SlagleRock's Slaughterhouse
Don't be a fool and die for your country. Let the other sonofabitch die for his.
-- General George S. Patton

January 05, 2005

Letters To The Troops


Many of you may remember my original Letters To The Troops campaign.

Twice here at the Slaughterhouse I have hosted a drive to generate letters of support for the troops serving abroad.

The first letter project generated 328 letters of support by the deadline, and has generated more letters since then.

This last drive was an attempt to generate 500 or more letters of support for the troops for the holidays.

I am proud to say that the holiday letter project also exceeded its goal of 500. I received 50 letters hosted via the TrackBack to other great blogs. I received 130 letters in the comments of that post. I found more than 25 letters left on other blogs via TrackBack. I received another 251 letters directly in my email which I printed and forwarded. I also recieved 54 Christmas Cards from the classmates of a BlogFriends children. This post has also picked up a few more letters since the original deadline.

I have comrades in arms who have just recently deployed to such sunny locations as Iraq and others who have been in the sandbox for several months.

Bloggers, I urge each and every one of you to write your own letter to the troops overseas. Make it a general open letter to any Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine. Keep in mind that the people reading these letters will be both male and female of all ages, ethnic origins and religions. Once your letter is posted, please trackback to this post so that I may find and print your letter. Please direct your readers to this effort as well. Non-bloggers, please leave your open letter of support in the comment section of this post. While it is possible for you to email me your letters, I'd like to see them in the comments so that troops overseas can access and read them online.

I've decided to make this an ongoing effort. I have a button posted on the right side of my site for the "Letter Project". Other Bloggers such as Mamamontezz and Delftsman have also posted this button. Any blogger who is interested is welcome to copy the letter project button and put it up on your site.

Anytime you would like to say thank you to the troops in harms way this is one way to ensure your words are read, I have many military readers and all of my friends who are deployed get regular updates from my site.

Please forward the link to this post to as many people as you can, both Bloggers and non-bloggers.

Let's keep the letters coming year round.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far!

SlagleRock Out!

Posted by SlagleRock at January 5, 2005 06:03 AM

Brother, you know that I feel it every time one of ours gets hurt, or gives the greatest gift. Tell your friend to keep thier head down, and that they have a brother in Air Force Blue praying for them, and all our comrades in arms.

SSgt McG

Posted by: Bill at December 4, 2004 10:21 PM

I just left you a trackback from my post sending people to read this one. I'll send you another trackback from my letter in a little while. I forwarded your email to several bloggers you didn't send it to and to 6 or 8 individuals I thought might be interested. I suggested to 2 old girlfriends that it might be a nice touch if the kids at the schools where they teach got involved in this and I informed Lt Faith's little sister that if I don't see a letter from her I will personally help her big brother kick her pretty little butt the next time they're both home at the same time.

Posted by: Bill Faith at December 5, 2004 01:25 AM

This will go on my blog tomorrow. Just so you'll know - because I don't do trackbacks (don't know how) or windows (don't remember how!).

Posted by: Indigo at December 5, 2004 06:37 AM

I hope all remembers to include the Dept of Homeland Security as there are also men and women in the US Coast Guard serving in Iraq as well

Posted by: Ken L at December 5, 2004 06:38 AM

I salute you who are today in Iraq, in harm's way.

I Thank you for helping bring the World closer to the peace that comes from freedom. Thank you for caring about the Iraqi people, and helping them in their struggle for self determination. Thank you for caring about my grandchildren, for what you're doing will make their world safer. Free people everywhere love you for your sacrifice.

Thank you for being there.

Posted by: James Larsen at December 5, 2004 09:44 AM

May you sleep soundly tonight knowing you are loved, remembered and honored. May you walk safely through your days, and May you return home soon.
God bless you.

Heather Brinkley
Fort Worth, TX

Posted by: Heather Brinkley at December 5, 2004 10:59 AM

We hold you in our hearts. May Christmas fill your heart.
The following poem was written by the late Sgt. Rodney Murray, Ayden, North Carolina while on leave from Iraq on December 16, 2003-also his third wedding anniversary. He left this world, in Iraq, on Mother’s Day.

Christmas in the Heart

All I want for Christmas is to see my wife,
Friends and family, be at home, that's all.
The young soldier really meant it.
And a bit of guilt he did feel
Of having his miracle come true;
Though not enough to change his plan;
With no kids to play Santa to, yet,
Some with such would have to stay.
Of all such days, Holiest of Holy,
Every soldier, every national, every vulnerable Citizen of this ravaged land
We claim to help should be able to celebrate.
But cold mornings in a lonely guard shack,
Riding lonely desolate supply routes
Tries to deny the celebratory mood.
And chaos and beastly acts alike
Try to rid others of a celebration of sorts.
A ruthless dictator captured
Becomes a festive celebration to some.
While others will avoid, hopefully,
Festive ending fiasco
In loss of life and will.
That's how they'll spend Christmas
If only that reason to celebrate.
Others cling to hope as their Yule Tide;
Hope for home soon from a foreign land,
Hope for a home,
Civilization in a lack luster land,
Hope for a difference one made
Or hope just to make it out alive, another day.
But it's guaranteed, the soldiers who
Have to stay in an Unsilent Night,
A non Holy Night,
Will instinctively glance at their watches,
When subtracting eight equals twenty-fifth at home.
And they'll silently utter Merry Christmas
From the heart to spouses and brothers,
Friends, loved ones, fathers and mothers.
But there's the rub. Like you at home,
All nestled and nice, calm and comfy,
They'll have Christmas in the Middle East.
For it will be in the heart, in grateful
Honor and remembrance of that Holy Night,
When the world received the greatest gift,
Wrapped in Hope, Grace, Mercy, In Love,
For all mankind.
Such will have Christmas
In their hearts, where it should be.
While others in that land,
The one promised to Abraham's seed
Will know nothing of it.
For they must of followed Ischmael's seed
Instead of Issac's.
No Christmas for them.
Can they even tell you their "Messiah's" birthday?
Death date would probably be easier,
But they'll claim to tell you what he wants
You to do to get to Heaven, maybe even
Doing away with ones that follow
That First Noel-
Cause in it you do nothing to get to Heaven,
Save receive the gift,
The Christ in Christmas.
So, you don't take for granted this Holy Season,
And grumble for lack of parking spaces.
Don't let crowds confound you
Or busy bustle bring a frown to you.
Love the busy schedule of family and friends,
Give in honor of the birth of Him who gave
You All.
Remember, some won't have Christmas,
And some will have it merely in their hearts.

Merry Christmas
Rodney Murray

Collect of the Holy Angels
BCP pg. 251
Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted by: Mother at December 5, 2004 06:55 PM

I just posted at my site, for some reason the trackback wouldn't work now, but I will try later.
I'm going to try and have my students write letters in the next few days, I'll forward them.

Thank your friend, prayers and thanks to him, his family, and all those that protect us.

Posted by: Kathianne at December 5, 2004 09:26 PM

MIke at Sworn Enemy told me about this, I'm currently in the process of making a letter and posting it on my site, but I have NO freaking idea how to "Trackback"... Tell ya what, E-mail me your e-mail address tomorrow, and I'll send ya the link, or just stop by TS Right DOminion.
Thanks for doing this.

Posted by: ThaSickness at December 5, 2004 10:36 PM

Here it is...
And yes.. I used the image here, but I thought it was appropriate for my subject.

Posted by: ThaSickness at December 5, 2004 11:07 PM

Letter posted. Thank you for the effort, and providing us with a tangible means of providing our support. The letter is at
and is also in my second trackback...

Posted by: Gary at December 6, 2004 04:50 AM

I too lacktrck back knowhow, many apologies, however my letter can be found here.....

Posted by: K-Squared at December 6, 2004 05:40 AM

No trackback - but here's the letter:
SEASON'S GREETINGS Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines -

An exuberant HAPPY HOLIDAYS wish from Swansboro, NC! Want you to know you're in my thoughts and prayers every day and I am ever so grateful for what you're doing over there for your country, and by extension, me! Incidentally, I've been thanking you guys and gals since WWII! You make us proud!!

B. Manning

and here's the link:

Posted by: Indigo at December 6, 2004 09:18 AM

dear troops,
i pray for you. all people here in the usa want and pray for your safe return.
hope your holiday season brings you a measure of peace,

Posted by: rem at December 6, 2004 09:37 AM

Thanks for doing this!

I'm working on my letter now, and am promoting your project on my site - The Letter Project link-back.

Good luck!

Posted by: Kitty at December 6, 2004 09:56 AM

Dear Brave American Soldier,

You are in our hearts and prayers. Now that political season is over, Americans can all come together and show our support with more vigor and more pride, thank goodness. I apologize for Americans that may have forgotten to thank you during that loud political season. Over the holidays we will step up our efforts to remember you and thank you.
Please know that we remember you and all the good you do. You are bringing freedom to a country torn apart with grief and oppression, bringing hope to small children, bringing possibility and a future to where there was only a dead end. And this is the best hope for America: that this hope will shed light where there was only darkness and the darkness will not spread into our freedom and light back home. Like superheros, you are battling the forces of this darkness and protecting innocents everywhere. Thank you. You make us proud.


Posted on my blog here
(no RSS for trackback)

Posted by: liberty at December 6, 2004 10:06 AM

I found the information for your site here:

Posted by: Anon at December 6, 2004 04:53 PM

Mr. K,

The following is compliments of Johnny Cash. Just a note to let you know that some of us kids do KNOW, and we are humbled beyond words.

Thank you,
from me (because I did not have to go, though I like to think I would've had I been called), from my wife (who never had to lay awake at night and wonder if I was coming home), thanks from my parents ( who never had to wonder if thier boy was coming home) and most of all thanks from my daughter (who is about to turn one and will be raised to appreciate the price of freedom) .

feel free to pass this along to anyone who is deserving

Chris Yaughn

He said "I don't like to brag, but we're kinda proud of
That Ragged Old Flag

"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there,
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
and It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it,
writing "Say Can You See"
It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson
tugging at its seams.
and It almost fell at the Alamo
beside the Texas flag,
But she waved on though.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville,
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on
That Ragged Old Flag

"On Flanders Field in World War I,
She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun,
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp, and low, a time or two,
She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent
by her Uncle Sam.
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
and now they've about quit wavin' back here at home
in her own good land here She's been abused,
She's been burned, dishonored, denied an' refused,
And the government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout out the land.
And she's getting thread bare, and she's wearin' thin,
But she's in good shape, for the shape she's in.
Cause she's been through the fire before
and i believe she can take a whole lot more.

"So we raise her up every morning
And we bring her down slow every night,
We don't let her touch the ground,
And we fold her up right.
On second thought
I *do* like to brag
Cause I'm mighty proud of
That Ragged Old Flag"


Thanks for the kind words. As you can see I have forwarded them to those in my address book that served, including Lana, because as far as I’m concerned she did serve. Hope all is well with you and yours and look forward to seeing you soon.


Posted by: chris at December 6, 2004 08:27 PM

Dear Brave Soldiers,

I hope that, even in some small way, you all realize how much you're appreciated and thought of. How much your sacrafices mean to us. You may not know, but you make us Americans proud. You make ME proud to BE an American.

Stay safe.

Peoria, Illinois

Posted by: Pammy at December 6, 2004 08:42 PM

Dear Service Member

As the year draws to an end and the holiday season is upon us we need to reflect on what our blessings are. Too often we forget that we have Americans in uniform stationed all around the world. Men and women working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year in and year out, selflessly protecting this nation from those that would destroy it. Many who have never served their country have no idea of these sacrifices, the long hours or the conditions you are routinely exposed to. They learn about military life from an often anti-American news service, that never concerns itself with the positive accomplishments that you perform, preferring to focus on the negative when things go wrong. They never mention the sacrifices made by your families at home who support you in your efforts.
Those of us who have served are acutely aware of what you are experiencing, the long separation from your loved ones, being homesick, the worry and concern, the brutal work with long grueling hours of hot miserable tedium, the boredom, the sheer terror of battle all with very little sleep, always being tensed even when resting. We haven't forgotten our blessings, which you the soldiers have provided. You have provided this nation with peace and security by confronting terrorism at the source, by routing the terrorists from their sanctuaries and by directly eliminating those terrorists themselves. Thank you, each and every one, from civilian soldier to the full time career soldier. Thank you, the supporting families whose sacrifices are just as painful. May God watch over and bless all of you through these troubled times. Again, all my humble thanks.

Gig Harbor

Posted by: Jack at December 6, 2004 09:43 PM

Dear Soldier, and I do mean Dear:

This is to let you know that what you are doing is right, no question. Without going into a long exposition of proof, let me assure you that I have dealt seriously with the issue and would not say this without considering our cause to be worth my own life or limb, and worth the carnage I would have to apply to the enemy, were I to be in your shoes. The enemy is a significant threat to freedom, thus to humanity. There is no further, ulterior, or secret reason for what we are doing. Even patrotism pales before this reason. It's about fighting to be free, and to be human.

I'm 59 and would be there, too, if they'd take me. I wish I was there with you.

Failing that, I can only express my humble appreciation, awe, and reverence for your heroism.

[Of course, I'm trying to do what I can back here to combat verbally the enemies amongst us, using the freedom you are affording us. The enemies have no case, and usually no self except for that comprised of sadomasochism, which should remind you of your enemy there. You probably know who they are here, and the type of "thinking" they do. The only positive attribute they have here is cowardice. They, also, will be defeated.]

Again, I honor you and want you to be unharmed, though I can't protect you as you are protecting me, and can't share your risk. That's what makes you the hero.

Joe Peden, Wallowa Lake, Oregon

Posted by: Joe Peden at December 6, 2004 09:48 PM

Dear Service man or women,
Thank you for your service and sacrifice .
You are the backbone of our great nation and I thank you for keeping us safe.
I pray that you will be safe ,and return home to your loved ones.
There is no way we can thank you enough but I appriciate your service.
My son is celebrating his first B-day on Dec 23 thank you for him as well.
I say a prayer everyday for all of you, and can not thank you enough. A simple thanks for your service wil have to do.
Be safe and come home soon.

Posted by: NeilVAnEerde at December 7, 2004 06:16 AM

Dear Service Members:

Know that you are in many people's thoughts and prayers this holiday season as you unselfishly protect our freedom. I truly appreciate the sacrifice that you are making for us on a daily basis. May God keep you safe from harm and bring you home quickly. God Bless America.

Posted by: Chrys at December 7, 2004 08:27 AM

My Open Letter To Our Military is on my blog December 7,2004

Posted by: Pat in NC at December 7, 2004 09:04 AM

Blessings to all of you called to serve in the sandbox. Keep going, there are many who support you. Keep your heads down, shoot first and come home safe.

Posted by: Ron Strong at December 7, 2004 05:05 PM

Dear Service Member:

I want to take the time to say thanks, and that your hard work and sacrifice are greatly appreciated by me.

When I read reports on the conditions and dangers that you and your comrades-in-arms face, I am humbled and awed. Without people like you, it would not be America.

Keep up the great work and don't think for a minute that there are no people at home silently supporting you and hoping for your safe return.

Best wishes and Happy Holidays.

Posted by: Peter K at December 7, 2004 10:58 PM

Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman,

Thank you for all you have done for our country. You are brave for fighting for your country. You should be proud of what you are doing.

I am sure you miss your family and friends. I am sure they miss you too. I would miss my family and friends if I were over there. Thank you for being where you are and fighting to protect our freedom and country.

May God Bless You and Keep You Safe. We Support You All.

A Proud American,


Wood Dale, IL

Posted by: Rosanna at December 8, 2004 08:05 AM

December 2004

Dear American Soldier, Sailor Marine, or Airman,

I’m sorry that you have to stay overseas for Christmas. It’s nice to know though, that there are people that want to help others. Christmas is a time of year to be thankful for what we have in our lives. You should be thankful for what you have waiting for you when you get home.

I hope you get home soon. I’m grateful for what you are doing for our country. You’re risking your life for what you believe in. A good thing is that there aren’t anymore terrorist attacks on America. Actually, make that a GREAT thing. The country is safe and that’s another great thing.

Once again, you’re brave for risking your life. Oh yeah, I’m in 8th grade at Holy Ghost School. If I could be there right now, I’d give you a big thank you. But I’ll have to do it in this letter. So, THANK YOU!!! Lots of people probably don’t realize how much you are giving up but I do and you are really brave for it.

P.S. Please consider this a girl’s name, ‘cause I’m a girl!!!

Posted by: Tylar at December 8, 2004 08:09 AM

December 2004

Dear American Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airman,

I want to tell you how thankful I am to have you fighting for your country’s freedom and safety. I support all of the people in the military. I am very sorry that you are away from your family during the Hanukah season. I know how much you must miss your family; I know I would miss my family if I weren’t with them for a holiday.

I want to make sure that you know that you mean so much to everyone in the US. You are risking you life to protect your country and its freedoms. I know because you and the entire armed forces there won’t be another September 11th. When September 11th came and the terrorists crashed into the towers I didn’t get why everyone was stressing the fact that Osama Bin Laden should be hunted down. But now in 8th grade I understand why all of these soldiers are there. I’m so happy you are protecting us. The military has the terrorists running or dead. Thanks to you guys over there you have them running and not planning another attack.

Thank you for being in Iraq and protecting our freedoms. HAPPY HANUKAH!!!!

Katie M

Posted by: Katie M at December 8, 2004 08:11 AM

Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman,

I am extremely sorry that you will probably have to stay out of the country for the holidays. It is very sad that you have to go out and fight. All of my friends are writing letters, too. We are all trying to support many people in the military. Unfortunately, you will have to fight. Remember that America and everyone that lives here are supporting you!

Also remember that war is not like in video games and movies, it is a very gruesome and sad time. People that you know very close while you in Iraq or Afghanistan may die. Please do not be discouraged, try to stay strong and be careful. Stay safe, your country needs you! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wood Dale, IL

Posted by: Rosario at December 8, 2004 08:12 AM

Dear American soldier, sailor, marine, or Airman,

I am very glad that you are protecting our country from terrorists. I hope you will capture all terrorists that are trying to harm our beautiful country.

I'm very grateful that you risk your life for my family members and I. I know it stinks to be in Iraq because it can get scary sometimes with bombings all over the place. Just remember that your family and friends are waiting for you. You are a person of bravery, and courage.

I look up to you because of all the things you are doing. Keep up the good work. And keep trying hard. Remember that a lot of people are looking forward for your arrival in the future.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year. You will be in my prayers, especially on Christmas. God luck, be careful, and God Bless you.


Marco M., Bensenville Illinois

P.S. I am a 13-year-old boy that goes to Holy Ghost School In Wood Dale Illinois.

Posted by: Marco M. at December 8, 2004 08:14 AM

Dear American soldier,

My son is currently serving in Iraq. What helps me through the day is knowing he is in the company of heroes. I truly believe that you guys are making history over there. When the history books are written you can be proud to be counted as one of the great American's that made a difference to the world.

God bless America and God bless you during this holiday season.


Gail O, Kansas City KS

Posted by: Gail at December 9, 2004 08:02 AM

Dear Soldier, Sailor, Marine and Airman,

I am not eloquent with words, as so many before me have written, but I want you to know how "deeply" appreciative my family and I are of your sacrifice, heroism and commitment to the Red, White and Blue.

Please know how much your sacrifice and that of your family is appreciated.

My husband, a different time, a different threat was a sailor and he recalls the words of then President JFK to shoot Soviet ships if they did not allow bording during the Cuban Missile crisis.

It was his spirit and the spirit of those from WWI and WWII and Vietnam, Korea the Revolutionary and Civil wars that you all carry in your heart. The love of freedom, country and family. This unique American spirit and love of freedom is being carried by each one of you to an area in the world who does not know the word.

You are serving your country and this world well.

This family wishes you each a Merry Christmas and know during that cold moment, far away from home, as those of us who can celebrate the holiday as we choose thanks to you and those who went before you, will lift our glasses and say a very loud prayer for you all.

Be safe, come home to a grateful nation.

Thank you for your service.


Posted by: Cheryl at December 9, 2004 08:27 AM

here is a letter i am sending out with cards to 5 different contacts i got from any, but i am glad to have the opportunity to thank more than the 165 cards i am sending out. thank you too for the chance,

Dear Soldier or Marine, Airman, Sailor,
Greetings and prayers from Reno Nevada.

First and foremost THANK YOU ONE AND ALL. Every one of you is a HERO. There are many, many people here who support you 100%, people here believe in you and your mission. We voted for our leader President Bush, despite our local paper, which shamelessly endorsed the traitor Kerry, and our local University, which had the loser Michael Moore here speaking only days before the election. I was never more proud of my state.
My name is Kelly, I am a 44-year-old single mom. I have two friends (actually my son’s friends) who are Marines, one I know for sure is serving in Falluja, the other I don’t know where he is, but I do know he is based also at Camp Pendleton, and so he may also be in Falluja. Both of these fine young men were in the same Tae Kwon Do school with my son when they were younger. I feel like these are both my kids, I am honored to know them.
I spend a lot of my free time searching the Internet for the “real” news. I have found several blogs that I read daily. The MSM is so full of negative reporting and LIES. I like to read the Stryker News, Blackfive, Winds of Change and I also especially enjoy reading the Iraqi Blogs, Iraq the Model, Hammorabi and the Mesopotamian. I don’t know if you guys know about these local Iraqis but they are so very thankful for what you have done for them. Iraq the Model, is three brothers, and they formed a party and have filed to be able to run for a seat in the upcoming elections. I cry many times when I read how much they cherish the freedom you have given them, but not as much as when I read about the heroic efforts of you Soldiers and Marines. I am SO VERY PROUD OF THE EXCELLENT JOB YOU ALL DID AND ARE STILL DOING IN IRAQ.
For those of you who are not in Iraq, but in Afghanistan of Africa, you also are doing a EXCELLENT JOB, because of you the world has seen what FREEDOM brings, I so loved seeing all the Afghani people going to vote, especially the women, I pray that the Iraqi people will also turn out in the hundreds of thousands and show the terriosts that they want to be free. Thank you all for continuing to keep Afghanistan on the right track. Even though much of the attention is focused on Iraq we also appreciate the rest of you who are stationed all around the world and living in harsh conditions, away from your loved ones and families, just know that you are not forgotten.
Someday, I know that the entire world will appreciate what you have done as much as the Iraqi’s who’s blogs I read everyday. They are rejoicing in their new FREEDOM thanks to each and every one of YOU.
Today I drove around the Wal-mart parking lot and took pictures of every car that has a sticker on it. These are very popular now days, I am including the pictures in the contact persons box, and also a letter from Iraq the Model, on the first anniversary of their blog, if you didn’t already know how they feel, I hope this will help. I am sorry that this is a “form” letter. I would like to personalize every letter, but this first time I am sending out almost 300 cards, to Marines, Army and Air Force in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa.
In closing I want to wish you all the best Christmas possible, know that you are loved by many people, even the ones who only put a sticker on their cars. I do hope that you all will be safely home soon but in the mean time, keep your helmets on, keep your eyes and ears open and ……………continue making friends and …….kicking ass.

Posted by: Kelly Hyatt at December 9, 2004 09:06 AM

Dear fellow American;

My gratitude and respect for your service and commitment have grown with every story I hear of your heroism and sacrifice.

As a fellow American, I walk taller when I see our servicemen and women in person. Always offering thanks and a token of my grattitude ( while not trying to disrupt the persons time with friends of family). I have made it a personal goal to provide material support for your wounded and your families at home in need through the growing number of charitable organizations back at home. (there are more every week)

As a high school teacher, I have made it a professional goal to make my students and colleagues aware of the history and legacy that the USA has in helping others establish democracy and personal liberty in their own nations. Your sacrifice and service are what keep us at home safe. My students come to know that the things that they take for granted do not come with out costs and sacrifices from people like themselves.

As a historian, you are rewriting history. Not only of the US, but of the world. You are integral to the expanding and securing the world for Democracy, peace and prosperity.

A quote from one of my philosophical heros can best sum up my sentiments:

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men [and women] than himself." -John Stuart Mill

God Bless You;

Taylor Gilbert

Posted by: Taylor Gilbert at December 9, 2004 09:40 AM

I just want to say Thank you to each everyone of you.
I always included our troops and their family in my prayers as I know others do.
I have a son that has just joined the Air Force and I know how hard it would be to spend a holiday without him.
I thank you again for the sacrifice each one of you are making this holiday.
Let's hope 2005 will bring peace to our country and our troops will be home with their families.

Posted by: Bev Bailey at December 9, 2004 10:37 AM

Dear Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman,
My name is Alex and I am an eighth grader at Holy Ghost School. I do not know anyway to say “Thank You,” enough. I am amazed that anyone would be able to do so much for his or her country as you have. I would never have the strength to do that. I would get too homesick. I cannot believe the incredible strength that you must have.
This must be a hard time for you with the holidays here. Not being able to spend Christmas time with your family must be harder than fighting in a war. I am sure that your family is thinking about you as much as you are thinking about them. I have a small idea of what that feels like. One of my friends joined the Navy in August and I am always thinking about him. I know that it is not the same though, but I am still some-what upset by this. When I start to get upset, though, I think of the fun times. Most of these memories come from Christmas parties.
In the spirit of Christmas I would like to share my favorite Christmas poem and my favorite parody of a Christmas song.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that ST. NICHOLAS soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.
"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
We wish you a Merry Christmas.
We wish you a Merry Christmas.
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year!

We Fish you a Hairy Christmoose.
We Fish you a Hairy Christmoose.
We Fish you a Hairy Christmas,
And Hippo New Year!

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I will keep you in my prayers for years to come.
Alexandria M.
Holy Ghost School

Posted by: Alex at December 9, 2004 10:47 AM

God Bless You, EVERYONE!

I'm not as eloquant as many who've written above. But I'm at least as sincere.

All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. Your families are in my thoughts and prayers.

Me and my family can only imagine the brunt of the sacrifices you've made and we couldn't be more proud of your service.

And for me, it's not just that you are doing it for us, here and now. It's also important to me that you are making this sacrifice for strangers in a strange land. You're giving them the greatest gift of all, a shot at freedom.

If Afghanistan, a country torn by decades of war, and Iraq, a country under a boot of tyranny we Americans can't even imagine, if these two peoples have even a modicum of what we've grown to take for granted here in America, you've achieved something utterly remarkable and generous beyond words.

You're writing history, boys and girls!

And I'm so very, very proud you're on my side.

Merry EidKwanzaHanukkahXmasMas!

Stay safe and know you're loved,

Posted by: Lunacy at December 9, 2004 03:13 PM


Dear American soldier, sailor, marine, or airman:

I am writing to wish you a happy holiday season and thank you for your service and for protecting our country. Your service is greatly appreciated by all of us back home. I have seen so many people get involved to try to support the troops lately and I am reaching out now to show my sincere thanks.

At our Thanksgiving gathering, my family decided to prepare care packages to send overseas. I hope these reach some of you out there who are in need of a pick me up.

I hope you take care of yourselves and return home soon and safely.

Again, thank you and Happy Holidays!

Heather Kieckhefer
Phoenix, Arizona

Posted by: Heather Kieckhefer at December 9, 2004 03:45 PM

Dear Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine:

Wishing you a safe, happy Holiday Season and a completely uneventful New Year. Thank you for your service. You are in our thoughts, our prayers and our hearts while you fight the fight. You are truly our nation's best! Until you are home again, may the Lord (and your Brothers) keep you safe!

Posted by: C. Lois at December 9, 2004 04:16 PM

December 2004

Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman,

It must be incredibly difficult to be away from home during the holidays. I realize what you are doing for the country and for that I thank you. You are putting your life on the line to make sure that we in the U.S remain safe from harm. You are one of the country’s guardians who protect us. I wish you luck during this time, and I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Thanks once again,


Posted by: Matt at December 9, 2004 05:27 PM

Slagle-There's a good one in the comments on our site from Will.Don't forget to get it.

Posted by: mikeatSE at December 9, 2004 06:25 PM

Dear American Serviceman:

You have no idea how grateful I am for your service on behalf of the United States. Iraq is probably not the place you would like to be celebrating Christmas this year.

Just know that the sacrifice of your time and energies is going to one of the most noble things a person could do, you are building a free nation with your own hands.

I admire you and want you to know you are remembered (and prayed for) every day.

Gordon Kushner
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Posted by: Gordon at December 9, 2004 07:23 PM

To all the guys in Iraq. Your doing an excellent job, don't let the media get you down... or shot.

Be safe.

Posted by: Gerrick Meyer at December 9, 2004 11:28 PM

Here's some advice you NEED to give your friend that leaves soon: tell him to have his wife set up a video conference or telephone call as soon as she knows shes going into labor (the camera angle can be from downward so he sees what the wife sees) but she'll have to set that up with her OB and L&D provider. (My husband deployed before our daughter (child #2)was born by 35 days :( so I know what it will be like for the wife). my prayers go out to everyone serving away from family during the holiday season and beyond. be safe and come home safe. god bless. SSgt Cranford USAF

Posted by: cranjenn at December 9, 2004 11:39 PM

Dear soldier,
Know that my family and I think of you constantly. We know that our country is a lesser place with you gone, but a better place because of your sacrifices. There will always be naysayers and pessimists, but there will always be those of us who hope. We hope for you. May God bless you, and keep you, and cause his light to shine upon your face. May he make you fierce as a lion in the desert, and feared among your enemies. Some have already forgotten what happened on the 11th of September, 2001, but I have not. I will always remember that day, just as I will always remember your sacrifice. They will rest together in my memory. Dulce et Decorum Est.

Posted by: Jared A. Gamble at December 10, 2004 07:47 AM

Dear Soldier,

I can not even begin to imagine how lonely you must feel right now. You are halfway across the world in the middle of nowhere, far away from family, friends, and the comforts of home. But trust me when I say that you are doing a great thing, maybe the best of things.

You are bringing freedom and the chance at a better life to people and a country who may have never known these things, but more importantly still, you are planting the seeds of democracy in the region of the world most directly responsible to the horrors of 9-11. Although our military is the greatest the world has ever known, we can save many more lives by giving people a chance at freedom and pursuing better lives for themselves and their families away from the iron grip of dictators like Saddam Hussein.

I don't care what the media tells you...this war is a vital part of the War on Terror and efforts to reform the greater Middle East and prevent future terror attacks. Although I would never hear it from the mainstream media, I have undertaken myself to find many stories of coutless bravery, kindness, and goodness on the part of our troops. I have read everything from Marines falling on a grenade to save their comrades to soldiers giving out their own food and candy to children in Iraq. With the exception of a few idiots who do not follow the rules and bring dishonor to the armed forces, you soldiers are the very best of the best that America has to offer, and do not ever forget it.

You and your families are in my thoughts and prayers daily. Stay strong, keep your head up, keep up the good work, and get back home safe to us. We miss and love you all.

Chris Whittaker
Knoxville, TN

Posted by: Chris Whittaker at December 10, 2004 07:56 AM

Dear American Servicemember,

Please accept my humble gratitude for all that you are doing, for your dedication, for your sacrifice. You serve the most noble cause of all-
not only in defense of Liberty but also in giving the gift of Liberty to those who have never known it. Without you, they would never have such an opportunity.

The American people came to your aid and defense
on November 2nd, when we turned away the traitors and unbelievers at the ballot box. That is the least we could do, but you should know that the majority of your countrymen trust in you and believe in the mission.

You make us proud every day. You are the best we have and represent the America I know and love in the finest tradition of the Armed Forces of the United States- the most powerful and most compassionate such force in the history of the world. Come home safe to your grateful nation.

God keep you and comfort you, and may your next Christmas find you in the arms of family and the company of friends.

Jon Tickner
Pleasant Hope, Missouri

Posted by: Jon Tickner at December 10, 2004 08:40 AM

I want to thank you so much for the honor and bravery you show every day. Each day that you stand firm and do your duty is a day that the world sees what America is really made of.

I thank you that you are a wonderfully ordinary American, which means that you are the best of the best!

Even though you may not share a religious faith with me, I want you to know that I continually ask God's blessing on you. I pray for your safety, and that of your comrades. I pray that you will get rest and food, and that God will grant you calm and wisdom in combat. I pray that the Iraqi people will see your honor and kindness and honesty, and will be grateful for your service.

But most of all, I pray you come home to your family and friends, safe and sound.

Thank you again - it is so little, considering all you have done, but it comes from the bottom of my heart.

Merry Christmas, and God bless. May you come home soon, and rejoice in your family!

Posted by: Romeocat at December 10, 2004 11:24 AM

Dear American soldier, sailor, marine, or airman:

Words cannot express how proud we all are of you. To put on your country's uniform and especially serve her in the time of war is the greatest sacrific and the greatest show of love and partriotism.

We think of all of you often and you are missed. Please keep youself safe and come home soon.

Shelley Kresan
Southern California

P.S. Continue to kick ass !!!!!! You folks are the best!

Posted by: Catracks at December 10, 2004 01:19 PM

I have posted my letter at my blogged and tracked back, but my mother asked me to forward her letter to you:

To Our Most Precious Service Personnel serving In Harms Way this Christmas Season:

I am the daughter of a Navy Chief, the niece of an Air Force and Army Sergeant and two Marines, all of whom served during the Second World War. I
am the widow of a Naval Sonarman who served during the Viet Nam Conflict and the Mother in Law of a young man who served during Desert Storm. I am
also the mother of a young man whose greatest regret is that he was unable to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States.

We are all so proud of, and thankful for you and your families for the sacrifices you are making for us. Please do not believe that you are forgotten while you are there, at all times, not just at this Holiday Season. There are many, many who are praying daily for your safety, as well as for your success.

I wish, with all of my heart, that you did not have to be there. However, I also believe that you are there for an important reason, and that it is with honor that you are serving your country.

From a Mother's heart of concern for all of you. Stay safe, stay strong, watch each others back, as well as your own. Come home safe and whole, and
above all, know that our Heavenly Father cares for each and every one of you. There are several verses found in the Naval Hymn which I would
like to write as a prayer, again, for your safety until you can come home to those who await you.

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

(alternate verses)

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair;
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!

Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
To all Marines, both night and day,
The courage, honor, strength, and skill
Their land to serve, thy law fulfill;
Be thou the shield forevermore
From every peril to the Corp.

May God's richest blessings and grace be upon you and yours both now and forever more!!!!

God keep You Safe!!!!

Posted by: Brian B at December 10, 2004 01:33 PM

to all in the sandbox, you may be in a forgotten part of the world but you are not forgotten.what you are accomplishing will change the world for the better, it sucks now, but in a few years down the road you will look back with pride at having helped made a difference.stay brave and stay safe.

Posted by: randall at December 10, 2004 03:50 PM

To the Awesome U.S. Military Personnel:

Thank you for your service, your sacrifice and your courage. I pray for you, and for those who personally know and miss you the most, each day.

Thanks for showing up and giving your time, energy, skills and talants in service of your fellow countrymen & women. Although there are some loudly squeaking unbalanced wheels making a lot of unappreciative noise, many more are cognizant of what's at stake and what you are defending, and I am personally grateful to you.

I hope that the Afganistan and Iraqi people get to experience a day like mine - where they can listen to music, earn a living, dance, freely discuss their opinions, study, worship (or not worship), defend themselves and be represented by elected leaders (rather than oppressive dictators).

My "Thank You" is a tremendous understatement - especially since some who earned it are not here to read this. Thank you, nonetheless.

With love and gratitude,

Sacramento, California

Posted by: Mo at December 10, 2004 04:39 PM

To our beloved troops:

We thank you for your love and sacrifice. During the last many months you have endured violent battles and harsh critism. We applaud you for your courage, we praise you for your bravery and we thank you for our freedom.

May victory come swift and your safe return even sooner.

Your Sincerest Blessings,

The Gregoire Family
New Hampshire

Posted by: Gregoire Family at December 10, 2004 06:05 PM

I wish I could truly say that I understood just how difficult your mission is, but I'm just a plain civilian who has never been in the service. All I can say is that I am deeply grateful that you are doing everything in your power to defend the sovereignty and security of our nation and to help to bring the blessings of liberty to other peoples.

Thumbs up,
"Grateful Citizen"

Posted by: Grateful Citizen at December 10, 2004 06:20 PM

This holiday greeting to each of you is sent from Sunnyside, Washington to say THANK YOU. I appreciate each one you and pray that you will be home safe, soon.
j. bos

Posted by: J. Bos at December 11, 2004 11:38 AM

My letter is posted at:

The Middle Ground

Thanks for doing this again, Sgt. Slaughter. Oorah!

Posted by: kat-missouri at December 11, 2004 12:03 PM

Well..track back didn't work and neither did my URL posting in the message above so here is my long URL address for my letter to the troops:

Posted by: kat-missouri at December 11, 2004 12:08 PM

hey troops,i can't tell you how
much i salute you and your
courage to help out these people..
i have been on a blog,called
iraqthemodel for 7 months now,3
brothers over there who want FREEDOM..
2 of them,Omar and Mohammed are
here right now in the states,thanks
to spirit of america,and they are
speaking out that we did the right thing...
and they met president Bush this past
thursday,how frickin cool is that eh?
i can not say thanks enough to you all!!!
merry christmas
andrea from minnetonka mn

Posted by: andrea/flannels/minnesota at December 11, 2004 01:15 PM

Greetings and Christmas Wishes from Canada and a deep appreciation of the countless Americans who have and continue to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States.
Some of you have lost friends and some have been wounded in this most honourable of endeavours. Your sacrifices will never be forgotten by those of us who love freedom and love your country.
In Afghanistan, you are serving alongside your Canadian cousins and in Iraq alongside other members of Coalitions Forces, so know in your hearts that Italian, British, Polish, Australian mothers, wives and children all feel the same about their sons, fathers and husbands at this most joyous time of year. I wish that there was space to mention all of the participants but you know who you are and your flags fly freely at Misha's website.
Stay true to each other and stand proudly together
as you share this moment of cameraderie in the face of what lies ahead.
We look forward to the day when you can all come back to your families....when you can all come home. And so, to the United States Armed Forces and the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the Coalition Forces, proud men from proud regiments, God Bless and keep you all at Christmastime and always.

Posted by: Joe Dromedary at December 11, 2004 03:09 PM

Seasons Greetings from Redneck Central, located here in chilly N.E. Texas.. I just wanted to send a note to all you folks over there and tell ya'll how very proud we are of you, and that we caint wait till ya'll get that lil o mess straightened up over there and git yor skinny butts back here.. We caint eat all this turkey and dressin and peecan pie all by ourselves, but Granny may still have some left in the freezer when you do get back.. I was just wonderin, do they have grits in those MRE's ?? These people on these blogs have been posting some real nice letters from and about ya'll.. Makes my heart feel good to hear stuff like that about ya'll, considering my daughter is sweet on one of those USMC guys now.. He took her out to Vegas a while back to the Marine Ball, and she said she had a real nice time.. My neighbor's son is a medic and will be on his way over soon.. He's a good kid, so ya'll dont ruin him too bad over there.. We're sending lots of prayers, and I dont know how many I have left, so hurry up and come home to the greatest Country in the world..

Posted by: Wild Bill at December 11, 2004 11:15 PM

Dear Soldier, Marine, Sailor, and Airman,

Greetings from Flagstaff, Arizona. Wishing you my best for this holiday season... I hope that the Christmas/Hannukah/Kwaanza/Winter Solstice spirit finds its way into your hearts this time of year. I think about you guys a lot, esp. my brother in the 82nd Engineers (blue babes). Take care of yourselves, and may God continue to watch over you.

Northern Arizona University

Posted by: Kate at December 12, 2004 12:57 AM

My effort of support is posted at my site.

Please follow the link in my name to take a look.


Posted by: Emma at December 12, 2004 12:35 PM

Dear Soldier,
How we do love you for what you are doing for our country. I have a daughter, Heather, and she is in her young twenties and you are protecting her and her small family in Tennessee, myself, my wife's son, my wife's three sisters and their three husbands and five others in our immediate families - and we all thank you and the guy or gal next to you.
We have a farm. You are invited here with your family at any time when you return. Just keep in touch, and keep safe - please. We love you all so much it is difficult to put it in words - but our hearts ache for you. Love from All of us in the Koman Family.
John Koman
Ventura, California

Posted by: John Koman at December 12, 2004 03:21 PM

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.......................2005



LOVE TO ALL OF YOU........jd

Posted by: JD at December 12, 2004 06:15 PM

My name is Jane, but most people here at St. Vincent call me JD.. I work as a Phone operator for five of St Vincent's hospitals here in central Indiana.
IAM working the grave yard shift tonight, so between times the phone is not ringing, I will write a few lines...
I have two daughters, a grandson,two cats, and two extended family members scattered through the southern states...I like Indiana most of the time up until January--- March when we usually get our winter weather of snow and icy streets. IAM not fond of driving in the snow, although it is pretty to look at. I prefer the warm weather of spring, summer, and fall...
I have the radio on listening to Christmas music, I like all the old songs, but some of my new favorites are Mannheim steamroller, and of course the county songs. I like all types of music, but country, bluegrass have always been my favorites...
As I think about you all so far away from your families, I say a prayer for us all to unite in one day of prayer on Christmas, and ask the Lord Jesus to watch over all his children each day as you serve our country to make sure we are safe.. Thank EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU, BLESS YOU, AND MAY GOD KEEP YOU UNDER THE SAFETY OF HIS WINGS, AS YOU GO THROUGH EACH DAY AND NIGHTS JOURNEY...

love, big hugs to you all.... JD

Posted by: JD at December 12, 2004 06:16 PM

Dear soldier, sailor, marine or airman

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you are doing. Please know that your sacrifices and work ARE recognized and appreciated.

We do think about you and all the good that you are doing. We are all very proud of you and look forward to the day you can all come home. We also know that what we see on the nightly news is the whole story. What you are doing is valuable and will help secure our country and that part of the world.

God bless all of you,

Tom Seeman
Leesburg VA

Posted by: Tom Seeman at December 12, 2004 06:21 PM

Hello Troops, a day in Indiana, much less exciting than the days you
are experiencing in Iraq, but perhaps you will smile at my day. I
work at St Vincent Hospital, got off 20 min early to go home and clean
the dog run. At 5:30pm I still had some light, so I changed my
clothes and ran out to get started. I have 3 large dogs, Honey, Moe &
Dottie.(Dottie is bad) all was going well, the wheelbarrow was full,
when the strange dog came by....Dottie made a break for the gate, I
dropped the wheelbarrow, and caught Dottie, when I turned around the
contents of my wheelbarrow was on the ground! After I scooped and
dumped.....I had to jump in the car to go to the barn to clean the two
horse stalls......I think I see a pattern here. I got home about 8pm
and decided to trim my Christmas tree. The lights wen on great,
ornaments next, as my hand was placing one of my very old ornaments(my
mothers)the tree suddenly was touching my shoulder on it way to the
floor! I grabbed it before it touched the floor, and there I was
holding the tree, every time I tried to let go, it was on its way to
the floor. So, with my leg I pulled a chair over to prop it up. My
son then got a call, because he put up the tree! By that time I
decided to call it a day. I hope you smiled...I did. My hope is also
that you realize you are thought of and that prayers are yours this
Holiday Season for your return home. Love to all, Jan

Posted by: Jan at December 12, 2004 08:13 PM

I just want to say Thank you to each everyone of you.
I always included our troops and their family in my prayers as I know others do.
I have a son that has just joined the Air Force and I know how hard it
would be to spend a holiday without him.
I thank you again for the sacrifice each one of you are making this holiday.
Let's hope 2005 will bring peace to our country and our troops will be
home with their families.

St. Vincent Health-ECS

Posted by: Bev at December 12, 2004 08:14 PM

A Moral Dilemma

You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night,
when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the
1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there
could only be one passenger in your car? Think before you continue

This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of
a job application.
You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus
you should save her first. Or you could take the old friend because
he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay
him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate

The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble
coming up with his answer. He simply answered: "I would give the car
keys to my old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I
would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams."

Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up our stubborn thought
limitations. Never forget to "Think Outside of the Box."

God, I just love happy endings
St. Vincent Hospital Chaplain

Posted by: Susan at December 12, 2004 08:15 PM

Soldiers in Iraq:
Don't be misled by the mass media. The American people deeply appreciate what you are doing. You are the most important force for good in the political world. What you are doing is incredibly important. We know you are winning. The job is getting done. And while they may not want to admit it, the Shias are already thankful (why wouldn't they be?), the Kurds are thankful, even the majority of the Iragi Sunnis will be thankful.
When you return to the US, I believe you'll find that having been there will bring you instant respect from everyone you talk to. I believe that will not be just for a year or two, but for many decades. When you speak, people will respect you. They will respect even before you speak. We appreciate you. We are praying for you.

Posted by: Charles Loeser at December 12, 2004 08:25 PM

To Our Troops:

G-d bless each and every one of you over there. I want to thank you for the sacrifice you've made for us - your time, your families, your friends, sweat, blood and effort.

As I gather with my family this holiday season, I will keep you guys in mind, and I'll light a candle and say a prayer for you when I'm in Church.

Come home when your job is done. Until then, be safe, stay sharp and kick the kind of a$$ that no other military in the history of the world could ever kick.

G-d bless!


Posted by: Scott Kuykendall II at December 12, 2004 11:23 PM


"When we resort to force, as now we must, we are determined that this force shall be directed toward ultimate good as well as against immediate evil. We Americans are not destroyers; we are builders." "We are now in the midst of a war, not for conquest, not for vengeance, but for a world in which this nation and all that this nation represents will be safe for our children." "We are going to win the war, and we are going to win the peace that follows." "And in the dark hours of this day--and through dark days that may be yet to come--we will know that the vast majority of the members of the human race are on our side. Many of them are fighting with us. All of them are praying for us. For, in representing our cause, we represent theirs as well--our hope and their hope for liberty under God."

Franklin D. Roosevelt,1941

Posted by: ROD at December 13, 2004 05:39 AM

Greetings to all, if we here could wish for anything it would be for your safe return. A return to all things including family and friends.

Few of us will ever see the work you do or understand why you chose to, please make us proud. Thank-you for taking the high road and making the more difficult decision. Every American (some yet to be born) will harvest the future you're creating.

More than all we wish you a safe return to your loved ones and a wonderful life. We'll do what needs to be done here so you'll recognize the place when you get home

Merry Christmas,
Kevin Taylor

Posted by: Kevin Taylor at December 13, 2004 03:35 PM

I can not begin to thank you enough for your service. I am humbled to know that men such as yourselves are fighting for us.

I look at my daughters and I am overewhelmed with gratitude to know that they will grow up free thanks to you.

You and your families are in my and my familys prayers always. Thank you and may God Bless you always.
Carl L. Grilliot
LCpl USMC 0311

Posted by: LC 0311 crunchie at December 13, 2004 07:02 PM

To the men and women of America's military, this year, 2004:
With all the limits and adversity you have had to endure this year you have shined brightly in my eyes. With your valiant effort and hard labours you have given most of us here at home hope for the coming year that we will be safe. I have a son in the Army and he honors me when he says that this is a job that needs to be done. I served in the Navy, 1973-1977, in the Pacific and I know how it is away from home at this time of year. Collect some smiles with well wishing and good deeds and give what you can. Know that whatever may happen, that millions of your fellow countrymen love you for your risk and wish you and those you love to be together when your tour is done.
Your's in truth,
Mike L. Howard

Posted by: Mikenchi at December 14, 2004 06:24 PM

As my heavier-than-it-needs-to-be rear end sits in a chair at my cushy IT job, I reflect and try, at the very least, to wax eloquent at the sacrifices you, the troops, have made for our benefit.

You've been pulled from your homes, your families, your friends.  Many of you were never expecting to be put into the position in which you now find yourselves - in a foreign country, surrounded by thugs who wish to do you and the country you represent harm, every day facing the very real possibility that your next breath could very well be your last.  Not knowing if you'll ever see those aforementioned friends & family again.

And you're there because three years ago, 3,000 of our (and in some cases, your) friends & family were killed in an unprovoked attacked in New York City.  And in an attempt to bring those responsible to justice and rid this world of those vermin who would do us harm, we sent you to Afghanistan and Iraq and asked you to take 'em out.  And you have.

So while you're sitting there eating your MREs and drinking your cups of coffee while the rest of us gorge our fat asses on turkey, ham and dressing this Christmas season, I would say this to you:

We owe you a debt we can never fully repay.  Mere words cannot express to you how grateful we are to you for these sacrifices you have made on our behalf.

We love you guys, and hope & pray that you come home to us safely.  We miss you, and hope that you come home soon.

Merry Christmas, guys.

Posted by: Lord Spatula I, King &Tyrant at December 15, 2004 10:47 AM

Season's Greetings!


Here's hoping that you are holding up well.  I want you to know that America DOES appreciate what you are doing and that our Armed Forces are often in our prayers.


My name is Patricia Rice Byrne and I live on the east end of Long Island, New York.  I am married and I have two small children who are the world to me.  I am aware, every day, that we are safe because people like you are literally out there, fighting the bad guys. 


That's a phrase I often find myself using because my kids are obsessed with the idea of "good guys" and "bad guys" - it's a preschool thing, I guess. You really are the good guys, though.  It's nice to know that they exist and that in this crazy world, there are people willing to put their lives on the line for what they believe. That's heroism - you guys are heroes!   



God bless you, and stay strong.




Again, thanks for serving.



Patricia Rice Byrne

Posted by: PBByrne at December 15, 2004 11:58 AM

Excerpt from a letter by JRR Tolkien to his son Christpher, April 1944

I sometimes feel appalled at the thought of the sum total of human misery all over the world at this present moment. The millions parted, fretting, wasting in unprofitable days, quite apart from torture, pain and death, bereavement and injustice. If anguish were visible, almost the whole of this benighted planet would be enveloped, as in a dark dense vapor, shrouded from the amazed vision of the heavens. And the producys of it all will be mainly evil, historically considered. But the historic vision is of course not the only one. All things and all deeds have a value in and of themselves, apart from cause and effect. No one can estimate what is really happening from the view of God. All we do know- and that to a large extent by direct experience- is that evil labors with vast power and perpetual success, but in vain! In vain, preparing always the soil for unexpected good to sprout up.

To all who are defending freedom and security
Thank you for your service. May you have a safe holiday and the best possible new year.

Jo Rice
Washington State

Posted by: Jo Rice at December 15, 2004 12:23 PM

To one of our Heroes.

We want to thank you for doing the job you are doing for us. We are in awe of your ability to serve in a place far from home. We wish you could be home with your friends at this time but we know that you volunteered to be where you can help us the most. Thank you, Thank you.

We are old farts that wish we could do more, but we will do what we can to make your life a little brighter. We hope that the Christmas dinner that you had was a little like the one you would have had at home. If not when you get home have an extra large meal on us.

We live in Oregon where they say that it rains all of the time. Really it does rain quite a few days in a row but it doesn't rain many inches at one time. All we have to do is to put on something that lets the rain run off and keep doing what we are doing already. One thing going for us here is that everything is green. A sharp contrast to what you are seeing there. We wish you could see the green here. Maybe that could happen after you return accross the pond.
Here in Oregon we grow many of the Christmas trees that end up in most of the living rooms in the U.S. We wish we could send you one.

After the first of the year things will heat up for you as Iraq gets closer to their elections. We hope you will be safe. We will pray for your safety. We don't know what your specific job is but whatever you do is important. Know this, we are thankful for your important contribution to helping keep us free. We know that by your being there we probably won't have any more twin towers. Thank You, Thank You.

Tommorow Sharon will come home from the hospital. It seems as though she tried to walk on air and landed on her left foot with full force, breaking the ankle in two places and spraining her right ankle. We are having to set up a hospital bed in the living room because she can't get down our hallway to the bedroom. Well we are living in the same close quarters that you are living. The only advantage we have is we don't have to live through the sand storms that blow through your country. If you will send us your address we would be glad to send a package that includes a sand scarf that we got from the Soldiers Angels group.

Well we had better sign off for now. If you would like to email us we would love hearing from you.
God Bless and Keep You.
Paul and Sharon Smith.

Posted by: Paul and Sharon Smith at December 15, 2004 09:01 PM

Dear American Soldier,

Thank you for all you have done for our country. Each one of you is a HERO. I can't imagine what it is truly like over there. I am profoundly appreciative of what you are doing in the name of freedom and liberty and continue to pray for all of you.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. Come home soon!

Posted by: Wes Roth at December 15, 2004 09:14 PM

Thank you for all you do for the freedom of all of us all over the world!
God Bless you.
Federico - Italy

Posted by: Federico De Caroli at December 16, 2004 02:45 AM

Thank you for the opportunity to write the troops!

My letter can be found here:

and I tracked it too!

Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

Posted by: LindaSoG at December 16, 2004 05:09 AM

I'm stopping for a moment in my hectic life to reflect on the enormous sacrifices our military personnel goes through each day in Iraq, Afganisthan and all over the world. To Thank all of them for the sacrifices, pain and anguish you go through to protect my family, myself and all Americans. I thank God for your brave and unselfish acts to protect this great country of ours, the United States of America. I want to wish you all the greatest blessings in the world and to let you know that you are LOVED, Thought of, and Prayed for everyday. I hope you will have the best possible holidays under these extreme circumstances knowing that there are millions of Americans who appreciate everything your doing. And I don't forget the sacrifices of your families as well. They're all kept in my prayers. From my wife, my two beautiful young daughters (3 & 1) and myself, THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

Posted by: Robert Rodriguez at December 16, 2004 10:19 AM

You are Patriots in uniform -- American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines -- who have stood bravely in harm's way, and remain on post today. You are moms, dads and other family members nurturing the next generation of Patriot citizens. You are grassroots leaders and local, state and national officeholders. You are students and professors at colleges and universities, often standing alone for what is good and right. You are employees and employers and professionals. You are in ministry at home and missionaries abroad. You are American Patriots from all walks of life who "hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Throughout history the burden of keeping the flame of liberty bright has fallen on the shoulders of a few men and women. As Founding Patriot Samuel Adams noted, "It does not take a majority to prevail...but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." That describes YOU!

I copied this from the Federalist Patriot and it sums up what I feel. I wanted to send this on to you along with my thanks and prayers.

Posted by: Patricia at December 16, 2004 04:55 PM

Dear Troops:

Just a note to let you know that there are many people here in the good 'ol U.S.A. (myself of course included) who really appreciate the valiant efforts of our troops all over the world. We wish we could all be celebrating the Holidays together with you right here, and pray that one day very soon there will be no need for our troops to be in danger far away from home. Maybe one day, due to your efforts, radical Islam will be something we will have to read about in history books.

Posted by: Rick at December 16, 2004 04:57 PM

To all the men and women serving in the United States military, wherever you are and in whichever branch:

I am a contractor (yes, one of those "lowly contractor scum!" :-) ) working at a stateside Air Force base. Every day when I come to work, I see "my" guys (and gals), the people I support, know, respect and love. Some of them will be deployed to Iraq and other places, some are deployed now, and some of them have already come back. From the comfort and safety of my computer console I think of you, out in the field, and I am humbled. Though I like to think that in some small way my endeavors help you fight, I know that you bear the danger and the risk for all of us who are safe at home.

I pray every day for your well-being and success. I weep when I hear of one of you -- one of us -- being killed. I read all the news, good and bad, that I can get my hands on, and I know that you are fighting a good fight, that you are winning, and that you will achieve victory. My whole family feels the same: We believe in your mission and we support you.

The squadron I'm attached to is collecting comfort items to send overseas. We think of you every day. Thank you for everything you're doing and everything you're enduring. May God bless and keep you, and bring you safely home again at last.

Posted by: Mary Llewellyn at December 16, 2004 05:12 PM

Dear Troops:

Just a note to let you know that there are many people here in the good 'ol U.S.A. (myself of course included) who really appreciate the valiant efforts of our troops all over the world. We wish we could all be celebrating the Holidays together with you right here, and pray that one day very soon there will be no need for our troops to be in danger far away from home. Maybe one day, due to your efforts, radical Islam will be something we will have to read about in history books.

Posted by: RICK at December 16, 2004 07:19 PM

Dearest Troops,

I wanted to take a moment to tell you how very much I and my family appreciate you and all that you do each and every day for our country. It is because of brave men and women like you that I and my family are able to live in safety and glorious freedom in our beautiful country.

You are not forgotten nor taken for granted by this proud American. You will be in our prayers every day until you can finally come back home to the arms of your families and friends.

Take care and stay safe. We love you more than you know.

Sacramento, CA

Posted by: Bonfire7 at December 16, 2004 08:15 PM

To: America’s BEST!
From: An old vet, a friend, and a well-wisher!
Re: A letter from a friend.

I watch the news, and see so little of all you have done being shown. The media denies us the images of your great work. By their actions, your incredible efforts have been given short shift, and it is only by the photos and letters from troops themselves that help us to know your world. The work of smashing the Taliban, freeing Afghanistan, setting up free elections there, crushing Saddam’s forces, taking Iraq away from him and his insane sons, setting the people back on the road to freedom for the first time in thousands of years, fighting terrorist ‘insurgents’, the commie media, and liberal anti-war freaks, all the while showing the world that America is both serious, and ready to fight terrorism in their backyard, instead of in ours! Calling you heroes is just not enough. You all are part of the most incredible military force to ever exist in any time in our history. Given the job, you make it happen, and the world knows it. To us older vets, you’re awesome! We see you trashing Islamic terrorist wannabe’s with no liberal ‘sensitivity’ and we salute you! War is not something to do in a ‘sensitivity’ and ‘gentle’ manner; it’s about making the enemies of America die, instead of innocent Americans. You are all worthy of far more respect then you get, and we need to let you know that to many Americans, each and everyone of you is special. You are the best America has produced, and in spite of the lack of information by the liberal media, you are the truest Americans of all. I thank you, and I support you in any way I can.

Johnn ‘Trike’ Schroeder

Posted by: Trike at December 16, 2004 08:59 PM

For all the National Guard and Army Reservists who have been called to serve alongside our fighting service members, from all the branches of service and our allies, thank you and all of them for your dedication and service. Thank you especially to a unit that I am familiar with.
A small unit that was constituted on 17 February 1949 at Seattle Washington, it was designated as the 737th Transportation Truck Company and was activated 15 March 1949, served in Korea where it lost it's colors during that conflict. The unit was reorganized and redesignated the 737th Transportation Heavy Truck Company on 15 September 1950, then redisignated on 9 July 1952 an Army Reserve Unit under the Organized Reserve Corps. On 20 May 1953 the unit was reorganized and redesignated as the 737th Transportation Company then on January 1, 1957 was redisignated as Sixth United States Army and it's location changed to Yakima, Washington on February 1, 1958.
After the Pueblo crisis of January 1968 and subsequent Tet Offensive, President Johnson yielded to the pressure of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and mobilized a small number of Army Reserve combat service support units. On April 11, 1968, Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford announces the call-up of 42 Army Reserve units (5,869 soldiers) for service in Vietnam or in support of Vietnam operations. The 737th Trans. Co. (Med Trk) Petrl. was one of only 35 Reserve units activated for Vietnam service and mobilized in May 1968. One of four companies that formed the 259th QM battalion . which operated 73 miles of 6-inch pipelines; Quang Tri-Dong Ha; Colco Island-Phu Bai; and Colco Island-Quang Tri, two bolted steel tank farms with a combined capacity of 390,000 gallons and two packaged product yards. Line haul by 5,000-gallon tankers with 5-ton trucks delivered fuel from the bulk storage areas to using units in the field. Along with fuel, duties also included, hauling rations and munitions in support of elements of the 101st. Airborne, 1st Calvary and U.S. Marines. Once again November 15, 2003 the 737th heeded the nations call, this time for service in the Middle East, first to Kuwait then to Camp Speicher in Iraq where they continued the tradition of supporting the combat units with their uncomplaining can-do attitude.
On Saturday August 21, 2004 I had the privilege of attending the 35th homecoming anniversary reunion honoring members of the 737th. Transportation Company which served together in Vietnam. While we all reminisced about our time in the War Theater our thoughts and concerns were frequently about the similar types of events that you face while serving in Iraq and Kuwait. The job remains the same, get the materiel, move it through insecure areas to the troops who need it most, and the hazards are strikingly similar. The materiel's needed are the same, water, fuel, food, munitions and no one does the job better than the 737th. Another observation from the Yakima Valley, people on the home front are solidly behind the company and it's personnel. A few of the current member's wives were on hand, as volunteers, to make our reunion a success. We take these wonderful people for granted but they are, and always have been, our strongest advocates whom we cannot thank enough. Their actions mirror your professionalism and are a tribute to their selfless dedication to the 737th Transportation Company and it's members both past and present. It is with pride and honor that I thank you for your service, the hardships and sacrifices you have made to make this nation, the world and it's people safe and secure. It is my sincerest wish that all of you complete this dangerous mission safely and return to your loved ones soon. Best Christmas wishes.
Thank you and God bless you.

Jack Keel
Gig Harbor

Posted by: Jack at December 16, 2004 09:32 PM

Dear Soldier,

I am writing you from a safe and sound America this Christmas, enjoying the Holiday spirit among friends and warm company of family, with no greater worry than how many more lights I should add outside the house, or whether the tree I got this year is ever going to get set up and decorated—which it will, eventually. Thanks to you: A person I do not know but whom I'm thinking about with each trip I make to buy presents or simply go grocery shopping, each crowded mall or quiet moment with a loved one. These things are what you have chosen to miss out on yourself this season, for the first time or perhaps again, and in so doing have made them all possible for your family and everyone else back home. I am determined to make the most of this way of life which you and your comrades are giving and have given so much every day to defend—from each show of bravery and courage that no one else could even begin to imagine, to all the loneliness and other reminders of sacrifice that no one with a heart could at any time fail to understand.

Your family, your interests, your community, your home here, all are in our safe keeping and loving care while you work to complete the job of eradicating the threats to each of them still to be found in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, where you are now. Our country fully supports what you are doing and wants you to succeed at it and finish it as soon as possible, because her people know that will increase your chances of returning home much more quickly and safely, as well as to a homeland made much more secure. We're depending on you there to ensure the latter. And you're depending on us here to preserve the former while you're away doing that.

Despite a jaded, old media that bombards each of us daily with almost exclusively dismal reports aimed, perhaps unintentionally, at demoralizing us, we know and see the results of what you are accomplishing. Free elections in nations that never saw them before. The toppling of brutal dictatorships and liberation of millions. Our country's enemies all reduced to total despair and a state of complete desperation. These are just some of the things you have helped do. Billions the world over now, and many more in generations to come, are and will be saying out of tremendous, heartfelt gratitude and pride: Thank you, Soldier. Because of what you did, our world is better, freer, more stable and peaceful than it would've been otherwise.

When I get that tree and those lights up, I will be celebrating the birth of One whose torture and ultimate sacrifice on my behalf brought light and salvation to the world. I will also be remembering and praying in His name for you and your family, that He may lessen your hardships, comfort you, prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies, and bring you back home soon, safe and sound.

Our Lord be with you, guide you and bless you, Soldier. Thank you for all you have done on behalf of our nation and her people.

A grateful fellow citizen

Posted by: Libsareb Raindead at December 16, 2004 10:29 PM

This is thanks to all the men and women who have kept this country free. My son and I pray for all of you every night. I remind him all the time that he lives in the greatest country of all. I don't know much I can do for you all except pray or if anyone wants cards, letters, e-mail penpals. any way I can show my support.. Merry Christmas to all of you.. and hopes for a safe return home soon!! God Bless!
single mom in Mississippi!

Posted by: LIsa at December 17, 2004 10:15 AM

Dear American Soldier:


Respectfully Yours,


Posted by: Emma at December 17, 2004 02:50 PM

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all the troops. May god bless you and keep you safe. May you return home safely and victoriously to a proud and grateful nation. Thank you most sincerely for all the hard work, effort, and sacrifice that you have made for your fellow countrymen and for the United States of America. You all are in my prayers.

Rebecca Stone

Posted by: Rebecca Stone at December 17, 2004 02:58 PM

Merry Christmas...

I live far, far away from my family so I'll spend Christmas day with an ex-boyfriend, his mother and his brother. If I can, I'll slip away, head home, get on the couch, cuddle with the cats and just lay about immersed in a good book. I may put a turkey in the oven so that I can make sandwiches for lunch all next week - white bread, mayo, salt, iceberg lettuce & turkey, no deviations.

I'll live in the Northeast, close to the Canadian border. I do so hope it snows on Christmas morning. I love the stillness, I love to see families walking off a big meal by taking their dogs for a stroll, I love the shade of blue when night begins to falls.

I am a believer, holding on tight to Peace on Earth and Good Will to All Men. I am so deeply appreciative of you.

Take care and take good care of the Iraqi civilians.


Posted by: Michelle at December 17, 2004 05:43 PM

To my comrades in arms,

I have served with you, and for this great country of ours for over 12 years in Air Force Blue. In that time I have had the privelage to serve with a force that is like no other in the world. We are all volenteers. No one made us do what we do, we just go get the job done. We are not in it for glory, fame, or money. We each wear the uniform for our own reasons, but we all make a difference no matter what job we do. If you wear the uniform of the Armed Forces of the United States of America you are a hero to someone. You are the bravest, strongest, and you stand for everything that is great about belonging to our nation. I am proud to serve with you, and I pray that you get home to those who love you soon. God Bless.

SSgt William McGarvey

Posted by: Bill at December 17, 2004 06:33 PM

To my fellow citizens whom happen to be in the military....
Many have said more than I can. All I can add is that you truly are fighting for freedom...for those in the 'sandbox', and those at home...keep your heads down, watch your back, and know there's a buttload of us praying for your safe return. I can think of nothing further to add.
Good luck and Godspeed....( and if you run low, lemme know...I have a 9mm S&W parabellum with about a zillion rounds I could send ya' ! )

Posted by: LC#2112 at December 17, 2004 06:34 PM

Dear Soldiers,
Thank you for your service. I wish you the best and may God be with you.

Christopher Mun
Brown University

Posted by: Christopher Mun at December 17, 2004 06:34 PM

From one grizzled (well not really grizzled) veteran to another, I extend my best wishes for the Christmas season to you. It's been some 50 years since I served, but I still remember what it was like to receive something from home. Accept my sincere thanks for what you are sacrificing for us here at home.
Merry Christmas,
Jim Rice

Posted by: Jim Rice at December 17, 2004 06:35 PM

Dear Soldiers,
I would not only like to thank you but I would like to tell you what you mean to me and my world. I have a little cousin named Colleen who is only 6 and just resently told me how she looks up to you. She said that someone that is in Iraq or anywhere for our Country is her hero. I want to let you know that everyone here looks up to you and wishes you were home agian. You are the people that U.s. children of every age and size and backround see as heros. You are the essence of heroism and power. You are bravery and strength and with that I would like to thank you on behalf of my family and the rest of the country. Have a happy holiday and enjoy your New year. You are in my prayers and heart.

Happy holidays

Posted by: Erika at December 17, 2004 06:36 PM

Dear American Troops,

Season's greetings. Merry Christmas. And Happy New Year. Thank you for your brave leadership.

At this time of year, you remind, and teach, all of us what giving is.

Many Americans, and indeed people around the world, are so thankful for what you do and believe wholeheartedly in your mission and you. American troops continue to give so much of themselves for others, and that truth is not lost. Nor is the truth, that you, and the rest of the American troops are truly among the finest people in the world- working hard to get the job done.

May the future be bright for you in 2005!

Thank you!
Happy holidays,
Marcus Bowman

Posted by: Marcus Bowman at December 18, 2004 05:14 AM

God bless you all. I'll be thinking of you.

I have a couple of friends who are Iraqi exiles: they are very thankful for your work!

Simon, London, England.

Posted by: simon-in-england at December 18, 2004 06:16 AM

My Dear Freedom Protectors and Soldiers All -
It is difficult to put down in words what I feel, honestly, in my heart for you all. I DO pray each night, for your victory over those who would terrorize and demonize our life and moral values, and for your safe and speedy return.
I DO think of you every day (in fact, multiple times), knowing you are doing something for me (us) that leaves me awed. We are strangers, you and I, but I would be at your back in a heartbeat. You are teaching me and others what being the 'real deal' is in this life. No plastic here.
I think of your families (and consider me, this stranger, as one of them) and keep hope in my heart and prayers to our God for them as well.
I believe in our country and despite its flaws (for how else can we get better and stronger), know that we can have such honorable, wonderful, men and women, as yourselves.
I come from the time of Viet Nam. I remember the hurt. But, I remember, not only the price we paid, but why we went. You are vindicating us once more and for that, I thankyou.
To all of our absent brothers and sisters, I raise to you a toast this Christmas season and every day.
My deepest thankyou and love. Dale

Posted by: Dale J. Pettelle at December 18, 2004 07:42 AM


My family and I thank God every day that we have men and women like you to thank for the freedoms we enjoy.

Whatever your particular job is, know that we appreciate your service from the bottom of our hearts. Know that you are a part of the greatest Military the world has ever known. Know that your cause is just. Know that your Country stands behind you.

Let your loved ones know that we are grateful for their sacrifice, as well. My son served our Country in peacetime, so I know some of what your loved ones are going through. I can only imagine what it would be like to have a son at war.

Merry Christmas, and may God bless you all, every one!


Posted by: Phil in Michigan at December 19, 2004 09:13 AM

Dear American Soldier / Marine / Airman / Sailor,

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the sacrifice you've made, and continue to make, on behalf of our country. Your sacrifice and that of your families touch me deeply - Thank You!

I keep hearing discussions that we haven't put enough people on the ground in Iraq, and other complaints (in the mainstream news). But then I read the blogs from actively serving military, and those who have retired, and there are great stories of bravery, generosity and amazing strength. The heart of our military is one of our greatest attributes - even beyond the technology and willingness to use it. None of that would matter if you were not the fine, caring people that you are. After facing the enemy and destroying his military capability, you then pitch in and help to restore the daily needs of the people! American fighting men and women are the best people on the planet!!

Our problems here seem dim in comparison. Here in Seattle, we are still watching the
circus of the election for governor. I find it almost funny that we have so much trouble deciding how to count ballots. I keep thinking 'What must the people in Iraq or Afghanistan think - we appear so stupid?' !

Since you have done such a good job of keeping the enemy busy in their home turf - our homes are safe and secure. Thanks for being the best!
I hope that you and your brothers and sisters in arms have a safe and peaceful Christmas.

God Bless and keep you,
Seattle, WA

Posted by: Barb at December 19, 2004 10:53 AM

Dear fellow Americans,

I will be thinking of you, as I remember a certain snowless Christmas on the Saudi-Kuwait border in 1990. I am deeply humbled by the valor and the sacrifices of our fighting men and women today.

Know that here in Portland, Oregon, there is one vet who doesn't spend a waking hour without thinking of you. And know that the American people are on your side, no matter what they try to tell you on the news.

Every chance I get, I take the time to educate other people here in the States about what we are doing, about my experiences from way-back-then, and about what is happening now. They are listening.

So please accept my wishes for a merry Christmas, a blessed New Year, a successful mission, and a safe and speedy return. And know that they come from all Americans.

Asher Abrams
Portland, Oregon

Posted by: Asher Abrams at December 19, 2004 12:21 PM

Christmas morning, 2004. In countless homes across America, as children awaken from their long winter sleep and come downstairs, rubbing their eyes, they will suddenly see the Christmas tree with all its decorations and lights in magnificent glory. Beneath the tree spread all around will be presents from Santa. They know he’s been here; his cookies are gone as is the glass of milk they left for him last night. Stockings hanging from the mantle are bulging with treats and toys. Mom and Dad, in their pajamas are sitting on the sofa, drinking hot cups of coffee, beaming with delight.

Suddenly the children realize that Christmas is here! They charge the tree and set to the joyous task of rending the wrapping on the packages to and fro. Every few seconds, another shout of glee from the children can be heard as they discover what treasures lie beneath the wrapping. Their words are filled with “look, Mom and Dad…”. “Wow”, “just what I wanted” and other such happy phrases.

Outside a light snow is falling. All is right with the world for this and millions of other families as yet another Christmas morning comes to pass. Warmth and safety abound. The family is together and the love and joy is palpable.

Soon, the presents will be open; Mom and Dad will clean up the mess while the kids play with their new toys. Dad will be putting together toys that said, “Some Assembly Required” on the package and everyone hopes they bought enough and the right kind of batteries for everything. Mom heads out to the kitchen to prepare breakfast and to get started on Christmas dinner. There are plates of fancy cookies, bowls of candy, and several pies already done. Soon Grandma and Grandpa will be arriving to join in the celebration.

Meanwhile, in a dangerous place far away, the pride and joy of America, the young men and women who make up her military, stand on the frontier of freedom. Not only do they fight heroically to defeat evil, but to protect those people so far away who are having a happy Christmas. Without these American patriots, people back home would not be safe to enjoy this Christmas.

For the feeling of safety and peace in America, for the knowledge that evil is being defeated in lands far away, for the bravery and patriotism that you all show every day that you stand in harm’s way, we the American people thank you. We love you all. We wish you were here with us on this happy day, and we wish you Godspeed to return home safely and soon. Merry Christmas to you all. Stay safe.

Posted by: Michael Turner at December 19, 2004 04:13 PM

Always a day late and a dollar short, that's me! I blame the holidays on my not noticing this sooner. ::cough::

American Soldiers:

What do you say to someone you do not know, who is laying his life on the line for you -- someone he does not know? What words are adequate?

"Thank you" surely isn't enough, but what else is there? We are profoundly thankful for your sacrifices, for the love of our country and our way of life that has brought you to this place.

Because of your sacrifices, we are free to walk outside and look at the light dusting of snow that's falling. We're able to hop in the car and run to the store -- to do the thousands of things we take for granted, things so commonplace and mundane we don't often take the time to think about why they're possible.

Because of the sacrifices of men and women who fight to keep those freedoms for us, we don't live in fear of every plane passing overhead, every sound in the streets around us. You've chosen to bear that burden for us, to prevent that happening here in the United States and we are humbled by your choice.

You're in our thoughts and in our prayers, not just during this holiday season, but every day.

Thank you isn't enough, will never be enough. But in the end, it's all we can say.

Kate Helms-Martin
Beavercreek, OH

Posted by: Kate at December 19, 2004 04:49 PM

Dear men and women serving in our military,

I appreciate the great sacrafice that you give, day in and day out. Please accept my sincere appreciation for the work you do on behalf of this great nation.

With love and respect, at this Christmas time,

Joanne Miller

Posted by: Joanne Miller at December 20, 2004 11:21 PM

Every night when we say our prayers my child and I pray for your safety, may the Lord keep his sword baring angels with you all, protecting you from the evil that seems to surround you. May he make them stumble, their malevolent plans to prevent, shining light on all who scheme to do wickedness.

In church every Sunday your protection is prayed for in all three services and in Sunday school, this is but one church in thousands across this land that are holding you up in prayer.

This past Veteren's Day, the parade that comes down the center of town, normally not all that well participated had droves of people standing cheering and waving flags, hailing the warriors both past and present. As I wiped the tears from my own eyes I noticed others who had also been touched with it, the pride, the love and the hope for our country, our people and especially our soldiers in harms way.

Thanksgiving, with raised glasses over the meal we thanked God for his blessings on our family and on his people and a special prayer for those who are fighting for us in all parts of the world. Never forgetting that it is because of people such as these that we could live like we do in this country. Blessed and safe in our homes.

We have an ornament on the tree this year a soldier made of painted wood and in his hands a globe of the earth to remind us of our people, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters wherever they are on this earth. May the Lord be with them and comfort them, may he bless them and bring them home sooner rather than later.

You are the heros that I can hold up to my children, examples that are rare in today's world. We are so proud of you all. God be with you and peace in your hearts this season.

Posted by: Tina Hungerford at December 21, 2004 09:03 AM


Posted by: DANIEL HILDOER at December 21, 2004 10:48 AM

The snow flakes dance
In the cold winter air,
And people walk by
With nary a care,
Shopping for presents
For under the tree.
The present I want
Won't be there for me.

I put my kisses in a little package,
And tied them with a ribbon soft and red.
I know that I could save them 'til you're with me, But I'll hand them off to Santa Claus instead.
He'll take the little gift of all my kisses And pack them in his regulation pack.
When he's gotten clearance through the No-Fly-Zone, He'll visit every unit in Iraq.

I hope that Santa comes to visit you in Baghdad And brings you all my love wrapped up in blue, So on that chilly Christmas morn in Baghdad, You'll know how much your family misses you.

I hold your picture up for little Billy.
He smiles and giggles when he sees your face.
He stretches out his tender little fingers, And reaches for his daddy's strong embrace.
Your princess listens to your every letter.
I see her swell with pride at what you say About the little children there in Baghdad, And how their lives get better every day.

I hope that Santa comes to visit you in Baghdad With presents from your little girl and boy, So on that chilly Christmas morn in Baghdad You share your little children's Christmas joy.

You're cold in the desert,
I'm warm in our home,
And although we miss you
It's you that's alone.
Please tell the Sentry
On duty tonight
To please watch for Santa
On his yearly flight.

I pray that Santa comes to visit you in Baghdad And brings you all my love wrapped up in blue, So on that chilly Christmas morn in Baghdad, You'll know how much your family cares for you.

Posted by: Lila at December 21, 2004 02:59 PM

HO HO HO, G.I. Jane and Joes when you coming home nobody knows, But remember while you'er there, there's someone here who cares,so put one in your sight and sing them silent night. God will understand as he takes you by the hand for every day you save the freedom road you pave,until your conquest ends you Great Americans. God bless, Mike Drouin Grapevine, Texas

Posted by: Mike Drouin at December 23, 2004 08:30 AM

I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
and looked across the table where the bills were piled too high.
The laundry wasn't finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Dolphins lost by six.

And so with only minutes till my son got home from school,
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
and so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
eight hummers ran a column right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens,
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn't much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MRE's.

They didn't have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn't need an ornament-- they lacked a Christmas Tree.
They didn't have a present even though it was tradition,
the only boxes I could see were labeled "ammunition".

I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.

There's nothing wrong, my little son, for safe we sleep tonight,
our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
to worry about the things in life that really mean nothing at all,
instead of wondering each day if we will be the next to fall.

He looked at me as children do and said it's always right,
to thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote,

God bless you all and keep you safe, and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you're not alone.
The gift you give, you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can't repay.

An anonymous former serviceman.

Thank you so much for all you do. I pray that each of you will come home safe, and that those who don't will not die in vain. Keep up the faith. God is watching over us.

Love and pray's,
Stacy, Linn Valley, Ks.

Posted by: Stacy at December 23, 2004 12:13 PM

To our servicemen and women,

I'm always a dollar short and a day behind when it comes to these things and to be honest
I suck at letter writing. I'm going to keep this short and simple. We'll never know what
you've experienced. We'll never know most of you at all in a personal way. But know that
we respect you for your courage and your service and we love you.

During the next few days while we're spending time with our families your families will be in our thoughts and prayers.

You, our heroes, are always in our thoughts and prayers. Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

You guys ROCK!

From Elizabeth and Richard in Oklahoma

Posted by: ElizabethM at December 24, 2004 04:37 AM

You are in our hearts and prayers all the time.
Although this message is late, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.

From R. and J. Brancato, New Jersey

Posted by: Brancato at December 25, 2004 07:32 PM


Posted by: PAMELA at December 25, 2004 11:48 PM

Dear america's finest,

I'm a single mom and I want to thank all of you for being out there and fighting for all of us. Exspecially for the future years for my children. If you weren't there right now making right i don't know if there would be much of a future for my kids. I know god has sent his angels with you. Well because he has sent you the love of my kids, and kids are angels. Please stay strong and if you ever need someone to talk to our someone to write to when you have no one else please feel free to write to us. well do are best to help you in your hour of need. I don't care if its a 100 letters or 1000 i'll try my best.
thank you.

646 galisteo ave
raton Nm 87740

Posted by: diahanna at December 29, 2004 12:52 PM

December 2004
Dear American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, or Airman,
Some how saying thank you is not enough to express my gratitude for what you are doing in the Middle East. I understand that it is hard and at times scary fighting in a war, especially if you are away from your family for a long time. It is even harder during the holiday season. I am only an 8th grader attending Holy Ghost School Wood Dale, IL. Do to my age and experience I cannot fully understand all of the hardships and sacrifices you must make, but nonetheless I thank you. Just keep at it you’ll do great. Finish the job once and for all. Happy holidays

Posted by: Adam at December 31, 2004 08:37 AM

Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman,
I am very grateful for Americans that protect me and keep me safe. These people always protect others and me in America. These people always try as hard as they can to do s
o. A lot of people appreciate this. I hope that you will be home safe as soon as possible. I am very sorry to hear that you have to stay over in Iraq for the Holidays without your family to celebrate this with. Hopefully you will come home soon. You have to be patient if you want to go back home. It is very hard to stay away for a long time from people that you love and wish to be with. It is also very hard for the people that you love to be without you for a long time. It is very hard to wait for those people to come home and to leave that place. It may seem like forever, but it is not. You just have to be patient. It did seem like forever when my sister went to Iraq, but she came home, like you soon will be. My sister was gone for about a year and it was hard for my whole family to wait and wait for her to come home. But we were patient and so was she. When my sister came home from Iraq we were very excited that she came back. I hope that this will be true to you. Hang in there and remember to hang in there I will keep you and all of the other people in Iraq in my prayers. Whoever you are, god bless you. Thank you for inspiring me.

Duty - Honor - Country.
Those three hallowed words reverently
dictate what you ought to be,
What you can be, What you will be.
They are your rallying points:
to build courage when courage seems to fail;
to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith;
to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.
They build your basic character, they make you strong
enough to know when you are weak,
and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid.
They teach you to be proud and unbending
in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success;
not to substitute words for actions,
not to seek the path of comfort,
but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge;
to learn to stand up in the storm
but to have compassion on those who fall;
to master yourself before you seek to master others;
to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high;
to learn to laugh yet never forget how to weep;
to reach into the future yet never neglect the past;
to be serious yet never to take yourself seriously;
to be modest so that you will remember
the simplicity of true greatness,
the open mind of true wisdom,
the meekness of true strength.
They give you a temper of the will,
a quality of the Imagination, vigor of the emotions,
a freshness of the deep springs of life,
a temperamental predominance of courage
over timidity, and an appetite for adventure over love of ease.
They create in your heart the sense of wonder,
the unfailing hope of what next, and the joy
and inspiration of life
Amanda A.

Posted by: Amanda A. at December 31, 2004 08:38 AM

December 2004

Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman

I really wanted to thank you for what you have done to protect me and the United States of America .I also appreciate for what you are doing to make me and everyone else to live much better and safer livers. Another thing that I would want to thank you for is for preventing terrorist attacks and getting rid of terrorist who are hiding in caves, capatchured or who are already dead. I am fourteen-year-old boy in 8th grade at Holy Ghost School. I live in Chicago in a really nice house with my wonderful mom and dad. My dad was in the Marines for a few years and when I grow up I want to be a hero just like an American soldier. And another thing Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I will keep you in my prayers.

-Nickoli-Wood Dale, Illinois

Posted by: Nickoli at December 31, 2004 08:41 AM

December 2004
Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman,
I know right now it is tough for you leaving your family or not being around your family at and during this holiday season. You are giving up a lot to be wherever you may be. I don’t argue that the terms of this incident are fair but my gratitude is all yours. I thank you for fighting for me personally and my country.
Of course not everything is fair in life though I wish it were it is not. Family at this time is dearest and I hope yours is doing the best. I am grateful to your family also for supporting our country and you.
Right now I have a sense of safety since your actions and the actions of the government after 9/11. September 11th has opened our eyes to how important safety is and has frightened me so. But now I have a sense that I am safe from harm as was before.
I have nothing to give but once again my gratitude. I will keep you in my prayers for your safety.

Posted by: Ashley at December 31, 2004 08:43 AM

December 2004

Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman,
I cannot explain my gratitude for your services. A simple thank-you does not cover all the things you give up every day to protect our country. Your devotion and the risks you face are greatly appreciated. Although I am thankful all year long, I am particularly thankful for the sacrifice you make at this time of year, since you will be away from your loved ones. The generosity of your family and friends is also much respected. I know they must miss you very much because a friend of mine has a sister who went to Iraq. Her family was extremely sad and worried about her frequently. She returned home safe recently. I hope you arrive home to your family and other loved ones soon as well. Have a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year! I will be sure to keep you in my prayers.
Nicole V. of Illinois

Posted by: Nicole V. at December 31, 2004 08:44 AM

December 2004
Dear American Solider, Sailor, Marine, or Airman,

I am very grateful for what you have done to protect my country, and the loved ones I have in it. Especially during this holiday season I want to tell you how much I appreciate the sacrifices you have undergone. You have done the best thing you could possibly do to protect our country, and along with many others I look up to you and see great heroism. A person of strength, courage, and love for ones country is what you have shown me. I respect these many qualities and rejoice and pray for you during this holiday season. I want to let you know that even though things are tough many others and I are praying for your loved ones. It is a hard burden not having you with them, but the love and charity from others will help them have a good Christmas. You have done great things for our country. I will keep you in my prayers. I am an eighth grade girl at Holy Ghost School and I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Ashley Bensenville, Illinois

P.S. This is a poem about Christmas I hope you enjoy.

Christmas is a time of cheer
It is joy for the New Year
It is love
That has come from above

It is sacrifice
It is time to give advice
It is time to shout
It is very cold out

The warmth of friendship is in the air
The many people around you care
This time is much fun
Which is good for everyone

Christmas is here
New Years is there
The time is happy
Joy is everywhere

Posted by: Ashley at December 31, 2004 08:45 AM

December 2004

Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman,

I would like to start out by thanking you very much. You have done a fabulous job protecting our country’s freedom. I know being away at the holidays is rough. I try to pray for you every single night. Our country, at times, takes our armed forces for granted. I do not and I am extremely thankful for living in America. You are a very brave person for going out to fight. Everybody in America is hoping we can defeat terrorism. When you come back home, everyone will happily greet you. You are a true hero and warrior. I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wood Dale, IL.

Posted by: Paul at December 31, 2004 08:46 AM

December 2004

Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman,

My name is Gianna and I go to Holy ‘Ghost School. I am very grateful for all of the things you do for our country. I look up to you and respect your bravery.

I understand you are in harm’s way; I appreciate your choice to serve for our country by risking your life. I was only in fifth grade when September 11th happened, but over the past couple of years, I understand the consequences of what happened and how you are still fighting. You really make a difference and I respect that so much.

It must be very hard for you to be in Iraq for all this time, especially when it comes to this time of the year. I cannot even imagine how hard it is for you. I now understand that people always want things and you cannot even be with your family at Christmas.

I look up to you as a person with bravery or love for your country. Your family is not the only ones that hope you return home safe. My family and many other families are also praying for our troops. I will never forget what you have done for our country, and I will hope you will return home safe each day.

I wish there was more that I could do for you, rather than just saying, “Thank you,” and writing you this letter, but there is nothing else I can do. One more thing, I would like to do, I would like to wish you the best Christmas ever and a Happy New Year! I will pray that you come home safe every chance I can. Have a wonderful holiday!


Wood Dale, IL

Posted by: Gianna at December 31, 2004 08:47 AM

December 2004

Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman,

Being away from your home at Christmas must be hard on you and your family. Knowing that you were putting your life on the line, you joined the Armed forces. Thank you for defending the country from terrorism and other stuff. You have no idea how grateful I am for you serving. You gave up a lot to be where you are, and not many people are willing to do that. Someone must be crazy not to admire that nobility.
Thank you once again,
Ryan- Wood Dale, Illinois

Posted by: Ryan at December 31, 2004 08:49 AM

Dear American Hero:
Every day my 11 year old son and I ask God to watch over you. We ask that those who have fallen, be given a special place in heaven. Please know that the majority of Americans honor you. The American media is so far from the true feelings of true Americans. They do not represent America at all. We cherish you, your bravery, your families and your love of America.

God Bless you all, and may you return home safe and soon.

Roxanne and John-Michael

Posted by: Roxanne Risner at January 2, 2005 12:37 AM

To all of you serving our nation, I give you my heartiest thank you. I hold each of you in my heart as you face the dangers of fighting for liberty in a strange land or by your presence, if not in combat, in representing what is best about our country. I have such confidence in each of you in doing your assigned job while looking out for those serving with you. I honor the sacrifice of your loved ones at home for doing their job in keeping up your morale and keeping up the home front in your absence.
May God bless you all.

If anyone wants a Gmail account, please let me know. pawigo(at)yahoo(dot)com

Posted by: Pat in NC at January 4, 2005 07:12 PM

god bless you hope that you guys kick those assholes butt

Posted by: natasha at January 6, 2005 07:53 AM

Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman,

Thank you for the sacrifices you've made to protect and serve America. Good luck and know that everyone back here in America is rooting for you, even if they didn't support the war initially. Everyone recognizes the men and women serving in the Military as heros with courage beyond our own. The military members serving outside of America perhaps know better than any other Americans exactly how unique America is and how priviledged we are to live in this great nation. I pray for you and your families often.

Bethel, Maine

Posted by: Morgan at January 7, 2005 01:14 PM

Very nice comments you guys have here, congratulations and thanks to allowing my post...

Posted by: Phendimetrazine at April 15, 2005 02:17 PM

i would like to write a troop member [single],and that would like to have a pen-pal to write also. i want to let ALL the troop's know i appreciate evrything you are doing .sincerely melissa- my e-mail address is

Posted by: melissa at July 6, 2005 10:28 PM


Posted by: xenia at July 9, 2005 02:13 AM

I want to thank you all for everything you do everyday to keep us safe and free. I Pray that GOD will Bless you and keep you safe and that GOD will send you home to your families really soon. May you know that there are lots of people praying for you. Keep up the GREAT work, You are the meaning of what a HERO really is. GOD BLESS,Monica Martin

Posted by: Monica Martin at August 12, 2005 08:58 PM

Honestly, what words of admiration and appreciation can I post that haven't already been expressed on this page?

So I'll leave you with this: God bless you, and THANK YOU TROOPS!

Posted by: Nitallica at September 26, 2005 05:39 PM

I just posted about the Letter Project at my Blog. I hope I did this write, I want so much for our troops to know how very much I appreciate all they do.Our troops are the best in the world.... they ROCK!

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 8, 2005 05:01 PM
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