InspireMeToday Brings Inspiration to Iraq

  • (to our readers, I know this is a long blog post but I want you to understand who we are and why we’re doing what we’re doing. Please indulge me and read this post. Thank you!)

    Inspiration has always been a very special part of my life. For many years I’ve listened to upbeat music on my iPod when I worked out aerobically at the gym. But, on the mornings that I did weight training, I would listen to books on tape- inspirational messages from people like Jack Canfield, Wayne Dyer or one of many others. Those morning inspirational messages shifted my whole attitude, increased my creativity, productivity and overall attitude throughout the day. It didn’t take long to realize that the quality of my day was directly tied to the quality of my morning inspiration. Just like we feed our bodies in the morning, I believe that it is necessary to feed our soul too.

    Once I realized the impact quality inspiration was having on my life, I searched for new information continually. My personal need to be inspired became a part-time job. I didn’t want to listen to the same information or even the same person over and over again, so I expanded my search to include a wide variety of amazing luminaries. Friends and family started borrowing my library and I watched as their lives improved as a result of this inspiration. From that experience and my passionate desire to share inspiration with others, I booked the name InspireMeToday.com in 2004.

    But it’s funny how sometimes God seems to have different plans for us or our timing just isn’t right. My daughter, Carly, has always been incredibly talented musically, being offered a role in Les Miserable on Broadway at 7 years old, to acting in commercials for Hallmark, Kodak and others. She was even on the Wonder Years as a child. However, her great talent, love and passion was singing. She has the crystal clear voice of an angel. I’ve always promised her that when the time was right, if it was something she wanted, I would move mountains to help her achieve her dream of being a top recording artist. As she graduated from college in 2004, the time was right. She moved to Nashville and asked for my help.

    Financially as a single mom, things were tight at times, even though I had real estate assets. Knowing how rare her talent was and believing wholeheartedly in her commitment, I sold my dream piece of real estate, Dreaming Bear Ranch, in Montana, to fund my daughter’s music career. I started working as her manager and formed a record label in Nashville to promote her, called Dreaming Bear Music. Billboard Magazine wrote a story where they talked about the Goodwin family literally “bet the farm”, or in this case the ranch, on Carly’s success.

    In the fall of 2004 I woke from a dream in which Carly, by then a rising Nashville recording artist, was performing on stage, singing a song I’d never heard before, repeating it over and over. I scribbled the song in my journal while half asleep at 2am. In the morning I found the almost illegible song, called my daughter, and shared it with her. She was less than interested in hearing it, but despite her constant reminder of, “Mom, you’re not a songwriter… I live in Nashville and hang out with songwriters… keep your day job”, I flew to Nashville and met with Carly and #1 hit songwriter, Gerald Smith. In 15 minutes our song, Baby Come Back Home, was complete.

    Within days the song was recorded by Carly and with the help of Mark Victor Hansen and Alex Mandossian, was released as an audio postcard on the Internet. The song, sung from the perspective of a soldier’s wife to her husband in Iraq, honors the unrecognized, often unnoticed, sacrifices of a soldier’s wife. Baby Come Back Home became an “anthem” embraced by military families around the world. Within a month there were more than half a million web hits on Carly’s site. Invitations started pouring in from troops and their families for Carly to perform all over the country.

    After many visits to military bases throughout the country, we were invited to Guantanamo Bay. During the first trip there, a young Marine named Chris shared with me how he felt unappreciated by the average American. This was during the prison trials at Gitmo, when the Marines in Cuba were on trial in the court of American opinion. President Bush and his administration were losing the support of the American people more each day. Chris was doing a difficult job and felt unappreciated and unloved by America. As hard as I tried to convince him otherwise, he didn’t believe that the average American could differentiate between support for the Bush Administration and our policy in Iraq, versus support for the troops. Chris felt like America didn’t support him personally.

    Determined to show Chris and his fellow troops the love and support of a grateful nation, I came back to Nashville with a plan. The Baby Come Back Home Soldier Scrolls were launched in Nashville at the Country Music Festival. We unrolled the tail end of an unprinted newspaper scroll, spread it across a table, tossed out a handful of colorful Sharpies and invited the public to write their own personal message of love and support. In just 4 days of continually rolling scrolls and multiple trips to get more paper, the scrolls grew to an astounding SEVEN MILES long. I was beyond impressed, surprised and very inspired! I also realized we were on to something. By looking to be of service, magic was happening.

    A sample of the scrolls

    A sample of the scrolls

    On the third day, someone waiting in the long line to sign the scrolls asked Carly and I what we were going to do with the scrolls when they were full. Without missing a beat I answered that we were going to deliver them to Iraq, to the troops that needed to see America’s love and support the most. Surprised by my answer, Carly looked at me with one of her “Mom, we should have talked about this first” looks. She thought I was crazy. What she didn’t know in that moment was that I was as surprised by my response as she was. Sometimes I wonder where that answer came from. We had no military connection and Iraq was half a world away. Who were we to do something like this? How would we get to and from Iraq safely? I just knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do and that somehow, the answer would show up, even if I didn’t have the foggiest notion as to “how”.

    Over the next month, we partnered with Southwest Airlines to allow more people across America to sign the scrolls. Carly performed concerts in airport terminals around the country while I invited people to share their gratitude with our troops, by writing their own message of love and support. Friends and family joined us and supported our efforts. The scrolls grew and grew. Phone calls were made, momentum increased and an invitation came for us to visit our troops in Iraq and deliver the scrolls.

    Just two weeks before we left for a 29-day tour of Iraq and 6 other countries in the Persian Gulf, the scrolls were signed by members of our Congress in the U.S. Capitol building in DC. On that momentous day, lying on a very long table at the foot of a 20’ tall painting of George Washington, the scrolls broke 18 MILES in length! I think George would have been proud of us.

    In January 2006 after two years and visits to many US bases, three trips to Guantanamo Bay and regular ongoing visits to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit with the wounded troops, Carly, her band and I set off on a tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf. We took our prized scrolls, broke them into 18 sections of at least a mile each and delivered one to each of 18 bases on the 29-day tour. We literally wrapped each base with more than a mile of messages of love and support from America.

    As the scrolls were unfurled, troops gathered around to read messages from “I miss you Daddy, Love Scooter”, to “I want to marry a Marine” with a young girl’s email address. The scrolls contained messages from celebrities and regular folks alike, from 2 to 100 years old, from 48 states and more than 13 countries. No matter where they were from, our troops got to experience a little bit of home. As one soldier said, “Wow, that person is from my hometown!” And for that moment in time, even though he was in the middle of the desert of Iraq, he was home. In his mind and in his heart he had something tangible and something familiar. He felt loved and appreciated. He felt “Home”.

    Soldier Scrolls in Persian Gulf

    Scrolls delivered to the USS Pearl Harbor in the Persian Gulf

    What this experience proved to me is that when the dream is big enough, doors will be opened. I had no idea how I was going to keep the promise I spontaneously made to deliver the scrolls to Iraq, but I didn’t need to know how it would happen. It was much more important to know THAT it would happen rather than HOW it would happen. The Universe had it figured out and all I had to do was show up and do my part.

    At the most remote base, Al Q’aim, I met a young man named Jesse. Because we volunteered to visit bases that had never had entertainment, we were at a very remote base in northwestern Iraq just 6 miles from the Syrian border. This was so remote that the 3000+ Marines stationed there had never had entertainment in the 3-1/2 years since the base had opened. They literally built a plywood stage the day before Carly’s concert and were still hanging camo nets on the concrete walls trying to create a good acoustic quality.

    After Carly’s show a young man named Jesse came up to me in a very shy way and asked me for a “mom hug”. He explained that he’d just turned 19 and that it had been 9 months and 4 days since he’d been touched. He was actually able to tell me the exact date of his last hug. He missed his mom. He missed home. Jesse explained to me that he’d been off base for the last month and had just arrived back on base less than 15 minutes before we met. I was so moved, smiled and reached out to give him a big hug. He stepped back, put his hands up and told me that before I said “Yes”, I needed to know more. He proceeded to explain that his job required him to live in a ditch- alone for 30-40 days at a time. He was one of more than 800 Marines who guard this stretch of desert, coming back to the base for a few days every month or so. Jesse apologized and told me that he hadn’t had a shower in 37 days but asked if he could still have his hug. I pulled him close and gave him the biggest, warmest “Mom hug” that I could. We were both moved to tears. It broke my heart when he told me that I “smelled like home”.

    We talked for a bit and I asked Jesse how he survives a month at a time, living in a ditch with no interaction with other people. I explained that I didn’t think I could live in my house for 30-40 days with no interaction, let alone in a ditch in Iraq. He smiled, reached back into his backpack, pulled out his iPod and said, “I’m always looking for good inspiration, Ma’am”.

    I felt like God literally tapped me on the shoulder- big time. Although I’d booked the name InspireMeToday.com in 2004, I hadn’t taken the time to build the site yet, as I was working with my daughter on building her career. Jesse and the 800 others like him inspired me to provide them with quality inspiration. I returned home and set things into motion.

    Carly presenting scrolls at Ali Asalim

    Carly presenting scrolls at Ali Asalim

    Carly was now married, living in Nashville and following her dream. My son Max, although he was still young, was a junior in college in California. When he turned 18, I felt free to live wherever I wanted to live and do whatever I wanted to do. For the first time in my life, it was about me. I could follow MY dream, so I relocated from California to the mountains of Colorado and founded InspireMeToday.com. We launched on April 6th, 2008.

    From the beginning, in the spirit of giving before receiving, it has been our intention to select a good cause each year and provide free inspiration. Because of Jesse’s simple request which was the motivation I needed, we gave each of our 2.5 million active troops a free Premier Membership to our site. Many days I’m motivated by the thought of Jesse being able to come to InspireMeToday.com and download unlimited inspiration to take back to that lonely ditch. Because of so many that make InspireMeToday.com possible, Jesse isn’t alone in his ditch any longer and that makes me smile.

    We’re planning to return to Iraq in the spring of 2009 on an inspirational tour and to deliver more “mom hugs”. This time we’re assembling a roster of inspirational leaders to speak with our troops. “Inspiration is the number one thing our troops need now. With the extended tours, being away from families has taken its toll. We would welcome the Inspire Me Today inspirational tour as soon as they can get to Iraq”, said First Sergeant Anthony Page, former commanding officer at the Al Q’aim base in Iraq.

    Each day I bounce out of bed full of energy and joy, knowing that our site is making a difference, not only to Jesse and his buddies in Iraq, but also to the single mom in Iowa, the corporate exec in California or the entrepreneur in Florida. Through the inspiration of our Luminaries, people’s thoughts and attitudes are changing. Lives are changing. And from that, we can change the world- one morning, one person at a time.

    Baby Come Back Home

    Married you four years ago, became a soldier’s wife.
    Knew one day, you’d have to go, and I’d miss you in my life.
    In seven weeks, our baby’s due; you’re half-a-world away.
    Know our country’s needin’ you, but all I have to say is

    Baby, come back home, I need you too.
    Baby, come back home, Honey, I love you.

    Next-door neighbor’s son was there, fightin’ the same war.
    We just heard the news today; he won’t be home no more.

    Freedom never has come free, there’s a price to pay.
    Lord knows, I’m proud of you, but I miss you more each day.

    Baby, come back home, I need you too.
    Baby, come back home, Honey, I love you.

    Until you’re back home, Darlin’, and in my arms to stay,
    I pray God watches over you, every minute you’re away.

    Baby, come back home, I need you too.
    Baby, come back home, Honey, I love you.
    Honey, I love you.


    Steaming version of Baby Come Back Home is provided courtesy of Dreaming Bear Music

    p.s. Please feel free to send an email to our troops through our friends at eMailOurMilitary.com. eMail Our Military is a charitable organization supporting our troops through morale boosting email, cards, letters and care packages. Please send email to: messages@emailourmilitary.com. Thank you!

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of InspireMeToday.com, bringing the best inspiration to the world. InspireMeToday.com provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to InspireMeToday.com, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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    1. Nancy Sutherland
      Nancy Sutherland says:

      Gail, this post left me crying. Thank you so much for all that you do. I am deeply touched because my husband is a retired US Army officer and I understand the pain that the family feels during a deployment.
      Your daughter’s song is SO BEAUTIFUL! Mary Kay is the official Beauty Sponsor of the CMA Awards again this year and they have a contest to win a trip to Nashville and a backstage pass. I want to win even more now!
      Please give a big hug to all those soldiers who need one for me. I wish that I could do the same! You are making a difference!

      Reply
    2. Sugar
      Sugar says:

      I’m sitting here with tears pouring from my eyes. It’s amazing to me to see the hand of God in one person’s life touching so many. Ignoring all doubt and fear, you listened and followed. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this story and for being an inspiration to Jessie, to Carly, to your son Max, to me… I’m so glad to know of you and look forward to continued inspiration.

      Reply
    3. Ian
      Ian says:

      This is a fantastic message and really gives a good insight into the lives of the soldiers so far away. I like the song too and feel that it does well telling the story of the people left at home waiting.

      The line that most got my attention was “when the dream is big enough, doors will be opened”. That is very inspirational, however I think I need a bigger stronger dream.

      Personally I am in the UK where people tend to be even more apathetic and military activity is very rarely reported, perhaps due to secrecy, but I think more because there is a general feeling of apathy across the UK, unless a person knows a soldier. Considering the number of U.S. soldiers abroad, I think Americans people are far more likely to know a soldier personally and that is partly why Americans are more supportive of their troops.

      Reply
    4. Lynn Mosher
      Lynn Mosher says:

      Oh, Gail. I am so happy I read this and learned about you and your daughter and how this site was created. This is one of the most inspirational pieces I have ever read. What a blessed lady you are to be able to live out your purpose for the Lord and be able to touch the lives of so many in a positive way. InspireMeToday is an awesome title for this site. You are an awesome lady. May the Lord bless all your efforts to serve Him. Blessings…Lynn

      Reply
    5. Gail
      Gail says:

      Dear Nancy, Sugar, Lynn and all my Twitter friends who sent such loving messages…

      I’m grateful that I was able to act when this opportunity was presented to me. I never thought I’d write a song, and never thought I’d go to Iraq. The magic in my life has always happened when I just got out of the way. Yes, it was still a project that required action, but it’s so much easier when doors open up to you. It’s not a coincidence that in the Law of Attraction, ACTION is the second part of the word AttrACTION.

      We’re still planning the details of our Hugs and Hope tour in the spring. We have 23 hours of hi-definition footage from the first trip that we’re hoping to share with Lifetime or HBO, along with the footage from the next trip. Sponsorship funding is still an issue. Getting to Oprah to take a real live mom with us still hasn’t happened- yet. but I’ve learned not to question the “How”. I keep reminding myself of that each day and moving forward with Divine guidance, faith and action.

      Thank you for walking this path with me. With your support of InspireMeToday.com, we can continue to grow and share our inspiration not only with the dedicated men and women of the US Military, but with the whole world. We are profoundly grateful for this opportunity to be of service.

      With gratitude and hugs,

      Gail

      Reply
    6. Jeanette
      Jeanette says:

      Golly gee, Gail!

      I had no idea what you were doing. Never has blog or website inspired me or touched my heart like this. No words can convey the emotional impact.

      Just knowing you makes my life lighter. Thank you.

      God bless you and your family.

      Jeanette

      Reply
    7. Gail
      Gail says:

      To all of you,

      The funny thing about this post is that I almost didn’t write it. I’ve been sharing this story with many for the last few months, but it wasn’t until I was at the Aloha Summit this past week, that my friend Dave Taylor asked me why I’m not blogging about this. The participants of the seminar told me that if I shared our story with you, our readers and members to our site, that you’d understand that InspireMeToday.com isn’t just another foo foo website, but that there is some real substance here. Thank you Dave and the Aloha team- once again, you were right. (Dave has askDaveTaylor.com, but he’s brilliant in many areas other than just tech stuff).

      This post- my most personal one ever, has created more email and touching responses than any other story I’ve posted. Thank you for the outpouring of love and support.

      And yes, Razorfrog, the photos are coming, just as soon as I get some tech help on a Saturday night. (hint, hint Max).

      Thank you to all of you. I’m so grateful for you in my life!

      Hugs,

      Gail

      Reply
    8. Shelley Boone
      Shelley Boone says:

      Gail,
      I grew up during the Viet Nam war. My dad was a AIr Force NCO stationed at Travis AFB in California. I can’t tell you the many heart wrenching scenes we saw at the Base terminal as soldiers deployed to places like Da Nang and the joy we felt as we watched them return. The wars are different yet the feelings are the same. Feelings of being unappreciated, their sacrifices overlooked or not acknowledged. Please tell these brave men and women how much we love them, that we will remember them in our daily prayers and that we will never forget their courage. I wish I could travel to Iraq with you in 2009 to deliver Mom hugs. It would be my pleasure and my honor. Thank you Gail for making a difference in so many lives. The song is beautiful, the singer inspired and the message priceless. God Bless You!

      Reply
    9. Mark David Gerson
      Mark David Gerson says:

      Thanks so much for sharing this story, Gail. As someone who shares your passion for inspiring others, it’s fascinating to read about the inspiration that, well, underlies the desire to inspire.

      I know that your story and the site that birthed through it will continue to inspire many for years to come. I’m proud and honored to be part of your dream and your vision. And I look forward to the day I can offer you more than etheric hugs of support.

      Blessings of continued inspiration,
      Mark David

      Reply
    10. Grant D Griffiths
      Grant D Griffiths says:

      Gail- I don’t know what to say. I actually had tears reading this. What you accomplished and what you did for our troops is truly beyond comparison. You and your daughter are truly amazing. And I firmly believe it involved a much higher hand that caused you to say you would deliver the scrolls to Iraq and one which helped you get there.

      Truly amazing and thank you so much for what you did.

      Reply
    11. Darryl Slattengren
      Darryl Slattengren says:

      Gail,

      Thank you for understanding the need, power, and hope of positive and inspiring words. Your site, your vision, and especially your interviews convey the passion and love you share for helping others. Please don’t ever give up what you do so well – reminding us all what is good in life!

      Gratefully,
      Darryl

      Reply
    12. Liz Strauss
      Liz Strauss says:

      You prove the power of knowing that follow your head and heart is the right thing. You inspired yourself to action. Wow! What a moving and incredible story. Thank you for sharing your daughter and yourself to change the world in such a fine way. I sit here smiling to think of the grace you left in your wake.

      Reply
    13. Robert Canon
      Robert Canon says:

      Gail:

      Thank you for having the courage to open up your life and share with us your “most personal post ever.” There is no telling how many lives you and Carly will touch worldwide through this one posting alone.

      I have been following the blog & Twitter responses, and you have started a conversation that is rapidly spreading to all corners of the globe. Other bloggers are even posting long form responses to the spirit you have stirred within them. (See Dr Mani’s post from India at: http://tinyurl.com/4k6zot and Ian’s response above from the UK.)

      I am a second generation military man who has always had a patriotic streak in my blood and warm spot in my heart for those who give of their lives in service to our country. I want to thank you for recognizing too, the service and sacrifice their parents, spouses and children make as well.

      My wife and I teach healthy marriage classes to the soldiers and families stationed at FT BLISS TX. We see first hand and know from our own experiences the stresses war and long deployments place on military families and marriages.

      Your story moved me and inspired me to take action of my own. Who knows… maybe you are attrACTING a sponsor for your ‘Hugs and Hope tour’ and just don’t know it yet.

      Thank you again and thanks to your very talented daughter. I was just listening to clips from her CD at http://cdbaby.com/cd/carlygoodwin – You are right, she does have the voice of an angel.

      I am looking forward to a life long symbiotic relationship where we (your readers) will be just as inspiring to you as you are to all of us.

      God Bless & Happy Tweeting,

      >Rob
      @FastStartCoach

      Reply
    14. Mia Redrick
      Mia Redrick says:

      Gail,
      What an inspirational post. Thank you for sharing your story Gail. We all benefit from hearing how one person with great intentions can make a difference. You illustrated that today beautifully.

      Reply
    15. Katja Presnal
      Katja Presnal says:

      I started reading this aloud to my husband, but broke down in tears not being able to finish. We read the rest of the blog post together, listening to your daughter’s beautiful singing voice.

      You are an amazing woman Gail, thank you so much for doing this. I have so much to say, but yet I’m speechless, I am so impressed by your kind heart and what you are doing.

      Gail, you are saving lives by giving inspiration.

      Thank you.
      Katja

      Ps. My husband is a veteran and served this country around the world (we met when he was in Germany) and I know what it is being a military wife.

      Reply
    16. gabbricha
      gabbricha says:

      Gail,

      What an amazing and touching story. Isn’t it funny how God calls us down the path that he wishes for us, and wonderful things happen when we listen.

      What an inspiration you are! Sending many hugs for you to pass on to our soldiers XOXOXO!

      Wishing you many blessings!
      Dana

      Reply
    17. Dawn
      Dawn says:

      Gail,
      What a great post! I am so glad you did share this story, because it’s important. The song is beautiful, as well. Is emailourmilitary the only organization you recommend or are there others…we are actually putting together a girlfriend party to benefit military families and would love to include this information. Thanks!

      Reply
    18. Shashi Bellamkonda
      Shashi Bellamkonda says:

      What a post ! I am glad i read it this weekend and take a lot of lessons from it on how to turn your dream and vision into executable ideas. The mention of the remote post and the technology that makes delivery of audio possible even in remote places clubbed with the sacrifice of you and you daughter . Hats off to you both.

      Shashi

      Reply
    19. Shama Hyder
      Shama Hyder says:

      Gail-

      I am so BEYOND touched. When I first heard you tell the story I thought wow. Reading this and listening to the song just totally brings it together.

      LOTS of blessings your way!

      Reply
    20. D'Anna Catterson
      D'Anna Catterson says:

      Gail,

      Your story was very moving in so many ways. The power of human touch should never be underestimated. What you do is amazing and much needed in these tough times. I want to post one of my favorite quotes from Mother Theresa – “We can do no great things, only small things with great love”

      D’Anna

      Reply
    21. @ZnaTrainer
      @ZnaTrainer says:

      Dear Gail, thank you!

      What an inspiration, leader, beautiful heart and soul and heroine you are!

      How I love your lyrics~GOD inspired this dream~the UNIVERSE is there for
      you, as you’ve let with love all GOODNESS to flow through you. What a song!

      Hug Carly for me, and ask her, please, to hug you for me! Let’s talk soon about
      my connections & ways to help these heroines like YOU & CARLY~& all those in
      our troups feel our love, our respect. I have filmmakers who’d film a great documentary
      about this lifechanging, heartwarming experience. It’s time ALL SEE our love for our troops.

      It’s time we showcased your GOD BLESSING you & Carly’s life with miracles to give hope,
      knowing the LOVE and PEACE and greatest BLESSINGS OF HOPE are here for us; have faith!

      Literally by your ultimate sacrifice showing your love, Gail, and “betting the farm” selling your
      dream piece of real estate, you’ve made mountains of miracles happen because of your faith!

      FAITH PRECEDES THE MIRACLES book proves your LOA is a LAW OF ATTRACTION IN ACTION!

      Your, naming this venture after your ranch, your metal of honor lives within your own
      heart! This story needs to be in the most powerful media by moviemaking! A flim, a documentary
      of this blessed string of miracles in events and people will move, touch, edify, inspire so many more.

      My hope is all on Twitter who see your message will inspire millions to read your blog. You’re humbly
      making history with your own huge heart of a heroine. All wise to read this will be similarly touched,
      moved to tears, as it seems we all are here who’ve been blessed to know you, beautiful Gail! Thank you!

      Your heart warming mind blowing blog is proof in the positive of letting the
      universe work through us, with GOD blessing us all in our dreaming big:

      Faith PRECEDES the MIRACLES! You are showing us this with this & all your blogs!

      You’re as your daughter, with your plethora of GOD given gifts, LOVE personified:

      Just now imagining, reminiscing about your hugging this Marine whose back breaking
      hot weather work with extreme duress without the relief of a refreshing shower or bath
      embodies your best work, as a “Mom” to your darling daughter Carly & all the TROOPS!

      We all should RIGHT NOW take a page from your “book” BLOG! We all need to give
      what we can, love how we can, show what we can, as you so heroically have served
      the many! What a miracle to “wrap around the hearts of our heroes, heroines” these
      mile long scrolls! What miracles you’ve brought forth from a dream~Universe/AKA GOD
      gives with total love for ALL OF US~and so need to be felt by the Marine you talked to &
      by all our heroines, heroes of our troops. Love you, and your darling daughter Carly for
      giving your all~so much of your heart and time and energy and talents to make this difference!

      Let me know how best I can serve you, and Carly. MailMilitaryMom knows my heart, also.

      It’s been my dream commitment, for decades, to give to these heroines, heroes who put
      their lives on hold and at risk to ensure freedoms, fighting for good, right, honor, lives.

      Know that I am here for you, always, Gail, for you, for your daughter, for all those who
      are reaching, giving so much. It’s an honor, and a pleasure to serve you, now, with love …

      Forever friend,

      Zna “Trainer”
      @ZnaTrainer (Twitter)
      Cell # 801 651-6115

      Reply
    22. @ZnaTrainer
      @ZnaTrainer says:

      Dear Gail, thank you!

      My hope is that all will bear with my lengthy reply~to feel my heart, love, respect,
      not reading the “riddled” w/ errors first one! That’s what happens with heart flowing …

      THIS IS AN EDIT with misspelled (from FRENCH) TROOPS* honoring
      @MailMilitaryMom ‘s first edit of my Tweet, showing true respect for our TROOPS NOW:

      What an inspiration, leader, beautiful heart and soul and heroine you are!

      How I love your lyrics~GOD inspired this dream~the UNIVERSE is there for
      you, as you’ve let with love all GOODNESS to flow through you. What a song!

      Hug Carly for me, and ask her, please, to hug you for me! Let’s talk soon about
      my connections & ways to help these heroines like YOU & CARLY~& all those in
      our troops feel our love, our respect. I have filmmakers who’d film a great documentary
      about this life changing, heartwarming experience. It’s time ALL SEE our love for our troops.

      It’s time we showcased your GOD BLESSING you & Carly’s life with miracles to give hope,
      knowing the LOVE and PEACE and greatest BLESSINGS OF HOPE are here for us; have faith!

      Literally by your ultimate sacrifice showing your love, Gail, and “betting the farm” selling your
      dream piece of real estate, you’ve made mountains of miracles happen because of your faith!

      FAITH PRECEDES THE MIRACLES book proves your LOA is a LAW OF ATTRACTION IN ACTION!

      Your, naming this venture after your ranch, your metal of honor lives within your own
      heart! This story needs to be in the most powerful media by movie making! A flimsy, a documentary
      of this blessed string of miracles in events and people will move, touch, edify, inspire so many more.

      My hope is all on Twitter who see your message will inspire millions to read your blog. You’re humbly
      making history with your own huge heart of a heroine. All wise to read this will be similarly touched,
      moved to tears, as it seems we all are here who’ve been blessed to know you, beautiful Gail! Thank you!

      Your heart warming mind blowing blog is proof in the positive of letting the
      universe work through us, with GOD blessing us all in our dreaming big:

      Faith PRECEDES the MIRACLES! You are showing us this with this & all your blogs!

      You’re as your daughter, with your plethora of GOD given gifts, LOVE personified:

      Just now imagining, reminiscing about your hugging this Marine whose back breaking
      hot weather work with extreme duress without the relief of a refreshing shower or bath
      embodies your best work, as a “Mom” to your darling daughter Carly & all the TROOPS!

      We all should RIGHT NOW take a page from your “book” BLOG! We all need to give
      what we can, love how we can, show what we can, as you so heroically have served
      the many! What a miracle to “wrap around the hearts of our heroes, heroines” these
      mile long scrolls! What miracles you’ve brought forth from a dream~Universe/AKA GOD
      gives with total love for ALL OF US~and so need to be felt by the Marine you talked to &
      by all our heroines, heroes of our troops. Love you, and your darling daughter Carly for
      giving your all~so much of your heart and time and energy and talents to make this difference!

      Let me know how best I can serve you, and Carly. MailMilitaryMom knows my heart, also.

      It’s been my dream commitment, for decades, to give to these heroines, heroes who put
      their lives on hold and at risk to ensure freedoms, fighting for good, right, honor, lives.

      Know that I am here for you, always, Gail, for you, for your daughter, for all those who
      are reaching, giving so much. It’s an honor, and a pleasure to serve you, now, with love …

      Forever friend,

      Zna “Trainer”
      @ZnaTrainer (Twitter)
      Cell # 801 651-6115

      Reply
    23. Angie A. Swartz
      Angie A. Swartz says:

      WOW Gail. I’m really kind of speechless and believe me, that sure doesn’t happen often. From the moment we met last month at Blog World Expo, I knew there was something special about your energy. I’ve been looking forward to our next meetup in November but I had NO idea how powerful you are. This story is truly amazing! I have a close mommy friend with two young children under four whose husband is an attorney in the army reserves. Early this year when their youngest child turned one, he was deployed to the middle east for a year. It’s been tough for everyone and especially on the four year old son. How DO you explain all of this to a child? Thanks for everything you are doing. Such a selfless endeavor. You have certainly inspired me today. What can I do to help you? I guess it’s my job to lead and inspired you so I’ll think about what I can do to make you proud of me and feed you energy to keep you going to inspire energy. Thanks for sharing. One question for you. When will your book be published? =-)

      Angie
      Founder, Six Figure Moms Club
      @aaswartz on Twitter

      Reply
    24. Gini Gentry
      Gini Gentry says:

      Hi Gail!! Like the others who have left you love notes today, I too am brought to tears and enormous gratitude through your words and by your deeds. There are many gifts in your story but to me the greatest is to witness your journey from “needing” to be inspired to becoming the source of inspiration–inspiration that emerges from a deep wellspring within and then journeys out to all points of the world. Thank you Beloved for being the living example of the gift. xxoo

      Reply
    25. Matthew McCluskey
      Matthew McCluskey says:

      Gail,

      That was an amazing job you did! It was an unbelievable story about our troops and the commitment you made by going over there. God Bless You!!! I’m going to share your story with my sister in law who is over in Afghanistan right now fighting for our country and there’s.

      Reply
    26. Tracy Benham
      Tracy Benham says:

      Gail,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It is stories ( & sites) like yours that inspire everyone to believe that we all have the ability to make a positive difference in the world.
      Thank you and best wishes,
      Tracy Benham

      Reply
    27. @roxannedarling
      @roxannedarling says:

      Gail – I did not realize we had Jack Canfield in common. I trained with him in 1991. Thank for taking the time to share all of this, some things in life just are not best reduced to 140 characters.

      One of my best friends here has done 2 tours if Iraq 0 I want more of us to really share what that is like and reclaim the story from the MSM.

      I am glad Aloha Summit worked for you and look forward to being more in touch.

      Love, Rox

      Reply
    28. Trish | eMail Our Military
      Trish | eMail Our Military says:

      Beautiful story, great post. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I’d like to encourage everyone who is motivated and inspired by your post to take action and support a military service member with letters from home – whether it’s morale boosting email or card, letters or care packages, our troops need that connecction. I invite anyone who want to make a difference in the life of a service member to do so through eMail Our Military. The only thing you need is a great heart!

      You can connect with us on twitter at @MailOurMilitary

      Since 2001, eMail Our Military (eMOM) has been supporting U.S. military service members through morale boosting email, letters, cards and care packages. Troop supporters can take part in a number of projects ranging from sending eMail one-on-one to a service member to year round support projects.

      Reply
    29. Diane
      Diane says:

      Hi Gail!! This is incredible. Thanks for another inspirational message. And thank you for being so generous in sharing.
      Diane

      Reply
    30. Gail
      Gail says:

      To all who read this post, and all who graciously left comments…

      THANK YOU. You have once again proven to me that the floodgates of the Universe will open when we make ourselves vulnerable, trust and open to the magic of life. I shared the passion in my heart, and in turn, you opened your hearts to me. I can think of no greater gift.

      When I posted this yesterday I had no idea of the response we would receive. The entire weekend has been filled with emails, tweets on Twitter and telephone call of support, along with offers for a lot of potential things- sponsors, major media exposure, etc. It’s been a very busy, very wonderful weekend. I promise to keep you posted as this story unfolds. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and moving forward with the faith that has brought us this far.

      Thank you, to each and every one of you, for being there to help us with this project. We love you and greatly appreciate your support. I can’t wait to share more good news with you soon.

      Hugs and sweet dreams…

      Gail

      Reply
    31. father miles
      father miles says:

      Darling Gail,

      Thanks for the virtual hugs!

      Ever since I served as Director of Spirituality at Canyon Ranch in Tucson during the 90’s, I have preached that all of us, in order to be happy, heathy, holy and whole, require a basic minimum of 32 laughs and 9 hugs a day!

      Thanks for adding to my minimum daily requirement.

      With love, hugs and blessings right back to you, FrMiles

      Reply
    32. Stephen Hopson
      Stephen Hopson says:

      Gail, thanks so much for writing your heart out on this one. I alerted the Twitter community about this inspirational article. I am left with tears and a runny nose because this beautiful piece made me cry.

      It makes me very proud and honored to be one of your inspirational luminaries. I felt like I was there when you gave the “mom hug” to that 19 year old kid whose job was to be alone several days in a ditch. My heart went out to him and the others in Iraq.

      I just finished watching a movie called “Stop Loss” – it showed the harsh reality of fighting a war in Iraq and what these young men and women go through.

      Thank you for writing about this.

      Reply
    33. Karen Putz
      Karen Putz says:

      Gail,
      This was an amazing read– I love how your path to InspireMeToday unfolded and the inspiration you delivered to the troops! Thanks for sharing the lyrics to the song– I appreciate being able to follow along– the song is beautiful.

      Reply
    34. Elaine
      Elaine says:

      Gail,

      This story reminds me of how each of us can make a difference – even with a simple thing like a smile, a joke, or a “mom hug.” The world will be forever grateful that you took on this challenge, to unite us all through inspiration. We each contrubute something unique, special, meaningful, and valuable to the world, though we don’t always realize it. InspireMeToday provides a daily example of how we can each step up to share our brilliance with others.

      Thank you!

      Reply
    35. Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.
      Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. says:

      Gail,

      Even though I not only knew this story – but have personally made you repeat it many times – I’m in tears. And honoured to know you.

      And, even having heard Carly sing in person, the song instantly cut to the core. She *does* sing like an angel, and when you couple her angelic voice with such a simple yet profound message – wow!

      Thank you for writing this out – it was time.

      Anne

      Reply
    36. Susan@energyparenting.com
      Susan@energyparenting.com says:

      To Gail, living in her greatness:

      You’ve inspired me for more than a day! My heart is filled with gratitude for the healing power of your vision. Thank you for ensuring that these troops DO KNOW that the EVERY American supports, loves and is proud of them. Indeed, we can and DO separate their service from politics, and our hearts are there in those trenches with them.

      Blessings to you, to your vision, and may your big dreams reignite my big dreams! I gladly volunteer to give Mom hugs on the next round – and one aunt hug to my nephew there on his third tour. And a BIG PRAYER that this is the last war.

      In honor of your greatness and reverence for all it will inspire,
      Susan

      Reply
    37. Kate Mirakal
      Kate Mirakal says:

      Thank you for having me take a look at your blog post Gail.
      On our interview call, I did sense your deep caring.
      Your blog says it amazingly well.
      I am very proud of you as a Mom and a luminary.
      HLA (highest love always),
      Katie

      Reply
    38. Eva Gregory
      Eva Gregory says:

      WOW Gail!

      You and your daughter are incredibly inspiring. Thanks so much for being you and sharing yourself in the generous way you do. Of course, you are the ripple effect that is creating positive change in the world…a legacy.

      In awe, honor and appreciation,

      Eva

      Reply
    39. Julette Millien
      Julette Millien says:

      “I just knew in my heart it was the right thing to do” This simple English phrase sums it up for me.

      You couldn’t depend on your heart to direct you if you didn’t know from experience that that heart was anchored to truth and love. You’ve prepared all your life for this great vision.

      Knowing the right thing to do is often, just that…knowledge. The “to do” part is where you separate yourself from the pack Gail.

      I simply adore who you are and what you represent in our world. Thank You.

      What you accomplished with this mission and ministry is AWE inspiring. Just out of this world.

      You and Carly are simply angels.

      As we each have the capacity to be if we would just “know in our hearts it’s the right thing to do”

      Then do it.

      In Light and With Love,
      @JuletteMillien

      Reply
    40. Eileen McDargh
      Eileen McDargh says:

      When you called me to be a Luminary– I knew we were doing it for soliders but I had NO idea of the background that was the genesis of this amazing idea. I, too, am moved to tears! Come back home is indeed the plea in all our hearts. Maywe not forget them when they return. May we give all the financial, medical, and emotional support these men and women, their families, and communities will need!

      I’ll go with you to Iraq! Courage and peace— Eileen

      Reply
    41. Elaine Dianne Bylos
      Elaine Dianne Bylos says:

      As humanity moves into a state of uncertainty and chaos brought on for many reasons – including the global economic downturn – bringing people together to support each other is vitally important. You have done that so effortlessly and beautifully through InspireMeToday. Congratulations on having the courage to follow the calling of your soul.

      Elaine

      Reply
    42. Sophy Burnham
      Sophy Burnham says:

      Dear Gail,
      thank you. That’s all I can say. Thank you for being one of the angels on this earth, and close enough to your Guidance and intuition that you can hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit. Tears are the appropriate response — the silent words of the heart that’s moved.
      You’ll be drowned with people wanting to go to Iraq with you, but if you need anyone else, I volunteer. Thank you,
      humbly,
      and may angels surround you — Sophy

      Reply
    43. Sheg Aranmolate
      Sheg Aranmolate says:

      Dear Gail,

      This is a beautiful posting! It is so candid and personal, but yet very inspirational. You are surely making a difference in the lives of many and you are telling the unheard stories of many young men and women! Continue to make a difference in the world via inspiration.

      Regards,
      Sheg Aranmolate

      Reply
    44. Deremiah *CPE
      Deremiah *CPE says:

      Heeey Gail,

      your ability to recgonize what our soldiers need is a beautiful reflection of who you truly are. You are a Soul Sister full of light and love. Your compassion for others is just simply beautiful. Thanks for all you continue to do.

      Is there anything else I can do to SERVE YOU?

      Your Servant,

      Lovingly Deremiah *CPE

      Reply
    45. Erin
      Erin says:

      Wow, what a beautiful story, and a beautiful song. Carly has an amazing voice.
      As a military wife that has sent her husband overseas six times in 7 years, this
      song deeply resonates with me.
      Thank you, Gail, for all you do.

      Reply
    46. Mary McLean
      Mary McLean says:

      Words cannot suffice.
      Sending love, there’s no more I can say or do.
      Thank-you for being responsive to the calling.
      Mary,
      From Australia

      Reply
    47. Teri Webb
      Teri Webb says:

      Gail, wasn’t going to read this ’cause it was so long! I am so glad I did as I sit here in tears. With a son in the US ARMY RESERVES I cannot tell you how wonderful it is as a Mom to know there are people like you,( no Military affiliation what so ever!) that appreciate what these men and women chosing to serve are doing. May God continue to bless you and your purpose in life. Thank you and yours! Sincerely, Teri Webb New Jersey

      Reply
      • Gail
        Gail says:

        Celinda, I’d love to respond to your comment, but I don’t know what you mean. Can you be more specific in your question? Thank you!

        Hugs,

        Gail

        Reply

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