Some time ago I sent an Email to an unknown soldier serving in Iraq. I sent the Email to rottmope at yahoo dot com in response to a blog soliciting mail. The soldier who sent this is sharing the Emails with the troops he is with.
Today I got a thank you letter he wrote to the 300+ people who wrote to him. He is stationed in Mosul and said he could not begin to express the feelings he had about getting so many letters of support with only one grinch type letter. I am quoting part of his letter as follows:
"I AM NOW AT THE HALF WAY POINT OF MY DEPLOYMENT TO IRAQ. IT HAS BEEN AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER THE WHOLE WAY. I’VE SEEN INFANTRYMEN, THE BEST FIGHTING MEN IN THE WORLD, HUDDLE IN A SILENT PRAYER, CHOKING BACK TEARS, BECAUSE THEY JUST LOST ONE OF THEIR OWN. A BROTHER IN ARMS. I LISTENED TO THE SOUND OF CELEBRATORY GUN FIRE THE DAY OF THE ELECTIONS. THE FIRST FREE ELECTIONS MANY IRAQI CITIZENS HAVE HAD THE PRIVELEDGE TO PARTICIPATE IN. I’VE WALKED IN THE RUINS OF THE BIBLICAL CITY OF NINEVAH. THEY CALL IT “THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION,” AS THE SITE OF THE GARDEN OF EDEN IS BELIEVED TO BE CLOSE BY. I’VE WALKED THROUGH THE MOSUL PALACE COMPOUND THAT WAS ONCE USED TO HOST PARTIES BY SADDAM HUSSEIN, WHILE HIS OWN PEOPLE LIVED IN MUD HUTS AT A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY STATUS. I’VE HAD IRAQI CHILDREN RUN TO ME TO GIVE ME A HUG AND OF COURSE, GET A PIECE OF CANDY, OR A TOY. NOT BECAUSE THEY KNOW WHO I AM, BUT BECAUSE THEY KNOW I’M AN AMERICAN SOLDIER, AND I’M HERE TO HELP THEM.
WE, THE U.S. MILITARY ARE DOING GREAT THINGS IN IRAQ. I’VE SEEN IT FOR MY OWN EYES. I’M VERY PROUD TO KNOW THAT WE’RE MAKING AMERICA PROUD OF US. I’VE HEARD THAT SOME PEOPLE BACK HOME ARE SAYING BAD THINGS ABOUT WHAT WE ARE DOING OVER HERE AND IN AFGHANISTAN. WHEN PEOPLE SAY BAD THINGS BOUT THE MILITARY, WE HEAR IT. IT HURTS ALL OF US. MOST IMPORTANTLY IT UNDERCUTS THE FACT THAT MANY BRAVE AMERICAN MEN AND WOMEN HAVE SACRIFICED THE ULTIMATE AND THIS IS THE THANKS THEY AND THEIR FAMILIES RECEIVE. PEOPLE CAN SAY WHATEVER THEY WANT, RIGHT OR WRONG. IT‘S NOT A CRIME IN AMERICA, LIKE IT WAS IN IRAQ BEFORE WE CAME HERE. AMERICAN SERVICE MEMBERS KNOW, THAT WE ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE GIVEN THEM THAT RIGHT. YOUR WELCOME. WE KNOW WHAT THE TRUTH IS. I’VE SEEN THE TRUTH, I’VE LIVED THE TRUTH.
TO ALL THE NAY SAYERS: WALK SIX MONTHS IN MY BOOTS, SEE THE THINGS I HAVE. LOOK AT A CHILD OF IRAQ; LOOK AT THE AVERAGE HOME OF AN IRAQI FAMILY, AND THEN COMPARE IT TO THE PALACES OF SADDAM. WATCH GROWN MEN AND WOMEN CRY OVER THE LOSS OF A FRIEND. LIVE THE LIFE WE’VE LIVED FOR 6 MONTHS. AFTER THAT, MAYBE YOU WILL GET IT RIGHT.
TO ALL OF YOU WHO TOOK THE TIME TO SEND ME AN E-MAIL, THANK YOU! YOU KNOW THE TRUTH, THAT FREEDOM IS THE GREATEST GIFT THAT THE U.S. COULD GIVE, AND IF WE DIDN’T BRING THE FIGHT TO THE TERRORISTS, YOU KNOW THAT THEY WOULD BRING IT RIGHT BACK TO US. I AM GOING TO DO MY BEST TO ENSURE THESE E-MAILS MAKE IT TO AS MANY AS MY COMRADES AS POSSIBLE. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU, YOUR FAMILIES, AND ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED IN THE U.S. MILITARY PAST AND PRESENT."
I have sent many Emails to our troops and have gotten many thank you responses. I encourage you to read the milblogs and leave a comment of appreciation and assure the men and women of your support. If you include your email address, do not be surprised at how many thank you notes you will receive--not for every comment you leave but frequently enough to realize it does truly make a difference to our men and women in uniform.