Jayne Rahe, Ryan's mother, said the idea of sending support to the soldiers in harm's way came about when she and Ryan were talking about news coverage of the war in Iraq. Jayne visited www.anysoldier.com and discovered how she and Ryan could let the men and women in Iraq know their efforts are appreciated.
Ryan, named 2006 Special Olympics Athlete of the Year for the Blount County Sports Hall of Fame, said he felt good when he received the box from the soldiers. He said if he could talk with them face to face, he would say, "Thank you."
The Rahes plan to continue sending care packages to soldiers, including the medals.
"Ryan is a pretty generous fellow," Jayne said. "He doesn't mind giving things to people."
In a letter that Ryan received, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Anthony W. Grillett wrote:
"I and the Battalion can never thank you enough for sending us your medals. They have brought us luck and good fortune, and now as we prepare to deploy home we send them back to you with our eternal gratitude.
That you would send us something so precious is a reflection of your character. As you called us heroes; to me you are the hero. For I believe it is not who you are, or what you are that makes you a hero, it is the ability to give all especially when it is never asked.
Your courage to face the challenges required earning those medals and then so freely send them to us here in Iraq will forever make you a hero to me. I will never be able to truly express in words how honored I was when I read the letter from your Mother. It truly humbles me and shows me that what I fight for in our country will always be worth the small sacrifices asked of me. Thank you again."
Sometimes a hero is one who sacrifices everything in their life to help others. And sometimes a hero is one who sacrifices nothing more than their time.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.