Friday, August 13, 2021

First Responders - the Camp Phoenix Flag -Friday Flashback

Most of you know Nature's Gift has supported The United Aromatherapy Effort since its genesis during those terrible days after 9/11. A call came out late in the Autumn for aromatherapy materials and supplies to support the troops on the ground in Afghanistan.

We were, as often in the past, the first to respond to the call for help. (At one time we were given the "First Responders" Award.) A few days ago, the founders of the UAE recieved a wondrous gift. A thank you letter, signed by General Dudney, the poster below, and a flag.

The poster reads:

This is to certify that the accompanying American Flag was flown in the face of the

enemy over the American compound, Camp Phoenix,Afghanistan, by the

Officers, NCOs and Soldiers of CJTF Phoenix, during


on the

21st day of December, 2009

In Honor of


And it's signed by the Colonel who is Chief of Staff, and Brigadier General Lawrence E. Dudney, Jr.

The poster is powerful. We're going to frame our copy. But the flag.... ah the flag. We all gathered around to open the box when it arrived in the mail. And promptly got goosebumps. It's sealed in a zippered plastic case... we opened the case and inhaled. Sylla says she can smell the smoke of the campfires in it. I thought it smelled of gunpowder, or explosives. Perhaps my imagination. But there is a POWER to this flag...

We set it up, surrounded by the products that we sent...I've posted some of the thank you notes we received from the troops... for a photo shoot. As we approached the table where it was displayed, some of us felt the power radiating from it. Almost a wall...a shield... about 8 feet away. I'm not especially sensitive to the energy of objects, but I felt it, as did some of the others present. Just sheer raw power. and protection.
A friend of mine is a Marine Mom. Her son has finished training, will be coming home in a couple of weeks for "pre deployment leave" before heading out to...Afghanistan. She is trying so hard to be brave. She's so proud of him, and she's terrified.
She came, with another friend, to see the flag. And burst into tears. It was a powerful, emotional moment. She has an important event coming next weekend, and I've chosen just the gift for her... our Valour anointing oil...for spiritual courage. And her bottle of Valour is spending this evening tucked inside the flag's plastic case... to gain some of its strength and its protective energy. "In the face of the enemy" indeed!
Tomorrow the flag will be packed and sent on to the next recipient. We're tucking in some photos of the crew here... Geraldine and Sylla are going to make a collage of all of us who get to experience the flag, and send the photos back with the next shipment of supplies, so the troops can put faces with the names of those who support them.
If you want to put names and faces... back row is Christi, who answers the phone and deals with your questions when you call, T, who keeps all the production area running smoothly so we'll be able to ship what you need, and me. Front row, Sharon, Yorleny, and Jim... Yorleny pours most of the products, Jim packs most of the orders, Sharon is the mail clerk, who also assembles most of the kits and packs of products.
We're really grateful to be allowed to do what we do!

And today, as we read about the troop withdrawal, we can only thank all those who served through this long, long war.