconds to snatch before he put it back to the bottom of the pile. That letter was so much–it was home, is was comfort, it was the bit of encouragement we all needed, it was love.

  2. The Dude Abides

    The Crowleys should be commended for putting into action what many just merely talk about. Golfer David Ferrerty is also doing some wonderful things with amputees once discharged from the military.
    But to read that many military families in the states were left to food banks to have their Thanksgiving dinner this year makes me wonder why there are not more Crowleys in this country. The pay for an E-5 (corporal, 2nd class petty officer) is $2,583.90 a month. That is the same rate a neighbor’s unemployed spouse receives and has been receiving for three years. For doing nothing. The suicide and violent crime rate is superhigh among returning GI’s. One Admiral recently said: “We do very well at teaching them how to do pushups but very little on how to strengthen their minds.”
    America left us Vietnam Vets out to dry and I am afraid, despite the generous efforts of people like the Crowleys, we are merely putting mouth service to a lot of gung ho rhetoric. Time to really SUPPORT the troops instead of just putting a Chinese-made stickers on your car.
    A very good start, however, would be to bring home all the troops for Christmas!!!

  3. Draft.