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  1. #1
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    Jan 2004
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    Letter from Baghdad

    Here is a letter my cousin sent me this morning along with some touching pictures with an email he forwarded. I'm not sure if I will be allowed to keep up this whole post with the pictures he sent with the email. I know this is an email that makes its way around the circuit but after reading his letter it really makes it that much more special. Prayers to all the soldiers fighting anywhere in this world!

    Good morning loved ones,

    I don't know if the attachment will open or not, if it doesn't I want all of you to know that I feel honored to be able to serve in the military. I was greatly moved by the message since I don't have to suffer as many of the guys in the field do. I live a very safe and protected life here in the embassy compound in Baghdad.

    It's only when I go to the hospital or see the MEDEVAV helicopters overhead that I feel any direct connection with the fighting in the streets. Many of the Iraqi soldiers I work with have been wounded, their families threatened, and are unsure of their future. We have so much to be thankful for in The Untied States.

    We, in my unit are hoping to leave here in the middle of February; now that I've written it down the date may change. Everyone here is a little superstitious about dates right now. The problems here are so vast and deep that it is hard to believe that they will ever end. It seems a little odd that it takes a Christian nation is to save a Muslim nation. Throughout history we have always been at odds with each other.

    I hope you are all well. If it weren't for the situation here, the urgent nature of the work, and the serious look in everyone's eyes I would think I was at a remote training site. The food is good (thanks to the embassy), I have a gym and swimming pool, laundry service, and share a trailer with another guy. I'm reminded every day that the soldiers outside of the Green Zone are fighting side by side with their Iraqi counterparts. We here in headquarters are working hard to make it all work.

    The people are the most discouraged because they only have a few short hours of water and electricity, and can only shop when not threatened. The civilians take the most casualties. In the past month the killed in action numbers are about 900 civilians, 50 US Military, and 200 Iraqi Military (I'm not allowed to give actual numbers). War is not, nor should it be the solution to the world's problems. There are only a few reasons to go to war; to defend Liberty, Freedom, and Personal Rights. I truly hope for the day when people will not feel the selfish need to control and coerce others.

    As you start thinking about the holidays; pray for the men and women out on the front lines.

    With Loving Respect - Jeff

    WHAT HAVE YOU / WE DONE FOR THEM TODAY??

    You stay up for 16 hours. He stays up for days on end.



    You take a warm shower to help you wake up. He goes days or weeks without running water.



    You complain of a "headache", and call in sick. He gets shot at as others are hit, and keeps moving forward.



    You put on your anti war/don't support the troops shirt, and go meet up with your friends. He still fights for your right to wear that shirt.

    You make sure you're cell phone! is in your pocket. He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.



    You talk trash about your "buddies" that aren't with you. He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.



    You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls. He patrols the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.



    You complain about how hot it is. He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe hi brow.



    You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong. He doesn't get to eat today.



    Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes. He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.



    You go to the mall and get your hair redone. He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.

    You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over. He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.



    You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight. He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.



    You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday. He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.



    You roll your eyes as a baby cries. He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet.



    You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything. He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.



    You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him. He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.

    You see only what the media wants you to see. He sees the broken bodies lying around him.



    You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.
    He does exactly what he is told even if it puts his life in danger.

    You stay at home and watch TV. He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.



    You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable. He tries to sleep but gets woken by mortars and helicopters all night long.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    My husband sent me a Powerpoint presentation with these photos and thoughts. I appreciate the sacrifices that your cousin and his fellow soldiers are making for us. Please let him know that there are many folks in this country who support them and admire their courage.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanandjim View Post
    My husband sent me a Powerpoint presentation with these photos and thoughts. I appreciate the sacrifices that your cousin and his fellow soldiers are making for us. Please let him know that there are many folks in this country who support them and admire their courage.
    Thank you, Nan!

  4. #4
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    Aug 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanandjim View Post
    My husband sent me a Powerpoint presentation with these photos and thoughts. I appreciate the sacrifices that your cousin and his fellow soldiers are making for us. Please let him know that there are many folks in this country who support them and admire their courage.
    My exact thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Hopefully, everyone can remember these soldiers in their prayers.

    I've got to go and find some kleenex now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Oh Laura...those pics say so much. Tell your cousin thank you for all he does and to please pass it on to the other soldiers. My prayers are with all of them.

    Jeana - please pass me some kleenex....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Florida
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    I have a son there (20) and this was so right on! He sees things we can never imagine...he goes days without sleep...when he does sleep he relives the things he has seen and done...here he sleeps peacefully at least for a few minutes

  7. #7
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    Jul 2004
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    memphis, tn
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    What a beautiful post!! These things just touch my heart and break it all at the same time.

    On the same subject, We just received a call from my son, now in Iraq, and he will BE HOME ON WEDNESDAY!!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

    Proud Army Mom,

    Tammy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildTrose View Post
    I have a son there (20) and this was so right on! He sees things we can never imagine...he goes days without sleep...when he does sleep he relives the things he has seen and done...here he sleeps peacefully at least for a few minutes
    Please tell your son that we're very proud of him and honored that he's a member of our armed forces. Tell him to stay safe and we hope that he's able to come home real soon.

    God bless!!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2XL View Post
    What a beautiful post!! These things just touch my heart and break it all at the same time.

    On the same subject, We just received a call from my son, now in Iraq, and he will BE HOME ON WEDNESDAY!!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

    Proud Army Mom,

    Tammy
    Thank God Tammy!!!! I know that you're probably about ready to burst and won't be sleeping too good between now and Wednesday. What's the first thing he wants to do when he gets home?

    Please tell him thank you from all of us and give him a HUGE hug and kiss from me!!!

  10. #10
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    Jul 2004
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    Well lets see, the first thing he will want to do when he gets home, he was married two months before he left, so I'd say his first choice won't be to spend time with me!!!

    Just yesterday, one of the ladies at work asked me did I have any zanex. I said yes I did, she said, "Good, now take one, You are absolutely girating!"
    Jeanna, you are right, I am about to come totally unglued.

    This has been a long, long year. I am so thankful that he is safe physically, I just pray he is sound mentally and emotionally.

    I spoke with him this past Saturday and he said that he is angry at everything. He did say that when he gets home that if he still is feeling this way that he will certainly get professional help.


  11. #11
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    I was hoping his letter and the post with pictures would touch a few hearts! Jeff is older (52 maybe?) and high up, he is working with an Iraqi General. He used to be an Army Ranger and did some spying. He speaks many languanges. He has 6 children but most are married and he has many grandchildren. He is really a good looking guy as well... kind of looks like Robert Redford. I'm very proud of him. But there are so many more in real danger. His life in Baghdad as you can tell from his letter is very privledged compared to most of the soldiers. But he would be the first to put his life in danger to help any of them.

    2XL... I'm so happy your son is coming home safe! Thank him for me for his service!

    WildTrose, I will be praying for your son while he is there. Also thank him for his support.

    My heart is full for all our soldiers where ever they may be! I'm proud to be an American!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2XL View Post
    Well lets see, the first thing he will want to do when he gets home, he was married two months before he left, so I'd say his first choice won't be to spend time with me!!!

    Just yesterday, one of the ladies at work asked me did I have any zanex. I said yes I did, she said, "Good, now take one, You are absolutely girating!"
    Jeanna, you are right, I am about to come totally unglued.

    This has been a long, long year. I am so thankful that he is safe physically, I just pray he is sound mentally and emotionally.

    I spoke with him this past Saturday and he said that he is angry at everything. He did say that when he gets home that if he still is feeling this way that he will certainly get professional help.

    Yes, I can certainly see how he would need some "alone time" with the wife!!! LOL

    I can't wait to hear all about his homecoming. Please let us all know how it goes and that he's safe.

    I can't see how it would be possible for these soldiers to go through what they've had to endure and NOT need any counselling. Its absolutely not a normal state to live in and certainly not for the length of time that many of them have been gone.

    Our deepest gratitude for him and his fellow soldiers. Please do tell him that he's very much loved and appreciated.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Thank you for the letters and pictures.

    Ya know, we're so spoiled here in America. We take what we have for granted and never think it's enough, always judging our success by what our neighbors own and how well our children are thriving.

    Imagine living in a country where someone could pull up to your door, put your husband or son in a car and you never see them again. Or going out to shop for food with your children, and a car bomb tears your family apart.

    When you put it in perspective, what do we really have to complain about?

  14. #14
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    Aug 2003
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    clifton park,ny
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    I don't know that I could sleep at night if any of my sons were in the military. Those men and women are to be admired.
    Please got to this site, www.anysoldier.com. You can write letters or send packages to our soldiers who might recieve anything or very little from home.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildTrose View Post
    I have a son there (20)
    My son is headed there. Hugs to you!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2XL View Post

    On the same subject, We just received a call from my son, now in Iraq, and he will BE HOME ON WEDNESDAY!!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

    Proud Army Mom,

    Tammy
    I'm soooo happy for y'all! You give that boy a big hug from me!

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