You've read about Sergeant Aaron Simmons in this blog before. He's the soldier who wrote Gallery Furniture last year asking about getting a TV for the 2008 Super Bowl. (see archive) Gallery was glad to help, and with the help of the USO's Susie Barlow, the sergeant and his troops got to see the Super Bowl on a big screen TV.
Though he's from Texas, Sgt. Simmons is stationed in Colorado now. He along with his lovely wife Fawn and young son Eric, stopped by Gallery Furniture Friday to say thank you.
“Honestly, I never thought the letter would make it here, I didn’t,” Sgt. Simmons said, “Mostly because, I will level with you, mail really gets lost out there en route here. Sometimes it feels like a crapshoot, and the guys in my platoon were shocked that we got the TV to begin with, even more shocked when I told them how we got it. Seriously, I never thought the letter requesting one (a TV) for our platoon would make it to you guys, much less that we would actually get the TV, and we are so thankful for the response from Gallery Furniture. You guys are the greatest.”
Shipping the TV to Iraq got news coverage in Houston, something Fawn Simmons appreciated.
“It’s a nice story to hear, that my husband and his platoon got to watch the Super Bowl with the Gallery Furniture television. It’s a lot better to hear the positive stories about what happens in military life than constantly hearing all the negativity. It meant a lot to my husband and the men he serves with. I thought it was a very nice gesture by Gallery Furniture.”
Sgt. Simmons then relayed a harrowing tale about his unit’s supply trucks taking mortar fire. “It was something else – and the most interesting thing is that out platoon lost the other supplies like tents and stuff, but the TV you guys sent survived. It scared me at first, I think everyone in my platoon was worried the TV broke more than anything else. We found the TV, it was turned on its side and at an angle and I was like ‘Please, please, please, don’t be broken!’ and when we had a chance, plugged it in and it worked just fine.”
The conversation then turned to where the Gallery Furniture TV is now, and Sgt. Simmons was quick to point out “Hopefully it is on its way home! Kinda like the mail, things take a long time to get back here – first to Kuwait, then by boat, through a station in Texas, up to Colorado, basically it will take a while and I've got my fingers crossed!”
It was nice to see Aaron Simmons and his wonderful family. It was good to see that he is recovering from a non-combat injury that put him in the hospital for several weeks. It meant a lot to be able to help the troops see the Super Bowl, and to get to know a fine young man even if it was by email and long distance phone calls.
Next time you see a man or woman in uniform, make sure to shake their hand and say thanks for being in the armed forces. And if you want to give back to the troops, give the way Gallery Furniture does – give to the USO at http://www.uso.org