After four years of letters, emails and care packages, a soldier and his pen pal- turned good friend- finally met today.
Sergeant First Class Sean Abbott of the United States Army is home in the states for the first time in three years. Multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have kept him from his family and friends, but that didn’t keep Operation Spirit Director Melodie Pittman from befriending the soldier. “She started as a prefect stranger and became the perfect friend. I’ve been deployed 5 times four of which were combat, three to Iraq and once to Afghanistan and one thing I really noticed, from not getting letters myself or getting only a small amount- its really difficult when you’re deployed to not have the support. But even when its the smallest post card or a small care package with some chocolates comes in from home, its tangible thing, you can really see the transformations in the soldier and what the support does.”
Abbott originally from Pennsylvania, is making his way across country to visit family while home and decided to stop and meet the women he would grow to call an angel. “Melodie has supported me for the longest time and Operation Spirit along with the other groups here have done an amazing job, multiple deployments- anything I ask for for the soldiers whether its hygiene because our toothpaste is frozen from subzero temps or a soldier that was forgotten or a soldier that was killed in action, they contact the family, they really work with everybody and I promised I would be here! After multiple re-scheduling, here I am!”
Pittman has sent countless letters and care packages to hundreds of soldiers over seas, but Abbott has a special place in her heart. “In the old westerns they have the guy in the military that always asks his Indian scout, “Is today a good day to die?” Well when you have a day like this and you know, its like yea, if my life ended today you know it would be a good life because that’s how awesome it is.”
Abbott will be going back to where he is stationed in Germany in about a week and heading back to Iraq in about five months.