I came across the Tempered Steel website around Veteran’s Day 2011 and was immediately impressed and inspired.

Tempered Steel does a great job leading our wounded warriors to heal and move on, “improving lives through living”.  The powerful message they send is that yes, these young men and women have sacrificed a great deal in service of our country; and no, they don’t need our pity.  But they do need our support, respect, and acceptance in rejoining society after time on the battlefield and in the hospital.

Part of how they do that is by providing speakers in our schools and communities.  This educates our public about the effects the physical and emotional scars have on the men and women who serve our country. It also engages these veterans in a healing process by serving and creating a bridge between  the community and their brothers and sisters in arms.  Our wars have often become the job of a warrior class, and we manage to be pretty removed from the reality they contain.  Tempered Steel reminds us of the cost, and the need to create compassionate communities.

From the Tempered Steel Website:

“Tempered Steel’s Wounded Warriors are experienced soldiers and military members left with disfiguring and/or disabling injuries. They have not only survived, but each made a conscious decision to improve their lives through sharing their experiences and offering life changing education that may just change our world. By telling their stories of survival in an open and honest manner, by sharing the beauty behind their scars and injuries, our wounded military members convey knowledge and a sense of unity and understanding within our communities and our country.”

The examples of veterans at Tempered Steel asks, I think, that we look these folks in the eyes, thank them for their service, and remind ourselves that they are our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.  For me they are also my students, many of whom have gone into the armed services and a fair number of whom have been in harm’s way in the service of our country.

While I”m on the topic, I’ll point out that a great way to support a wounded soldier this Holiday Season is to send a card.  There’s, of course, a program for that.  Holiday Mail for Heroes needs your mail by December 9 to get it in the hands of one of our heroes.  You can click the link, click the gadget at right, or just mail a card or more to the address below:

Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456