Warrior's heart beats loudly and proudly

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By Donna Teresa Monterey Herald

Cindy Stanley and Jerry English have lived on the Central Coast for many years. After the Christmas holiday, we will bid them a very fond farewell as they move to Arizona.

Stanley and English have been instrumental in the establishment of the "Cards and Cocoa for the Troops" program. They have worked tirelessly along with their many volunteers in making sure troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have received special care packages from home.

     

Stanley has already made sure that this program will continue after her move. Yvette Cook will take over.

"I have been mentoring her over a year," Stanley said. "She has done many projects already. Please contact her at yvette_cook10@yahoo.com to make donations and volunteer."

They say that behind every good man is a great woman. In Stanley’s case, it works both ways because Stanley could not accomplish all that she has done without the support of her husband, Jerry English.

"Without his support in a thousand different ways, 10 tons of items would not have been sent to our troops. Thousands of local troops would not have received a handshake and a handmade card that says ‘Thank You,’" Stanley said. "Hundreds of volunteers would not have spent countless hours doing the work it takes to make all this happen. He gave up time with me and space in our home to make projects work. I would not have survived two bouts with cancer within three years and all that comes with that."

Although I am sad to see them leave, our loss is Arizona’s gain, for they have established a new non-profit organization called "A Warriors Heart" (www.warriors-heart.org). Their purpose is to provide therapeutic programs to those who serve in the military, police, fire and other first responders.

For those who put themselves in harm’s way, this program helps those who have been injured and in need of some healing assistance.

Stanley says her new organization is going to provide a valuable service to military veterans. "Donations can be made on the Web site. The Web site is fairly new and constantly growing. We have recently received permission to link to another nonprofit, known as Veterans Airlift Command. They are pilots/owners of planes that fly warriors to their families or for families to visit the warriors in the hospital during their recoveries. The president of VAC said they would be willing to fly warriors and their spouses to be with us at Warriors Heart."

The holidays have arrived, and that means now is not the time to forget our troops and wounded warriors.

"Christmas is always the big mailing of the year," Stanley said. "Let us not forget that they are there every day. Many don’t get to have hot meals, showers or time with their families. I encourage everyone to make a goal to write one letter a week to our troops."

I wish English and Stanley the very best as they begin a new chapter in their life. I thank them for their dedication in serving our troops so unselfishly and kindly here on the Central Coast. A warrior’s heart beats loudly and proudly, wherever this extraordinary couple is.

Whether it is in California or Arizona, you can count on these two to spread their kindness to someone in uniform. Because that’s what you do when you are grateful for the freedoms you have and English and Stanley have always appreciated it and have never been ashamed to show it.

Donna Teresa can be reached at donnateresa@sbcglobal.net.

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