I read every night before bed as a means of relaxing, separating myself from whatever went on to make drifting off to sleep an easier task. Busy day at the office, higher than anticipated Visa bill, sluggish night for my fantasy baseball team, they all melt away after a couple of chapters of a good book.
My stresses don’t really rate in comparison to what our troops deployed overseas face every day. I don’t have anyone shooting at me or trying to blow me up on the way in to work every morning. I can hug my son fifty times a day and kiss my wife good night every evening. I’ve got it good. I’ve got it easy. I can’t imagine the stress soldiers face every day, and what it would be like to try to distance oneself from that just to catch some shuteye.
Like me, many service members like to unwind with a good book, something to take them oh so temporarily away from the war zone. As you might imagine, reading material can be tough to come by in Afghanistan, though thanks to a handful of organizations, books and even ereaders are regularly shipped out to appreciative soldiers.
Books for Troops, Inc., is one such group that collects and sends books to troops stationed in Afghanistan. Their primary expense is postage, as anyone who has ever shipped books might expect. The volunteer organization based in Clifton Park, N.Y., has tried promotions such as “adopt-a-box-of-books,” where donors are asked to send $12.50 to help ship a box of 30 books out, and a Kindle raffle to raise money for the cause.
I’m going to put my figurative shoulder to the wheel this month and pledge $1 for every copy of The Greatest Show on Dirt sold in July. That goes the same for paperbacks or ebooks, so even on a $2.99 Kindle copy (or Nook), $1 goes to Books for Troops. Sky’s the limit. If a thousand readers are inspired to buy my book, I’ll have a mighty big check to send Books for Troops, and I’ll be glad to do it.