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(USA Today)   When an 8-year-old student sent a Flat Stanley to a soldier he didn't know in Iraq, he had no way of knowing the journey it would take, or how much dust the last sentence in this story would kick up   (usatoday.com) divider line 53
    More: Cool, Flat Stanley, Iraq, bulletin boards, alumni, wallets, school year, soldiers  
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19346 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Mar 2014 at 1:22 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-24 11:13:01 PM  
I liked that story.  Thanks, Subby.
 
2014-03-24 11:16:48 PM  
www.harpercollinschildrens.com
 
2014-03-24 11:41:39 PM  
Awesome movie screenplay.
 
2014-03-25 12:34:55 AM  
ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2014-03-25 12:38:53 AM  
I read that as Fiat Stanley.
 
2014-03-25 01:18:20 AM  
Cool story subs. Its a feel good story in the end, the best kind.

Obscure?
sanceau.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-03-25 01:31:18 AM  

ransack.: [ecx.images-amazon.com image 300x271]


If Fark has taught me anything, its that I'll never have an idea original to get there first. Sigh.
 
2014-03-25 01:37:55 AM  
Good story.
 
2014-03-25 01:39:53 AM  
This thread(and article) is useless without pics of said Flat Stanley. The whole point of sending him is to take pics of Stanley visiting and participating in all manner of fun, education, travel and yes occasionally debauchery.
- dad of two kids, both of whom had flat Stanleies stroll Bourbon Street.
 
2014-03-25 01:41:15 AM  
Great story, subby. You have my flat out thanks.
 
2014-03-25 01:41:39 AM  
Great story subby
 
2014-03-25 01:42:21 AM  
Whole lotta dust.
 
2014-03-25 01:44:33 AM  
Great find, subby.  Thanks.
 
2014-03-25 01:49:24 AM  
That was. Dusty. Thanks subby.
 
2014-03-25 01:52:54 AM  

ilikeracecars: ransack.: [ecx.images-amazon.com image 300x271]

If Fark has taught me anything, its that I'll never have an idea original to get there first. Sigh.


I like to think it's because I have a life and am too busy to post it first.

But I know that isn't true.

:(
 
2014-03-25 01:53:57 AM  
Btw, great find subby. Thanks.
 
2014-03-25 01:54:06 AM  
That was worth the read.

/Frickin dust
 
2014-03-25 02:03:14 AM  
If read by someone who had never been exposed to the internet, that headline would make no sense whatsoever.

/Also, by someone who has no idea what a "Flat Stanley" is.
//What do you get when you drop a piano down a mineshaft?
 
2014-03-25 02:17:52 AM  
Great read.  Really dusty at the end. Thanks, subby.
 
2014-03-25 02:19:35 AM  
I remember having a "Flat Stanley" with my Army company when we were in Iraq back in 2003/2004. Glad to see we weren't the only ones.
 
2014-03-25 02:21:49 AM  
Have to admit this made my day, Subby. Thanks.
 
2014-03-25 02:23:08 AM  

Mr. Ekshun: //What do you get when you drop a piano down a mineshaft?


Coldplay's next album.
 
2014-03-25 02:24:20 AM  
Great find subby, I really enjoyed the read.  I would like to point out one part of the story that is terribly WRONG.  Why does a war veteran coming home to the good ole US of A have to live in a tiny apartment and survive on mac and cheese.  We treat our veterans and our teachers reprehensively in this country.  Thank you all for the job you do!
 
2014-03-25 02:25:48 AM  
A+ Find, Subbie
 
2014-03-25 02:28:20 AM  
He should have done Flat Stanley Peggy Hill style. He could have started off with Flat Stanley in a Thai whorehouse surround by whores with a shot attached to one hand and a cigarette in the other. Next have Flat Stanley on his first day in country in Afghanistan with the rest of the troops doing routine stuff. Then have Flat Stanley surrounded with blood and guts shooting a SAW to show his first fire fight. Then show Flat Stanley tied up in a chair surround by people with ski mask on shocking his balls to show Flat Stanley captured by the enemy. Then show Flat Stanley standing on a dead enemy with a bandana around his head Rambo style, holding a M4 and firing it in the air to show Flat Stanley escaping and killing his captors.  Then show Flat Stanley lying in a puddle of blood with his legs detached to show Flat Stanley getting wounded. Then send them back a legless Flat Stanley with a little wheelchair and a note saying "This is how we live son!"
 
2014-03-25 02:46:58 AM  
 
2014-03-25 03:22:04 AM  
I'm surprised Flat Stanley survived being washed....then I remembered the guy was a single father with two sons.

That's a great story, and I also have to clean some of the dust out of my room again.
 
2014-03-25 03:26:05 AM  
Fark you, subby!

/wipes eyes...
 
2014-03-25 03:29:27 AM  
Awesome story...
 
2014-03-25 03:32:45 AM  
I always have the feeling, when schools send letters to random soldiers, that they are doing less to improve the moral of the guys serving overseas, and more filling their mail bags full of spam.  Then when you remember that every letter, and package sent to certain units has to travel on convoys, taking up physical space on said convoys, that themselves are slow moving targets for the Taliban, I have to wonder if it is really such a good idea.  Sure it probably isn't that big of deal in the grand scheme of things, but given how expensive a gallon of gas becomes, traveling on the convoy system, how ideal could it possibly be?  I don't know.  I was never a soldier, so I don't know if the troops actually appreciate all this mail, or if it is more a way of making the folks back home feel good about themselves.
 
2014-03-25 03:37:57 AM  
Well, that was a surprise. I was sure the soldier was going to get killed in the last sentence, but instead it was just

"And, if you need a second opinion, there silently, you will have a passenger, hanging out, folded up in your back pocket, that can vouch for me."

I skipped over the other stuff. Was the guy dead or not?
 
2014-03-25 03:42:40 AM  

Some Coke Drinking Guy: I always have the feeling, when schools send letters to random soldiers, that they are doing less to improve the moral of the guys serving overseas, and more filling their mail bags full of spam.  Then when you remember that every letter, and package sent to certain units has to travel on convoys, taking up physical space on said convoys, that themselves are slow moving targets for the Taliban, I have to wonder if it is really such a good idea.  Sure it probably isn't that big of deal in the grand scheme of things, but given how expensive a gallon of gas becomes, traveling on the convoy system, how ideal could it possibly be?  I don't know.  I was never a soldier, so I don't know if the troops actually appreciate all this mail, or if it is more a way of making the folks back home feel good about themselves.


There are no Atheists in Foxholes. When someone is set on killing you, and you have to kill them first, humans tend to latch onto anything that can remind them of their fundamental humanity. A talisman of some sort to help them remember that there is someone out there who gives a damn about them, and a reason for fighting.

I've never heard a soldier say they weren't glad to get a care package. If there are soldiers out there who think it's bullshiat, they are keeping their mouths shut.
 
2014-03-25 03:43:58 AM  

Some Coke Drinking Guy: I always have the feeling, when schools send letters to random soldiers, that they are doing less to improve the moral of the guys serving overseas, and more filling their mail bags full of spam.  Then when you remember that every letter, and package sent to certain units has to travel on convoys, taking up physical space on said convoys, that themselves are slow moving targets for the Taliban, I have to wonder if it is really such a good idea.  Sure it probably isn't that big of deal in the grand scheme of things, but given how expensive a gallon of gas becomes, traveling on the convoy system, how ideal could it possibly be?  I don't know.  I was never a soldier, so I don't know if the troops actually appreciate all this mail, or if it is more a way of making the folks back home feel good about themselves.


Somebody needs a nap.
 
2014-03-25 04:18:36 AM  
Well I have to confess I'd never heard of a "Flat Stanley" until now. Hell, when I saw the headline I thought it was a euphemism for a condom.
 
2014-03-25 04:19:26 AM  
More precisely, when I first heard the story elsewhere, it mentioned that he'd kept it in his wallet. So...
 
2014-03-25 05:51:02 AM  

Frederick: I liked that story.  Thanks, Subby.

 
2014-03-25 06:21:21 AM  

Some Coke Drinking Guy: ail, or if it is more a way of making the folks back home feel good about themselves.




CSB Tiems!

I was a soldier, in the US Army 82nd Airborne Division Artillery. I was among the first couple hundred soldiers to deploy for the first Persian Gulf War.

We lived in tents on an old field the Saudis would dump dead animals on before we arrived. You could hear a mouse fart at one end of the compound while in your rack.

You could walk around screaming at the top of your lungs that it was time for formation- "CHARLIE BATTERY, FORMATION NOW!" and it would take twenty minutes.

You could whisper "charlie battery mail call" and every swinging dick would be out there in thirty seconds.

The funny thing is, that's not a joke. We tested it with a farking stopwatch once.

We all loved mail. The "any soldier" mail was almost as good as a letter from home, because you never knew what you would get.

I still, twenty two years later, remember reading letters from kids who thought we were like unto gods. The wrote earnestly in crayon and scrawled pencil and I still get weepy thinking about their letters. There was no artifice in their words and their letters were a ioy to receive and read.
Hope that helps clear it up a little for you.
 
2014-03-25 07:18:22 AM  
More of a Flat Eric fan myself

i1005.photobucket.com


/CSB time

I had an American flag patch that I wore on my uniform for my three deployments to the Balkans. Because I saw it as a good luck charm by this point I gave the flag to a friends boyfriend, before he went to Iraq in 2004 and he kept it in his wallet while there. When he got back he gave it back to me so I could give it to another friend who was joining the Army. I had written all the places that it had been on the back. That friend still has the patch and he keeps it in his wallet. So far that flag patch has been to Bosnia, Hungary, Macedonia, Hungary, Iraq three times, and Afghanistan.
 
2014-03-25 07:19:31 AM  

KawhostaYucwy: The saying, "There are no atheists in foxholes" is an insult to atheists in foxholes, of which there are many, and needs to stop being spouted at every opportunity.


If you were capable of coherent thought, you wouldn't be bothered by my use of the turn of phrase.

As Cyclometh has just proven, pretty much all soldiers have something or other they use to keep their humanity and remind them of home and why they are fighting.

If you were less of a mindless zealot you'd understand nuances such as "context".
 
2014-03-25 07:36:27 AM  

Old enough to know better: Well I have to confess I'd never heard of a "Flat Stanley" until now. Hell, when I saw the headline I thought it was a euphemism for a condom.


That's Pop-Up Jimmy.
 
2014-03-25 07:37:07 AM  
My husband still has the letters children sent him while he was deployed among with the drawings and letters or daughters sent. It's not surprising that many soldiers hold onto something like this, even many years later.

As for the soldier, his story is all too common. My husband suffers from combat related post- traumatic stress disorder. Whether the article drove the point home or not for those who read it, it affects more than just the soldier. It tears apart families, ruins relationships, etc. My husband is not the man I married, and everyday is a struggle. War changed him.

There's certainly a stereotype, a stigma placed on having the disorder. It makes the soldier reluctant to seek help when he needs it. He suffers alone, and most likely alienates everyone around him. Those closest to him fail to understand how he is suffering. I understand it because I grew up with it. My own father has severe PTSD from Vietnam. And let me trek you... that was no picnic.

However, despite understanding my husband's condition, there are still massive hurdles. I still have to fight my husband to make sure he goes to counseling and takes his meds. It's a constant battle, and all he wants is normalcy, to not feel broken anymore.

It's good to see this veteran's message passed on. Hopefully what we all take from it is when were at out lowest, we can still find a way up, a way out. Sometimes you just need help, even if is just a few encouraging words.
 
2014-03-25 08:17:11 AM  
Dusty...
Awesome story
 
2014-03-25 08:29:12 AM  

Some Coke Drinking Guy: I always have the feeling, when schools send letters to random soldiers, that they are doing less to improve the moral of the guys serving overseas, and more filling their mail bags full of spam.  Then when you remember that every letter, and package sent to certain units has to travel on convoys, taking up physical space on said convoys, that themselves are slow moving targets for the Taliban, I have to wonder if it is really such a good idea.  Sure it probably isn't that big of deal in the grand scheme of things, but given how expensive a gallon of gas becomes, traveling on the convoy system, how ideal could it possibly be?  I don't know.  I was never a soldier, so I don't know if the troops actually appreciate all this mail, or if it is more a way of making the folks back home feel good about themselves.


It's worth it. It's a nice distraction from the shiat going on around you. We'd always try to write back to them and send them unit patches or other souvenirs.
 
2014-03-25 08:31:53 AM  

Some Coke Drinking Guy: I always have the feeling, when schools send letters to random soldiers, that they are doing less to improve the moral of the guys serving overseas, and more filling their mail bags full of spam.  Then when you remember that every letter, and package sent to certain units has to travel on convoys, taking up physical space on said convoys, that themselves are slow moving targets for the Taliban, I have to wonder if it is really such a good idea.  Sure it probably isn't that big of deal in the grand scheme of things, but given how expensive a gallon of gas becomes, traveling on the convoy system, how ideal could it possibly be?  I don't know.  I was never a soldier, so I don't know if the troops actually appreciate all this mail, or if it is more a way of making the folks back home feel good about themselves.


O_o

I have no words.
 
2014-03-25 09:06:36 AM  
*snif* it's all dusty in here.
 
2014-03-25 09:30:52 AM  

Some Coke Drinking Guy: I always have the feeling, when schools send letters to random soldiers, that they are doing less to improve the moral of the guys serving overseas, and more filling their mail bags full of spam.  Then when you remember that every letter, and package sent to certain units has to travel on convoys, taking up physical space on said convoys, that themselves are slow moving targets for the Taliban, I have to wonder if it is really such a good idea.  Sure it probably isn't that big of deal in the grand scheme of things, but given how expensive a gallon of gas becomes, traveling on the convoy system, how ideal could it possibly be?  I don't know.  I was never a soldier, so I don't know if the troops actually appreciate all this mail, or if it is more a way of making the folks back home feel good about themselves.


I did the mail detail on my last deployment to Macedonia and I would hold onto the "any soldier" mail until all the mail was passed out then I give a few letters to the Joe's who didnt get any mail at all that day. You would be surprised what a letter from a stranger will do for someone's moral. Also, here were a couple guys in my platoon when I was in Bosnia who were basically orphans and they started writing chicks in prison(they got their addresses out of the back of biker magazines) just to get some mail. From your post I can see that you just dont get it and you never will. You didn't even try to understand.
 
2014-03-25 09:58:45 AM  

Onkel Buck: Some Coke Drinking Guy: I always have the feeling, when schools send letters to random soldiers, that they are doing less to improve the moral of the guys serving overseas, and more filling their mail bags full of spam.  Then when you remember that every letter, and package sent to certain units has to travel on convoys, taking up physical space on said convoys, that themselves are slow moving targets for the Taliban, I have to wonder if it is really such a good idea.  Sure it probably isn't that big of deal in the grand scheme of things, but given how expensive a gallon of gas becomes, traveling on the convoy system, how ideal could it possibly be?  I don't know.  I was never a soldier, so I don't know if the troops actually appreciate all this mail, or if it is more a way of making the folks back home feel good about themselves.

I did the mail detail on my last deployment to Macedonia and I would hold onto the "any soldier" mail until all the mail was passed out then I give a few letters to the Joe's who didnt get any mail at all that day. You would be surprised what a letter from a stranger will do for someone's moral. Also, here were a couple guys in my platoon when I was in Bosnia who were basically orphans and they started writing chicks in prison(they got their addresses out of the back of biker magazines) just to get some mail. From your post I can see that you just dont get it and you never will. You didn't even try to understand.


Too true, you'll never see a larger group of outcasts than the Military.  There are some folks without anything but the uniform.
 
2014-03-25 10:04:59 AM  
That was a cool story. My whole life  I have never come across a Flat Stanley or anyone who was ever documenting a trip for one.
 
2014-03-25 11:12:36 AM  
Never in the military but one of my cousins who I grew up with was.  Remember I got a letter from him after his unit came back from the first gulf war.  His group was cleaning out there vehicle, don't remember what it was, and he found a card I sent for his birthday.  He mentioned he got a chuckle seeing it again and was very grateful for receiving notes from family or from anybody really.
 
2014-03-25 11:34:04 AM  
My cousin sent a Flat Stanley to my brother stationed in Korea.  It's a pretty cool idea, especially if you know someone in the military because they get stationed in really different places.
 
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