Letters to the troops: Cedaredge woman sends love overseas

CEDAREDGE, Colo. Even though we may not hear about it every day, thousands of American troops continue the battle overseas, but one woman from Cedaredge is making sure the troops aren't forgotten.

Saying that Cathy Meskel supports our armed forces is an understatement. Nobody in her family is in the military, but that doesn't stop her for sending love overseas.

"They're our sons," Meskel said. "I don't care if they're by blood. They're our men and women over there and you just have to be supportive of them. It doesn't matter what you think about the war. It's someone's son over there. Do something about it. Write a letter."

Meskel was eleven when she first started sending letters to the troops- that was during the war in Vietnam. Since then, she estimates she's sent 50-60,000 letters, of which many recipients write back.

"Some of them say 'yours is the only letter I've ever gotten since I've been here.' Some of the guys go 'I just re-read your letter. I keep it folded up in my pocket.'"

It doesn't stop at the words though. For the past 12 years, she's stuffed care packages- thousands of them- to send to servicemen and women away from home.

"There's been times where I have so much stuff in here that I have to put my knee on it because I can't get the box shut."

But to Meskel, it's more than getting things to the soldiers. It's knowing that back home, we haven't forgotten about them.

"It just is so touching and every time i get a response i just get so excited."

Meskel even began last Memorial Day playing Taps through a loud speaker mounted to her roof at 7:00 each night. It's a community-welcomed sound that can be heard all over town.

"People absolutely love it. I had a family running down the street one night and sitting there going, where is it coming from? It's at the top of my house. It's just the coolest thing."

Her efforts have earned her accolades of a wide variety, but that's not why she does it.

"People have asked me for yours, 'why do you do this?' I just went, 'I don't know. God put it on my heart.'"


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