Thursday, February 12, 2009

Military Pen Pals Are the BEST

To know me is to know that I love the Today Show. Seriously, I do.

This morning, as I pulled up the home page something made me smile. There was a Marine, with the caption "I love you too buddy."

I've placed the segment below for you to watch. It's about a little boy who had some trouble mastering reading and writing. His mom was looking for a creative way to encourage him and decided to work with the Adopt a US Soldier organization. Her son was assigned Marine pen pal Gy Sgt Balthazar Pineda who is currently in Iraq.

Their correspondence has made a true difference in this little boys life and the Today Show brought the mother and son on live today to share their story. The family explained how they have never met Pineda. He is still in Iraq and hopes to return home in a few months. He promised the family that they could meet when he returns.

Well in true Today Show fashion, the family got a fantastic surprise today. Pineda was patched in live from Iraq and the pen pals were able to meet for the first time via satellite.

It was a great moment. The boy was in complete shock. All he could say was how much he loved Pineda. Pineda responded, "I love you too buddy." :)

I think it's evident that the pen pal arrangement has also made a difference in Pineda's life as well. He has his own family and his own daughters, but I think that he saw the opportunity to make an impact in this little boy's life, and that makes him proud.

My favorite part of the segment - well besides the actual meeting, had to be the video of the school children creating care packages to send to our men and women in Iraq. That made my heart smile. If you'd like to help send some good cheer and support to our troops in Iraq visit the Adopt a US Soldier website, the Treats for Our Troops website, or visit a personal favorite of mine - the USO.

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