In my post “Pesach Supplies to Jewish Personnel at Combat Outposts” I spoke about the privilege of helping to bring Pesach to our deployed troops.
In response to this, I got emails from the parent of one such deployed soldier. And, with the permission of the parent, I’m including parts of these emails.
I asked permission because these emails, written from the heart, demonstrate just how important the American Jewish community’s support of our U.S. Jewish troops can be.
My daughter received the two Passover boxes. She said the horseradish bought back memories.
This Passover was special for me. In fact at the Passover seder dinner with rabbi, the inspirational touched me.
“Through the maror, we realize that the purpose of hardship is only to make us stronger. You cannot become free unless you are uncomfortable with where you are.”
I wanted to explain a little more to you why Passover meant so much to us and my daughter.
Before my daughter was deployed to Iraq, she was involved with another solider. My inside voice spoke to me that something was wrong. Plus when my daughter started dating/living with him, he isolated her from family, friends and her faith.
After they went back to Fort Hood I did some digging on my own. What I found was that HE IS MARRIED!
I then did the hardest thing for a parent. I reported this to her command via Kuwait/Iraq (even enclosed the Facebook messages I had with this guy’s wife). I reported this to command because I knew this would hurt her and worried she would do harm to herself and maybe him.
We were counseled the whole way through this mess. Our rabbi tried to talk to our daughter about stepping away from this guy, but she didn’t see what others saw.
It has been a long road to healing and we still have repair to do. The [non-Jewish] chaplain [in Iraq] watched our daughter for the first 48 hours and she was never alone.
Our daughter is very intelligent and college educated but in the ways of this world she was not. She wasn’t use to the scum that do prey on others, like this loser did.
He played an all-too-common game that some male soldiers do. He found a Jewish girl to get his notch on his belt all the while using her for sex and money. I found this all out after she had been deployed.
Now I hope you understand fully why I asked for help so my daughter could celebrate Passover. After she found out about this guy she started to reconnect with those she had tossed aside, including her faith.
She was lost and now she is starting to find her way back to what she once believed in. [With the Pesach supplies reaching her] she felt once again that others cared for her.
She is scared over this but we all were. The only thing that helped me is my faith. She walked away from hers because of this guy and what lies he filled her head with only to return to what she used to be – fun-loving, compassionate and helpful.
I wanted to help her learn more about relationships good and bad but I knew she needed support from others. I prayed G-D for help, and you along with others were an answer to my prayers.
The chaplain who originally helped her in Iraq wasn’t Jewish. However, she has since been in contact with a rabbi [in the U.S.] who was contacted from a Jewish chaplain who is stationed in Korea.
The [rabbi’s] temple has officially adopted her.
I grew up in a small Midwestern town where I was the only Jewish kid in my classes. Then my husband and I were stationed in Munich, Germany, from September 1970 to May 1972. I know what is like to be a Jew living in a totally non-Jewish community.
Thanks to the world of the Internet today, we in the American Jewish community can more easily reach out to U.S. Jewish military personnel wherever they are stationed, whether in the United States, other posts around the world, Iraq or Afghanistan.
I hope that this blog post has encouraged you and your American Jewish community to think about the Jews at U.S. Army posts near you as well as those Jewish military personnel overseas.
To help provide support — besides ProjectMOT and KosherTroops mentioned in my Pesach supplies post, see info at www.JewsinGreen.com