I write thank you notes on Monday mornings. Handwritten notes, mailed in envelopes with stamped postage, the notes are sent to those who’ve helped me and others on our journeys. Born as an extension of a morning gratitude habit (Think about three things I’m grateful for every morning), the notes encourage a deeper connection to gratitude.
But I can’t mail this one because Mary died in 1981. So I’ll write it here.
Due to a tight layover and heavy thunderstorms, I missed the flight home and spent the night in the USO (United Service Organizations). That’s when I first learned of Mary.
Mary Ingraham was born in Brooklyn, NY and later became president of the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Organization). She then founded the USO, with the support of President F. D. Roosevelt, and oversaw the organization for years. The USO operates 160 centers in 14 countries, to include Afghanistan, and continues to provide hospitality and morale activities to military members in the U.S. and abroad.
I never knew Mary, nor did Mary meet many of the 35 million other members of the military touched by the USO, but she continues to have an impact some 36 years after her death.
Thank you, Mary. For your life of service and dedication to the military and to this nation, I am grateful for you and your work.