When you're in the service - you're alone. A lot of times soldiers will find out about their wives leaving them when they're overseas. Information spreads faster these days with the Internet. Any kind of encouragement is valued over there - way beyond money. I've talked to many soldiers and they tell me they'd much rather have a letter than a gift card.
For me, it was a way to bury it. For some, it's hard to relate to other people who weren't there. The war was such a hard, dramatic experience, and it leaves you with a mixed bag of emotions. You're never the same afterward.
What I would really like from the community is for 50 to 100 people to show up with yellow ribbons to really welcome back the veterans. My dream is to have a large yellow ribbon stretched across the trees at the campus. We want them to know we appreciate their loyalty, patriotism and willingness to pay the ultimate price.