Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

The journey of a Christmas card

What happens to a Christmas Card for veterans, our Project DEFT (Don't Ever Forget Them), once the card arrives at our office? What's the journey a typical card takes from the author to the veteran? I've changed the names but the following story tells the trip so many cards have taken in the years we've been blessed to be a part of this project.

Sally is an elementary school student here in Tehachapi. She has designed her own cards for our veterans. One in particular had a Christmas tree on the cover. You open up the card and there is the cutest reindeer you've ever seen! On the top of the card, she thanks our veteran for his service and then she proceeds to tell a joke. "What do reindeers say before they tell you a joke? This one will sleigh you!"

Ned is in his mid 90s, a World War II veteran whose wife is gone and who has lived in a veterans home in the Central Valley for several years. He does have some family left but it's hard to make the long trip to the home. So, unfortunately, he doesn't see much of them. Christmas isn't quite the same these days and he sometimes feels forgotten.

A few days before Christmas on the clip outside his door, which holds his mail, is an unusual letter. The handwriting belongs to a child, what could it be?

Much to his surprise he opens the envelope and finds the card from Sally. He smiles and has a rare laugh at her joke! A feeling overcomes him– maybe he's not forgotten, there are people who remember his service and appreciate the sacrifices he and his fellow veterans have made.

Marty Pay and his staff at 212 W. F St. (661) 822-3737, have been coordinating Project DEFT for several years, the Tehachapi community has been unwavering in their support of this project! Thank you, thank you Tehachapi!