Theodore's World: 'Good luck' Sent To Soldiers In Iraq

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April 04, 2007

'Good luck' Sent To Soldiers In Iraq

Ryan Rahe, with mom Jayne, holds the flag that soldiers sent him after he sent his medals to them for good luck. (DARYL SULLIVAN / THE DAILY TIMES)

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — A generous donation of "good luck" sent to soldiers in Iraq was returned to a Blount County man after the recipients' safe return home.

Ryan Rahe, an active participant in Special Olympics since middle school, has won numerous medals in several sports, especially bowling and swimming. The 25-year-old man has shared his medals with soldiers several times, with his most recent gifts going to soldiers in the Virginia Army National Guard in Iraq.

"He sent the medals and said they were for good luck, and thank you for fighting for our country," said Ryan's mother, Jayne Rahe.
"I put a little note in there and said since Ryan is not going to be able to protect our country, I really appreciated the work they were doing for that."

Jayne said earlier recipients had acknowledged Ryan's gifts, but this time, the young man received a special surprise. The soldiers sent him a package containing an American flag that had accompanied the crew of UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter 26849 on a combat sortie in Iraq, a certificate of appreciation of Ryan's continued friendship and support, and a photograph of the men holding the flag and Ryan's medals — which had accompanied them on this mission — in front of their helicopter.

'Courage' remembered

The letter written by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Anthony W. Grillett on Jan. 10 thanked Ryan for sending the medals.

"I and the Battalion can never thank you enough for sending us your medals," Grillett wrote. "They have brought us luck and good fortune, and now as we prepare to deploy home we send them back to you with our eternal gratitude.

"That you would send us something so precious is a reflection of your character. As you called us heroes; to me you are the hero. For I believe it is not who you are, or what you are that makes you a hero, it is the ability to give all especially when it is never asked.

"Your courage to face the challenges required earning those medals and then so freely send them to us here in Iraq will forever make you a hero to me. I will never be able to truly express in words how honored I was when I read the letter from your Mother. It truly humbles me and shows me that what I fight for in our country will always be worth the small sacrifices asked of me. Thank you again."

The letter was signed, "Your friend always."

Jayne Rahe said the idea of sending support to the soldiers in harm's way came about when she and Ryan were talking about news coverage of the war in Iraq. Jayne visited a online and discovered how she and Ryan could let the men and women in Iraq know their efforts are appreciated.

Ryan, named 2006 Special Olympics Athlete of the Year for the Blount County Sports Hall of Fame, said he felt good when he received the box from the soldiers. He said if he could talk with them face to face, he would say, "Thank you."

The Rahes plan to continue sending care packages to soldiers, including the medals.

Wild Thing's comment..........

I love stories that show appreciation of our troops and Veterans. I think this one was special.

When we lived in California, the stuntmen's organization my husband is with worked with the Special Olympics for several years. It was something that all the guys say even today, was a time that touched their hearts.

Posted by Wild Thing at April 4, 2007 12:44 AM



This young man has it right. We SHOULD all be doing things like this.

Our kids need to know that we support them and love them no matter what.

And they all could use something nice and special from time to time.

Posted by: Lynn at April 4, 2007 06:18 AM

This story needs to be read before a joint session of Congress.

Posted by: BobF at April 4, 2007 07:41 AM

Ryan Rahe has demonstrated that he and his family have far more deep seated values than most Americans, even if you don't like the war or disagree about the president's decisions, you don't take out your frustrations on the troops nor do you dishonor yourself or your family in a public demonstration of idiocy that supports the enemies goals. Ryan is like many with special needs who are unable to serve that I have met that are unabashedly honest and forthright in their beliefs. I have repeatedly seen this in the underpriviliged like Ryan who have to overcome tremendous odds to survive and be productive citizens, yet we see in nearly all instances where the excesses of society and the in your face demonstrations of sedition are led by the priviledged. We as a nation can all learn from the example set by Ryan. Lynn, you are so right, we all should be doing things like this.

Posted by: Jack at April 4, 2007 11:30 AM

Ryan is not challenged. Congress is challenged.

Posted by: TomR at April 4, 2007 01:47 PM

Amen to all of the above, too bad congress doesn't have have this young mans character and courage.

Posted by: Mark at April 4, 2007 06:20 PM

Lynn, I wish more parents were like you, so many have kids have no idea how we got to be the land of the free.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 4, 2007 11:33 PM

Bob, wouldn't that be something if that could happen. wow!

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 4, 2007 11:33 PM

Jack thank you so much for sharing about that, I agree we can all learn from this.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 4, 2007 11:35 PM

Tom.........."Congress is challenged."...

It sure is!!! Well said Tom.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 4, 2007 11:36 PM

Mark, that would make me so proud if they did, I think I would cry.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 4, 2007 11:37 PM

That's a fine young man there. His mom should be proud.

Posted by: raz0r at April 5, 2007 10:44 PM

Brings a tear to to my eye.

I 2nd Bob.

Posted by: JarvisW at April 6, 2007 04:50 AM

Ryan Rahe & Mom - Thank you so very much for your support of our troops. GOD BLESS you and yours. I will pass this on to all of my friends working around the globe.

Posted by: Bart at April 6, 2007 12:57 PM

Just wanted you to know that I linked to you here ~

Posted by: yankeemom at April 7, 2007 01:02 PM