“Tere!” – Hello in Estonian. Caroline Hartõkainen supports our Troops.
Although I would have preferred to sit across a table from Caroline, sharing a pot of tea while getting acquainted, she is miles away from America. Caroline resides in Estonia, Europe. Despite the fact that Estonia may not be a European country that first comes to mind, it is the homeland of Skype and Hotmail. Fifty percent of their country is covered in forest, and recently National Geographic acknowledged them with a beautiful picture of an Estonian pony named Rainbow in their February issue. It is nice to know that our service members far from home, are being cheered with correspondence from 59 degrees 26’N latitude, and 24 degrees 45’E longitude in Northern Europe.
Caroline is a young student who enjoys art, but her biggest interest is her family. She writes about her upbringing and the benefits of being raised in her extended family which she loves. Her father and uncles have served in the Army. They were born at a time when serving was not optional. Estonia has been occupied by Germans, Swedes, and Russians. Caroline explains, “In Estonia, when a boy turns eighteen and does not go on to school, he must receive basic training in the Army, so if war comes, he has the skills to protect his family and country.”
“Ever since I started to understand the world more properly, I have been thinking one person’s efforts or sacrifices might not seem important among this sea of people, but it actually could change the world. At least, that’s my opinion. And that opinion is one of the biggest reasons I decided to adopt a soldier with AAUSS.”
“There’s also the fact that many soldiers do not have anyone to support them. That is sad and breaks my heart. My family sticks together no matter what, so I wanted to help. I do not send packages, but I have been told that just by writing to them about school and how my parents are doing, even though I am miles away, they feel at home. I have also received advice from one of my adopted soldiers which was, ‘Always be a good role model to my sisters.’ Those simple words have inspired me to be an even better sister.”
“I would like to share with people that joining AAUSS is a great way to help others. It does not take a big part of your day. It makes me smile when I am closing a letter by saying, with all my support, because I know they will smile when they read those words.”
Barbara Brown Taylor wrote: “Every human interaction offers you the chance to make things better or to make things worse.” Thank you, Caroline, for your efforts in making deployment for our service members better by joining forces with AAUSS. Also, I agree with you. Your friendship and support, especially from one so young, can make a difference in the world.
Please click on the following link for more information regarding this non-profit organization, AdoptAUSSoldier.org.