afghan troops

Troops in Afghanistan still face a daunting task. So needless to say, they appreciate every care package and letter of encouragement that comes their way. But one letter in particular has inspired hundreds of soldiers, if not more. It was written by a little boy named Gavin whose message is as cute as it is cryptic. 

The note simply read, "Hope you make it back." While it could have been seen as a total downer, the members of the 438th Air Expeditionary wing stationed in Kabul loved it. They looked past the unintentionally dark humor and embraced it as their motto. It became so popular, the soldiers started a Gavin club. When a new soldier arrived to base, he was greeted with a "Hope you make it back." They even had patches for their uniforms made with the words stitched on them.

So inspired by this little boy's words, the troops set out to find him -- which was not an easy task since they received hundreds of letters every week. They knew it came in a box from Shreveport, Louisiana, and started the search there. Based on the handwriting, they knew it must be from an elementary school kid, so they contacted the Shreveport Times looking for the little boy behind the message. The paper published an article with the headline, "Who is Gavin?"

That's when mortgage banker Ashley Brint was flooded with calls and texts from people wondering if it was her 8-year-old boy. It was. The letter had been a Sunday school assignment from church. Friends and family members say that bluntness was Gavin's style. But the story doesn't end there. The soldiers were intent on meeting their hero, so a Skype call was set up.

This entire story is such a wonderful reminder about the power of support. Our troops face horrific dangers, and to know that Americans -- from the youngest to the oldest -- hope for their safe return must keep them focus, energized, and determined. Kudos Gavin!

Watch the heartwarming meeting here

Are you surprised the soldiers were so taken with Gavin's note?

 

Image via The U.S. Army/Flickr