Hello from Iraq

This is a letter that we received from one of our employees that is stationed in Iraq.

Hello from Iraq

I don’t know where to begin thanking the XXX team for all the great toys and personal items that have been sent to me. It all started with XXX and a few others wanting to get a small care package together for me. I told XXX that I really didn’t need a lot that I couldn’t get right here. There isn’t a whole lot to do besides fight bad guys, get on the net, go to the gym and sleep. The conversation went on and I mentioned to XXX that if he really wanted to put something together maybe get a few toys for the Iraqi kids. They really do lead a tough life. Some just don’t know anything besides the occupation and pure poverty. To see the looks on these kids faces when I hand them a new toy really makes things come into perspective. I’m going to be here for a year. These kids got to put up with this forever. Kind of makes a guy appreciate the life he has back home a little more. Okay, a lot more. You just don’t understand how good we have it, until you see some of the things I’ve seen here. I can’t even describe it really.
The toy care packages have mostly been distributed. I only have about ten big boxes left. Yes, I said ten. The mail clerks officially hate me. Oh well, they will get over it. I’ll just let them go out on patrol one time with me to see how it is outside of the wire. It’s a different world that some folks don’t see. I pity the soldiers who either can’t or don’t want to go out and see what is really going on in the streets. A person that hasn’t been here simply cannot get the real deal from the news etc.
My platoon has been on three different shifts since we’ve been here. First was the 1830-0800 shift. It took a few nights to get used to operating under the cover of darkness, but by the end we were pretty proficient at doing our job in the dark. We then went to the 0930-2100 shift. This one was really busy at the end of the shift because everyone was moving around when it cooled off in the evening. We had several nights that we didn’t get back to the base before midnight due to bad guys that waited around until it cooled off to do their business. We really don’t mind putting in the “overtime” if we get to put away bad guys. The shift we are currently on is 0700-1900. I kind of like this shift because we get started early and stop at a decent time. This allows a guy to get a few things done before it gets too late. The bad guys are out early also. We’ve had a few run ins with them at the beginning of the shift. It really doesn’t matter what time of day it is, these guys very seldom win. They are definitely sneaky though. It is extremely difficult to fight a person who wears everyday clothes, drives an everyday car and looks like every other Iraqi in the country. They blend in to the community so well that the neighbors don’t know there are bad guys living beside them. They go out and water their driveway just like all the rest of the people on the block.
Once again, thanks so much for the generosity and caring that the XXX team has shown to me and the kids of Iraq. I hope that maybe some of this kindness has paid off in the form of the kids getting the idea that the USA isn’t so bad after all. We can only hope.


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Thanks for sharing the letter with us. The writer seems to maintain a positive attitude in a very harsh and dangerous environment. We must keep all of our troops in our thoughts and prayers. And always remember how good we do have it. The U.S. isn't perfect, but WOW, it does offer a lot!
  • What a fabulous letter...and lucky you to have him as an ee.

  • Thought provoking letter. Giving away toys in the day and stalking the bad guys at night - what a contrast.

    Thanks for sharing - our troops have hearts where it counts and resolve where it is needed and the talent and training to make it count.
  • Our ee in Iraq sends similar letters and pictures via email. He is a medic and spends his free time treating the local adults and children. They, too, hand out toys and he said for most of the kids it was the first toy they had ever seen. The pictures of the kids holding beanie babies are great to see. There are also quite a few albinos in their area, one family has four children who are albino. Our ee and his friends have managed to get sun glasses for most of them. There was one child who had been electrocuted and his finger looked like it would have to be removed because the Iraqi doctors told the child's mother if they tried to treat him he would get cancer and die. Our ee and others treated the child, and through an interpreter persuaded the mother to take him to a hospital. There is an unending list of stories like this. One photo showed a few scrawny turkeys rooting around. The caption read: "Believe it or not these really are turkeys. Come November we are going to take slingshots. Yum-fresh turkey for Thanksgiving. One of the things he requested was over the counter medicine for children: Tylenol, ear drops, anything they could treat the kids with and give to the parents. I'm so proud of all our troops over there! The last line of his letters is always the same, "Finally, thank a VET. They are the reason we live in the best country in the world?" Yeah, they do make a difference.

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