“U.S. TROOP CARE PACKAGE”
SUPPORT OUR U.S. TROOPS
COMMENTS FROM OUR TROOPS WHO HAVE RECEIVED A
“U.S. TROOP CARE PACKAGE”
COMMENTS FROM OUR GENEROUS DONORS
. . . “I just wanted to write a quick E-Mail and thank you all for the packages that you have sent me while I’ve been in Iraq. I really appreciate the time and effort spent in sending a little piece of home out here. I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season. If you are interested, I have included my unit’s website. http://www.24meu.usmc.mil/” (12/04) Capt. Kuginski
I appreciate the offer, but we have most of everything we could need out here. I have used the pillow you sent me a few months ago. It has come in very handy. It is true that the press has a biased view of what goes on over here. Basically, if it bleeds it leads. In the seven months I have been over here, I have seen a pretty drastic change in our area. We have seen a large boom in commerce. There are three to four times as many vehicles on the road as there were when we first arrived. Additionally, many areas were without power, and now have continuous electricity. Everyone out here really appreciates the support from back home. We are proud to serve and protect such a great nation.” (12/04) Capt. Kuginski
. . . “Just can’t thank you enough! Greetings! I would like to say thanks for the wonderful care packages we received. The pillows go on every patients bed to take during their flight home and they all get a stocking of treats to munch on. Thanks for thinking of us.” (12/04) MSGT Peck
. . . “Thank you for all your support. I received one of the care packages sent to the 321st TMMC, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. I am a liaison for that unit serving in Balad, Iraq. The snacks and game were great and we have the stocking and stuffed snowman hanging in our tent for Christmas decorations. I do ask that along with me and my fellow soldiers that you keep our families in your prayers also. My wife (Sun) and our Daughter (Janie), along with all the other family members must also sacrifice in the defense of our great nation. I am sure you all realize that of course. Despite what the news reports say, the majority of Iraqi’s I’ve met are supportive of our work and very friendly toward the coalition force. I do hope that once their new government is in place we can together end terrorism in this country. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.” (12/04) SSG Pennell
. . . “Dear Amy Creel, Jennifer Jones, & Max Vondermahden. Hello!! My name is Sgt. P. Vijarro. I am from the Pasco Armory. I live in Yakima. I want to thank you all for your support and all the hard work you put into the care packages. Thank you for all the goodies. It helps boost moral knowing there are caring people like yourselves supporting us troops. Keep up the good work. I hope you all have a very wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years to come. May your holidays be a good one. Keep the prayers coming. We can use all the help we can get. Thank you very much. Your new friend in Iraq.” (12/04) Sgt. Vijarro
NOTE: A letter from Amy Creel, Jennifer Jones, & Max Vondermahden was enclosed in the Care Package this soldier received and this was his letter back to them.
. . . “Hey girlfriend! Thank you for the package. You forgot the kitchen sink; only kidding. I take it your birthday is within the next month or two. I just had mine, 28 years and a week or so. Let me tell you what, I have seen many things in my life, but to be at war; well that is a different story. Look I could make this a very long letter by giving you all sorts of non-biased statements in my opinion of course, but I am going to keep it short. I want to make a few points to you. I could not be more grateful in receiving a gift from you and your community and you not even knowing who I am. I am stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany. I really like Germany. If you ever have the chance to go and maybe even study abroad in a few years, take it and enjoy it. I plan on staying and traveling when I get out. There is so much to see in the world; don’t limit yourself to just WA. right? Anyway, I am working on a professional contract with the Division III professional soccer club in the German Bundesliga that of course is when I get back. So yes I am very eager to return. Do you play soccer? The best game of course. Yes we are over here and I do ask myself many questions as to why we are here, but my point is that I am here and you are there and that is why I am proud to be serving our country. You know I have a nephew your age, and I sure do want the best for him in the future. I want him to go to college as I did and see the vast mount of opportunities the lie ahead of him. College is only the beginning sister; the rest you experience in life. I read your “letter” and I see a person, you, who took the time out of her busy schedule to write a few words to add a personal touch to my care package. One can hardly beat that. Remember I am going to keep this letter short. I will not tell you much more, but I want you to think about where you send your next care package and know that it is not just a package of goodies that one will use. If he/she can see past the box, then most likely they will “feel” what the box is about. Whitney Halverson thanks again and always work hard in life at everything you want to accomplish. It is all attainable if you want it. I am tired. We had a long day out in sector, but I wanted to write this before bed and tomorrow’s missions early in the morning. I get to go on R & R and see my family and friends. You know I cherish them more than anything in this world. Take care Miss Halverson.” (12/04) SPC Fenstermacher
NOTE: A letter from a young girl named Whitney Halverson was enclosed in the Care Package this soldier received and this was his letter back to her.
. . . “Thank you for sending the care packages. I usually share the contents with my whole section 324. Between all of us everything goes to good use. The tid-bits were my favorite along with the snacks. But as I said it all gets used. I appreciate all your support and thank God there are people like you who make the stuff I do feel a little more important and worthwhile. I don’t like being away from my family all that long, but the packages make us feel like a part of home is coming to us. Thanks for everything and keep them coming. Thanks a lot and God Bless” (12/04) PFC Vela
. . . “Thank you very much for your kindness! I received a package today filled with lots of goodies and it really made my day! It is people like you that make me want to continue what I do for our Country. I really is stressful being away from home and when people do the nice things in which you have done, you bring smiles all across the world. (If only you could have seen the expressions on everyone’s face when we received all the wonderful care packages). You say “Thank you for what you do,” well I say THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO!! May God Bless You!” (12/04) Lakeisha
. . . “Thought I’d give you all some feedback. My name is Capt Gerhart. I am a commander of an HHSC, 15th Military Intelligence Battalion. Our soldiers received neck coolers and pocket flags from the VFW in Prosser, WA. Thank you.” (11/04) Capt. Gerhart
. . . “Thank you very much for the package you have sent. It is very thoughtful and caring of all of you. It will be enjoyed very much.” (11/04) MSG Spence
. . . “I am just wanting to write and tell you thanks for everything that you have done for the troops in Iraq. I am also wanting to give the address of another unit that would enjoy your items.” (11/04) GS Blair
. . . “Thank you so much for the great package. I have not really received too much mail lately. I want to thank you very much. I have a few more months to go then I will be home. Have a great day.” (11/04) SSG Morrow
. . . “I am planning a combat holiday party here (in Iraq) for 50 military members. Don’t know if you have the resources to send a small gift or small care package for each of the 50 troops at one time, but if you do, I know it would be appreciated. I am the unit’s First Sergeant and I would ensure fair distribution of the gifts during the party. I would also send you digital photos of the party if you like. Just a thought if you can support it. We appreciate what you are doing for us.” (11/04) SMSGT Altenbernd
NOTE: We advised the Sergeant that we would send 50 Christmas Care Packages and he E-Mailed back with the following message:
. . . “Thanks much. Not to be a pest or push it too far, but if you know of any one who could throw in some chap stockings, I could hang them up and really add to the ambience of the party. Just thought I would throw that out there but don’t want to sound presumptuous or unappreciative for all that you have done already. I am humbled with great respect and admiration for what you are doing for us over there. Thank you.” (11/04) SGSGT Altenbernd
NOTE: Within a few days we were able to send 50 individually Christmas wrapped Christmas Care Packages along with a 6’ Christmas tree, lights, tree decorations, a Santa, Santa hat, and Christmas stockings.
. . . “Thank you for the wonderful care package. We sure enjoyed it. We appreciate the support!!” (11/04) MSgt Hall
. . . “The troops I am submitting are a few that I have never seen receive a package or even mail period. One of the soldiers opened a letter to any soldier and E-mailed the person who sent it thanking them for their support. It was the only time I have seen him open anything this deployment and from what I understand the previous one as well.” (11/04) Spc Spangler
. . . “Concerned NCO from same Battalion, soldier has not received any mail.” (11/04) SSG Zeeb
NOTE: Received a request to send a Care Package to a soldier from his superior with the aforementioned statement.
. . . “Thank you very much for the box of goodies I received today. It really brightened my day. Which by the way was not going very well, until your box just showed up out of no where. The goodies, note cards, and personal message on the card all brought a smile to my face. Thank you very much for your support and thoughtfulness.” (11/04) Capt. Kirkland
. . . “Thank you for the wonderful care package. We sure enjoyed it. We appreciate the support!!” (11/04) MSGT Hall
. . . “Thank you for all the items donated to our hospital here in Kuwait. It was more than enough so we had plenty to share with other units here and in Iraq.” (11/04) Lt. Ward
. . . “I received a package from you recently and I wanted to say thank you. I appreciate everything you are doing.” (11/04) SPC Masson
. . . “I received the care package you sent me with the snacks and the Christmas decorations and card. Thank you. I shared it with some of our enlisted soldiers. Our unit is redeploying around the 1-3 of December. We are all looking forward to coming home. Your support is much appreciated. Thank you for the kindness you are showing our troops. Take care and have a great holiday season.” (11/04) COL. Nye
. . . “We have not forgotten you, it is a bear to find that Platoon but we have it narrowed down to three and we will let you know as soon as we know. It has been very busy here with the injuries in Fallujah and I have still seen many of your pillows coming in with these troops. Sometimes it is the only thing they have in their hands (besides small religious medallions). It is like many of them are using them as security blankets. It is as heart-warming as it is disheartening to see this and all I want to do is take the pain away from them; but, they will never admit to the pain – just as they will never let go of those pillows. I had one young Marine who was a Lance Corporal and he made me promise that when he went to surgery that the pillow would be at his bed after he reached recovery. I followed through and he had it with him afterwards – even though it was a little grimy from all the time he had it in the field. Later he told me that the pattern reminded him of his “Grammas” bedspread that he remembered as a young child. It was little flowers and a soft cotton like feel. Who knows what things these guys key on. So as I said, thank you and I WILL get you that information as soon as we define it. Blessings.” Captain Collins, Chaplain
NOTE: We asked to replace the pillows for the Marines after we received an earlier message from Chaplain Collins about a Marine who was injured and six of his fellow Marines each gave up their pillows so that the injured Marine would have a comfortable ride to the hospital in the helicopter.
. . . “Thank you for your gesture of kindness. The Marines that received your packages greatly appreciated the loving gifts found inside. The homemade pillows are such a sweet reminder of the comforts of home...The very essence of the good feelings in a care package. I found your card inside the paper-wrapped pillow that I opened and thought immediately of the Marines in my platoon that, week after week, receive no packages and no mail. I’ve never heard one of them complain, but I know that it stings when you are hoping so much to hear your name during mail call only to remain empty handed. So I’m responding to your invitation to pass their names along, because I know that whatever you do for them, just seeing an envelope or a package waiting for them on their rack, or hearing their name for mail call leaves them with a feeling that has no substitute. Thank you again for your generosity of time and resources, but especially for your thoughtfulness. God Bless and Semper Fidelis.” (11/04) SGT Bowling
. . . “The Care Package you sent me has touched me as I opened it just now. Frankly, it made my hair stand up when I first started reading the card. After a few seconds it made me want to well up behind my eyes because of the words. They are inspirational and appreciated. Thank you very much for taking the time and care to take care of me with this thought and effort. It means so much. This Care Package was mailed from Pasco, WA 99302 and signed by L. Tegaler on 3 Nov 04. Here’s what the (Christmas) card said that touched me; “Stand Proud, we’re in awe.” (Jan Nacke); “Have a safe & happy holiday.” (Ken & Joyce Andersen); “Stay Safe.” (Chris Adler); “You’re always in our thoughts.” (Barb Duprel), ”We’re behind you 100%.” (Dan & Judy Danko). Your program does so much for us over here and we appreciate everything you are doing to support us. Our morale is strong and our resolve is even stronger. We see what is happening over here and we know we are doing the right thing for this up and coming democracy and we are proud to represent you, the American people. Thanks for your support and care. Respectfully and sincerely written. (11/04) SMSGT Altenbernd
. . . “Thank you for the wonderful care package. We sure enjoyed it. We appreciate the support!” (11/04) MSGT Hall
. . . “Thank you very much for the box of goodies I received today. It really brightened my day. Which by the way was not going very well, until your box just showed up out of no where. The goodies, note cards, and personnel message on the card all brought a smile to my face. Thank you very much for your support and thoughtfulness.” (11/04) Capt. Kirkland
. . . “Hello! My name is Major Brown. I am assigned to the 321st Theater Material Management Center (TMMC). The 321st conducts a split-base operations from Baton Rouge, LA (Home Station) and Arifjan, Kuwait. I am located in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. I have been here since 1 August 2004. Actually I was called to active duty and was transferred from Orlando, FL in which I lived, then I moved to Baton Rouge for this assignment. I wanted to take the time to THANK YOU ALL for supporting the troops serving the fight against terrorism. It does mean a lot from us that we know that people who do not know us by our first name care and support what we are doing over here (no matter how unpopular). Democracy and freedom should be enjoyed by all human beings no matter what race, economic background or religious belief. I am PROUD to say that I am an AMERICAN SOLDIER and we have the best country that opens its doors to anyone and the people like yourselves are so caring, giving, and kind. Feel free to email anytime. Again, We thank you for Thinking of us!" (11/04) Major Brown.
. . . “I just got a package for Christmas and I must say I really loved it. Thanks so much for thinking of us over here. I couldn’t help but feel kinda bad though, two guys in my office don’t usually get anything. I feel bad asking but what could it hurt...right? I was wondering if you could send them some Holiday greetings. Thanks again for your gifts and your thoughts of us over here. I really appreciate it." (11/04) SSGT Schneider
. . . “I just wanted to drop you a note and say thanks for the package. My section opened it up and we’re enjoying all the treats. Thanks for taking the time!" (11/04) SGM Quick
. . . “Hi my name is Spc. Grant from the 321st reserve unit that is stationed in Kuwait. I was one of the soldiers that received a care package from your foundation. I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart because it really feels good to know that people that don’t even know us cares that much about what we do to send us something to let us know they care. Thanks from all of us from the 321st. With lots of love.” (11/04) Spc. Grant
. . . “I wanted to send a note of thanks to your organization for the early Christmas present that I received today in the mail. I was very surprised that it only took 9 days to reach the country of Kuwait where I am deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom. I am from Olympia, WA, part of the 81st Brigade of the WA Army National Guard. It is nice to know that folks from back home are keeping us in their thoughts during this holiday season. Please keep up the good work as a package like this brings a huge smile to the face of a deployed service member. May God bless you for all that you are doing in support of America’s Armed Forces.” (11/04) Sgt. Jaeger
. . . “Thank you so much for the pillow I received when I was evacuated to Germany from Iraq. I and the other soldiers that were moved that night appreciated your kind thoughts. I had a minor problem compared to the many soldiers that go thru the evacuation process, but your kind words and thoughts made me feel very appreciated and cared for. I’m sure those who were injured or really ill were very touched by your kindness and thoughtfulness as well. I am back in Iraq now, fully recovered, but wanted to take a moment to thank you for being there. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. Keep all of the soldiers in Iraq in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks again.” (11/04) Colonel Nye
. . . “Thank you so much for the Care Package you sent. I loved everything, especially the pillow. All of the troops here truly appreciate what you are doing for us. Your thoughtful and kind gestures make our days so much brighter. Thank you for making this deployment a little more bearable. Your generosity will not be forgotten.” (11/04) SPC Brown
. . . “I am not sure who exactly sent these pillows, but you must know of an incident that occurred just a few weeks ago and they involved your pillows. As you may or may not know your pillows have become a mainstay of our troops that deploy “outside” the gates (in other words are deprived of all creature comforts). Your pillows have inadvertently become “field essential gear”. Anyway there was a Marine unit in the Chaldean Province that came under attack. One burly young Marine unfortunately lost his left leg in the attack. What happened next moved me to tears and was a huge inspiration for the troops in the hospital and has been repeated many times since. When I saw this young man come in he was on a litter with several small pillows under him (I attached a picture of the litter). Then it dawned on me and many others that the only thing his “buddies” in the field could do to provide their comrade some comfort was to put their pillows under him, so they did. They went without their pillows so he could have a comfortable ride in the helicopter. That is self-less love and a true inspiration to all of us. I wanted you to know of this incident and to let you know that your self-less love has impacted countless lives, thank you and may God Bless You and may God Bless America. (10/04) Captain Collins, Chaplain
NOTE: In the picture, there were six “Operation Comfort” pillows on the litter.
. . . “I am currently deployed in Iraq, just outside Falluja with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. How can I enroll my platoon in this program so that they know how much America cares about them and the job they are doing?” (10/04) Lt. Vonholt
. . . “I just wanted to thank you for the box of goodies I just received with my name on it. I especially want to thank T. Cooley for her personal note that was included in my box. She said she was from Kennewick, WA and her note was very nice to read. Thank you for the thoughtful gifts of a pillow, food, stationary, and other stuff. It brightened my day. Thank you.” (10/04) CAPT. Kirkland
. . . “Thanks for the pillow. The Desert Camo was great and I have it on my bed in my hooch (living quarters). We really appreciate all of the care and time you put into making them. Thanks again.” (10/04) SMSGT Altenbernd
. . . “I would like to extend a great big thank you for the pillows you sent to the 332d Air Expeditionary Wing, Balad Air Base, Iraq. We sincerely appreciate your generosity. The pillows come in handy when we are requested to sit on our hard concrete floors during certain operational situations. All of our troops use them daily. I am thrilled to know that folks like you back home care and support us in our endeavors. Thanks again. Very Respectfully.” (10/04) CPT. England
. . . “Please accept my sincere thanks for the package and pillows. It is good to know we are supported by our citizens back home. Thanks again. The picture (attached) is me at a local school we provided school supplies to the children, they were so grateful.” (10/04) TSGT Wilson
. . . “My name is Womacks. I’m a Sgt. in the Marine Corps. I have received 2 packages from your company. The packages were addressed from the Carl family. I just wanted to say thank you very much to you and the Carl family.” A quotation was added to the letter that reads: -Allen- “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting...HOLY SHIT...what a ride!” (10/04) SGT. Womacks.
NOTE: All Care Packages are personalized with the return address indicating the name of the family requesting a Care Package for the specified troop. i.e. From: Request of the Carl Family.
. . . “While at Walter Reed Medical Center, I walked out of my room at Mologne House and ran into a fellow giving away all sorts of things to the injured GI’s. He gave me a Care Package for my son, who was injured in Iraq. We are so grateful and feel blessed that there are people like you out there, enduring the time and expense to send these gifts along. They (soldiers) arrive from Germany with only a hospital gown and your thoughtfulness is really appreciated. Thank you all-and God Bless you and our Country!" (10/04) C. Howard (Illinois)
NOTE: This letter was received from a father of an injured soldier who received a “U.S. Troop Care Package” while staying at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Mologne House is an on-campus hotel facility for family members of injured soldiers.
. . . “Just wanted to say thank you for the Care Packages, especially the potato chips which are my favorite. Staff as well as our patients are enjoying them very much. We really appreciate you all taking the time to remember us. We are proud and honored to defend our country.” (10/04) Jackson
. . . “I am presently serving in Iraq with the U.S. Air Force. Our Squadron recently received a couple of Care Packages sent out by you. They were both filled with bags of Washington State (Tim’s Cascade Snacks) Potato Chips. They were excellent! Even though I work for one of Wisconsin’s premier seed potato farms when I’m not serving in the USAF rotation it was good to “Taste” the competition from Washington State! Your generosity and caring was enjoyed by all in our Squadron. Thanks for your donation of snacks and also your support. It’s the back home support that makes life easier here. Thanks again!” (10/04) SMSGT Schmeisser
. . . “I’m a Corporal with the 1st Marine Division currently deployed in Iraq. I recently received one of your wonderful and very patriotic Care Packages. I wish to thank you from not only myself, but for everyone (its okay, I can speak for them they’ll understand) over here whether they have been fortunate enough to get one of your Care Packages or not. I was very surprised to find a miniature American flag properly folded inside. I have that flag in my left breast pocket always. In fact we unfolded one to put on the antennae of our Humvee. Yeah, I know it’s currently against our policy to display the American flag, but I figure since the Army can wear them on their uniforms we can display ours just as openly. The neck coolers were also a big hit with our boys. They help make the sweltering Iraqi days a little more enjoyable, although I am pleased to report that they are getting noticeably cooler. Once again I wish to thank you and allow me to say that it is YOU who make all of us proud to be Americans. Regards.” (10/04) CPL. Murphy
. . . “We received the Care Packages you sent. Thank you very much for taking the time to send the packages. Your support is appreciated and all the troops enjoyed the packages. We have been having fun with the squirt guns. It’s funny how the small things in life can keep everyone happy. Thanks again." (10/04) TSGT Kilburn.
. . . “During the months of June, July, and August I was at Balad Air Base in Iraq. Your agency provided many pillows for the use of our patients in the Contingency Air Staging Facility there. I left Iraq on September 3 and came here to Ali Al Salem, Kuwait. The CASF here is in dire need of pillows. If you are interested in donating pillows to very deserving U.S. military patients, enroute to medical care back home, please send pillows to me. Thank you very much. A supply of 450 pillows would be greatly appreciated.” (10/04) Lt. Col. Pasko
. . . “I found out about this care package opportunity from another young lady in my unit. I have a friend here who is older and doesn’t really get too many greetings from people back at home. I was hoping you could send him a little care package. Thank you very much and all of us over here appreciate what you do for us.” (10/04) SSGT Schneider
. . . “My name is Shawn and I am from Shelton just north of Olympia. I am a member of the Washington National Guard. We have a room at our Battalion area we call the Free Room. Soldiers can go and take whatever they might need. They also have cards and letters from people. I don’t even know who send the items to us. I try to send Thank You’s to these people or groups who took the time to think of us over here. It is very nice to know you all care about us over here. I can tell you it sure is different than 15 days in Yakima. Your thoughtfulness means a great deal to so many. Thank you. God Bless.” (9/04) SFC Buechel.
. . . “It was kind enough to receive a couple of your pillows that are included in the Care Packages you send over to troops. A fellow soldier was kind enough to share them with me and other troops as well. When I learned that you can send packages to people who would appreciate them I decided that one of my fellow troops needed a package. This is his third deployment over here in three years and he never gets mail or packages. I thought that extending the warmth and appreciation you gave me to him would make his day. Below I have attached the address here in Iraq where he can pick up his package. Thank you so much and I know that I can say for all the troops we appreciate your thoughts and all that you are doing for us back home.” (9/04) SRA Huschka
. . . “This is just a note of thanks for the pillows you guys sent over. I got one yesterday and it’s just the right size for traveling and also for cushioning the floor when we have to take cover during an attack. I appreciate your time and energy in putting these together and sending them out for us. They went like hotcakes. Thanks so much.” (9/04) Major Sattler
. . . “Just a quick note to you all to say thank you for the pillows. You put a lot of smiles on many faces when the First Sgt. handed them out. Thank you very much for your thoughtfulness.” (9/04) Captain Kirkland.
. . . “On behalf of my wife-to-be, Kathy and myself I wanted to write and say thank you so very much for taking the time to look after my brothers and sisters and me. Ever since I let SFC Brown talk me into letting her sign Kathy and me up for “soldier’s angels,” Kathy and I have been inundated with cards, letters of support, and care packages from good people like yourselves. It’s been truly overwhelming. Truth-to-tell, I’ve really had my hands full trying to make sure that everyone who sends anything to Kathy or me gets at least one thank you letter back. Heck, I’ve practically made an MOS out of it. I’m so utterly grateful and happy to know that there are so many kind and loving Americans out there, as is Kathy. Like I said, it’s been overwhelming. I met Kathy over here in Iraq. Even as I write these lines we’re each using the nice pillows you sent us...She’s fast asleep and I’m propped up on it, writing, obviously. I especially liked the folded American flag I found in my package. That was a nice touch. Anyways, once again I want to thank you so very, very much. God bless.” (9/04) SPC Green.
. . . “To all the volunteers and all who participate in sending packages to those of us deployed to the not so great places, I would like to say thank you, we are all far away from what we know and love and it’s nice to know we are thought of from time to time. You see we are here for all the right reasons, but personally I’m here to insure my two little girls, family, neighbors, and fellow Americans never have to live in fear. The pride most of us have supporting our country is unmatched by anything I’ve ever seen and you supporting the troops makes this tough journey that much easier. So thank you, we appreciate all you are doing for us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” (9/04) SSGT Anderson.
. . . “Thanks for the pillows...it was an excellent idea.” (9/04) MSGT. Filips.
. . . “I just got my fleece pillow today and I wanted to take some time out of my schedule to thank whoever sent them out, so Thanks!!” (9/04) A1C Thornton
. . . “Thank you so much for the lovely pillows made for our troops. I am a registered nurse who helps prepare our injured soldiers for flights to Germany for their continued care. I have seen our soldiers hold those pillows close to their hearts, as if to comfort their pain. After the soldiers are gone and we prepare the combat beds for the next incoming group, we place the pillows at the head of the bed. It gives the atmosphere a sense of home. Thank you so much for your kind and warm note, gesture, of compassion. I will be stationed here until January 2005, please keep the pillows coming.” (9/04) Capt. Rodriguez
. . . “Greetings from Iraq! I would just like to express our sincere appreciation for the Care Packages we receive from your organization. It is so wonderful to be able to offer our patients a hot shower and clean pillow! and we can only do this thanks to folks like yourselves. And of course, we always love the snacks! Thank you for thinking of us!” (9/04) MSGT Peck
. . . “Thought I’d give you all some feedback. My name is Cpt. Gerhart. I am a commander of an HHSC, 15th Military Intelligence Battalion. Our soldiers received Neck Coolers and Pocket Flags. Thank you.” (9/04) Capt. Gerhart
. . . “Thank you, the package I received yesterday was a welcome relief from the folks back home. Makes me proud to be from such an area of our country. Keep up the great work and you are doing outstanding things." (9/04) CW2 Sable
. . . “Thank you for being the Troops on Our Home Front for us. You make the difference in our lives over here. I wanted to let you know that I received my package today and will share it with those that I work with. Thank you again." (9/04)
SSG Diffey, Sr.
. . . “Thank you for thinking of the soldiers while they’re down. I received one of your Care Packages while on the way to a hospital in Germany. I’m better now and headed back to Iraq. Personal Thanks!" (9/04) SPC Miller
. . . “I just wanted to write to say thank you for your support of our troops here. I noticed several Care Packages from your organization and they really do make a difference. I have many family members from the State of Washington and have visited Pasco myself. I have cousins living in Leavenworth and Monroe, an Uncle living in Spokane and an Aunt living in East Wenatchee. Please know that we, the American Soldiers, are really making a positive difference for the Iraqi people and their country. So many good things never get reported, like the building of schools, medical clinics, libraries, water treatment facilities, roads, bridges, etc. Just on (our base), we have worked on more than 100 community improvement projects around Balad and the neighboring villages. It may take some time to see this country settled, but that is not unusual, as it took Japan, Korea, Germany, Poland, Nicaragua some time to get their economy and government stable. With kindest regards” (9/04) Major Smith, Executive Officer, Garrison Headquarters.
. . . “First I want to thank you for all that you are doing for our troops. They need all the love and support that we can give them. I have two sons currently serving in Iraq. I try to send a goodie package to them at least every other week, but I’m sure they would love to hear from someone else also. Thanks again and keep up the good work.” (8/04) Proud Mother.
. . . “I wanted to send you a note regarding what my son told me about your pillows. My son, Spec. D. Ayres is an MP in the Army. He spent a year in Iraq and he and his buddy received pillows from your wonderful group. When we were at Fort Carson two weeks ago he commented that the pillows were great. He told me that they often performed security duty for convoys and often slept in their Humvee (or under it). The Humvees are not all that comfortable to begin with but those pillows sure came in handy when they had to sleep while out on the road doing convoy duty. Anyway, I can personally vouch for what a great service that you and your group are doing for our men and women in service to this great county. Thank you for your efforts. They sure made my son a little more comfortable.” (8/04) The Ayres
. . . “I have just received 160 lbs-13 boxes from you for the Education Center here n Balad, Iraq. I have passed the food, books, and videos out to the troops. We are so appreciative of your support.” (8/04) Major Hilton
. . . “I would just like to let you know what a great job you are doing. You make a lot of soldiers day brighter because of your selfishness generosity. I’m in Iraq right now. I’m stationed in Spokane, but originally from Kennewick. It’s nice to see my home town doing their part in making the war a little easier on the troops. If there is anything I can do here to help you out please let me know. I’ll be sure to look you up when I get back stateside and give you a hand. Once again thank you for your support. Proud Soldier.” “I heard about this great program when a co-worker got a care package from you. He had one of the business cards lying on the desk and I saw the Tri-Cities name on it and it caught my eye. I then proceeded to look you up on the internet and learn more about your great contributions.“ (8/04) SSGT Sanders
. . . “Thank you so much for the wonderful care package! It was very uplifting to receive it. Thanks once again for all you support and understanding.” (8/04) SPC Fithian
. . . “I received the pallets today and thank you. You are all wonderful and we all appreciate you.” (8/04) 1LT Wozniak
. . . “One of our employees was National Guard and last fall got called up. He is home on leave and stopped by to say hello. So I asked him if he had seen guys with small pillows and what he thought of them. His reply was: “They are awesome can’t have enough, some guys actually get in arguments over them...Are very special to the guys and they love them.” Also said “Keep making them they can’t get enough of them.” He had seen some so tattered but guys refused to replace with new one....so sounds like a great project for us. I was not so sure when first heard of it, but am convinced now. So what size are they and who should I contact to help?" (8/04)
. . . NOTE: The author of this note attended a Quilting Meeting the week before where a spokesperson from “U.S. Troop Care Package” talked about Operation Comfort, the on-going pillow project of “U.S. Troop Care Package.”
. . . “Please accept this small token of my (our) appreciation. I flew this flag for you and hope your drive to serve continues to touch soldiers around the world. We are finishing a year deployment soon and can’t wait for our lives to go on to new experiences. Your pillows touched all of us and gain I thank you. We poor army folks have to stay a year, Marines 8 months, and Air Force 3 months. We wish we were as lucky and fortunate as they are. I guess it gave us more time to use your awesome pillows. I have many friends starting their deployments (1 year) and I will be sure to have them look up your website. I really look forward to meeting you in the near future. You do Gods work and I salute you. Thank you from all my heart, B Company and 1st MI BN. Take Care and God Bless.” (8/04) Capt. Davis
. . . NOTE: With this letter, we received an American Flag flown over Iraq during a combat reconnaissance mission and it now proudly hangs on our wall.
. . . “Thank you much for all of the goodies. This package will definitely help me out. I know its companies like these that help soldiers get through their deployments. This (letter) might not be long, but I hope this means something in your heart and I am truly happy!” (7/04) PFC McKim
. . . “Thank you for supporting our unit/soldiers/troops with care packages, your contributions are greatly appreciated!!!!” (7/04) The Renegades, 1st Cavalry Division.
. . . “Thank you so much for the wonderful box that you folks have sent! I’m grateful that there are others who think about us here in Iraq. I want to also thank you folks for the neck cooler. Thank you so much! I had given some of the gifts to some of the soldiers who took what they wanted. They also want to thank you folks as well! I’ve asked and wished good things for you folks in my prayers! Care Packages really make a person feel good inside. It also helps our families back home, who go though a lot sending us packages. So once again, I thank you guys for the wonderful gifts. God Bless and take care.” (7/04) Spc. Taufa
. . . “I just wanted to let yall know that I received several boxes. I received the clothing for woken and men, a box of pillows, and the hand held cooling fans with the cool neck bands. I wanna express the happiness for the troops. It is amazing how much their spirits are lifted when we give them this stuff. Some of these young men and women are injured real bad and really sick. It breaks my heart to see this. However, the smile and thank you’s make things that much better. Too all of you and the people who donate, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. When I get home, I wanna do whatever I can to help yall whether physically or financially.” (7/04) 1LT Wozniak
. . . “I want to personally thank you for your leadership role and initiative in providing the wonderful music instruments for my soldiers. The troops at Freedom Rest really enjoy them, and it was a wonderful example that there are generous Americans who are supporting us from home. Thank you, too, for continuing to send donations and comfort items that our soldiers really appreciate and need. Please accept this memory book of the Task Force 1st Armored Division’s first twelve months in Iraq. With thanks and admiration.” (6/4) Major General M.E. Dempsey, Commanding Officer
. . . NOTE: Enclosed was a beautiful full color magazine of the 1st Armored Division’s actions in Iraq in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
. . . “I work with injured and or sick troops that are enroute for medical evacuation. We were able to pass out some pillows from Operation Comfort and these items have greatly motivated and inspired these individuals. I myself appreciate all you do for us. My question is how can I get some more to pass out to these troops? We see hundreds of troops and I know it is not possible to give to all. The ones that I would say need it the most are our liter patients. They lay on the liter for hours enroute to their final destination without a pillow most of the time.” (6/04) 1LT Wozniak
. . . “Just wanted to thank all of you for your hard work and support. Getting your package really brightened my day. It was like Christmas morning opening a gift. Thank you so very much again.” (6/04) SRA McMurtrie.
. . . “(My son) really appreciated his care package and the other guys at the base were extremely grateful for the package you sent. Many of the young men received their packages for Christmas weeks following the holiday so many of them were pretty blue. Deliveries like yours helped to keep their morale up and let them know how much you cared which helped them to get through the tough times. I think what you are doing is wonderful and such a great support to our service men. When I asked (my son) why he wanted to join he told me that it was a privilege to live in the United States and it was his time to “pay” for that honor. (He) has engraved inside his Air Force ring the following: God, Family, Country. He told me that these are his order of priorities in life.” (6/04) Mother of soldier DeLannoy.
. . . “I’m hoping this is the right place to say thank you. I received the package today and was extremely surprised. I hope there is some way you can thank the Meler family for requesting my name and sending me this package. I’m at a loss for words and thank you just seems so small but I really appreciate everyone back home thinking about us over here. Thanks again and keep up the great work.” (6/04) MSGT. Schroering.
. . . “I wanted to send a quick note to say thank you so very much. I received one of your packages this afternoon and it truly brightened my day. My unit has been stationed in Kuwait for the past three months but will be moving to Iraq next week. With the heightened threat and stress, it is so reassuring to know we have support at home. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. It is truly appreciated. Thanks again.” (6/04) SGT. Bradford.
. . . “Thank you.” (6/04) SPC. Brown.
. . . “U.S. Troop Care Package” thank you very much I really enjoyed the box. I am enclosing a few money bills from here to thank you." (5/04) SSG. Morrow.
. . . NOTE: Enclosed were various denominations of Dinars (Quarter Dinar, 5 Dinars, 250 Dinars, and 10,000 Dinars.
. . . “I would like to thank you for the wonderful package that I received. As you know mail is one of the biggest morale boosters around here. From all of us here, we would like to thank you for all the packages that you have sent us." (5/04) Cpt. Maglara.
. . . “To everyone involved with the U.S. Troop Care Package effort, I would like to extend my gratitude for being a part of my recovery here at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Receiving a care package from you all really made me feel welcomed. Thank you so very much and please keep on supporting our great men and women in uniform." (5/04) CMSgt. Palomino.
. . . “I’m sending this E-Mail to thank you for my brother. I had submitted his address to you and we were told today that he received your package today (coincidence)!! He said it felt like Christmas and was very grateful of the thoughtfulness, etc. We send him items, but it’s important he knows others like you care. Please don’t stop volunteering for such a selfless act—it is noticed and appreciated! With deepest gratitude." (4/04) Sister of Cpl. Reeves.
. . . “I have a soldier that is going through a hard time because his mother died a month ago and she was the main person who was sending him packages. I know he would greatly appreciate it if he could be put on the mailing list to receive a care package from you all. I thank you for any help you can be." (4/04) Sgt. S. Klein.
. . . “I am a Sergeant in the United States Army and I am currently deployed to Iraq. I was given your website address and email by another soldier and was told to write you in regards to receiving care packages. I would greatly appreciate it if I could be added to the mailing list. Thank you.” (4/04) Sgt. S. Klein.
. . . NOTE: “U.S. Troop Care Package” took pillows to Ft. Lewis in February, 2004, two days before the soldiers were deployed. Upon boarding the plane for Iraq, our pillows were distributed to each soldier. Apparently during the flight one of the soldiers asked to exchange his pillow with another soldier’s pillow saying “it reminds me of my wife’s nightgown!” (4/04)
. . . “Yes the pillows are absolutely wonderful...it is especially helpful when we have to sleep in our helmets...it helps to balance it and keep it on (and me safe)...your support is so very much appreciated! Without groups of people like you we wouldn’t be able to do the job we do. Thank you again.” (4/04) Major Sasse, USAFR, Medical Group
. . . “Please accept my sincere appreciation on behalf of the 70 troops under my command for your care packages, which arrived in excellent condition this week. These medical warriors, like your organization, are used to giving and shared many of the contents with wounded and ill soldiers. Again, thank you for your wonderful contributions to our mission.” (4/04) Lt Col D. DeLorenzo, USAFR, Medical Group
. . . “Today I received a care package from your company. I was writing to you to say thank you for your thoughtfulness in sending it. I and the soldiers down here appreciate all of the stuff that people and organizations like you are doing for us all. To see that people care enough to take the time to do something like this speaks volumes to us. I look forward to the day that I return to the states, but hope that our job here is completed when that
happens so that others do not have to come to Iraq to take our place. Keep up the good job of bringing joy to the soldiers down here. Take care." (4/04) SFC. C. Lay
. . . “Just a note to say thank you very much for the little pillows. Our patients and staff love them! They come in handy when trying to sleep with a helmet on! Your thoughtfulness and caring is super! They are great "hug me" pillows for our soldiers with belly surgery too! Thank you again." (4/04) Major Sasse, USAFR, Medical Group
. . . “Thank you so much for your support and effort to make sure we as troops are more comfortable and well thought of. On my way out from (base) I received one of your pillows. It’s great to have as it brings me comfort and something a little less military in all this tan, brown, and green. Thank you. I also wanted to write to let you know there are more troops-the rest of the Brigade, actually that will be here and was hoping that you could send Care Packages for them. If not there is one soldier in particular I’d like to have a package sent to, please. Here’s his address and name. That address is for the _____ Brigade as well. Thank you again for your support, thoughts, and prayers. For freedom, for always. P.S. Included is a small donation. Thank you.”
. . . NOTE: This soldier enclosed a five dollar bill. This was a first as we have never received a donation from a soldier before. FYI, a Brigade is about 4,000 soldiers!
. . . ”I wish to extend my personal thanks and the appreciation of the soldiers of the 321st TMMC (FWD) for the wonderful pillow gifts. Please pass on our sincere thanks to the many kind people supporting “Operation Comfort.” Your support of the American soldier reflects great credit upon yourself and your community”
NOTE: These words were contained in a Department of Army Certificate of Appreciation presented to U.S. Troop Care Package and signed by the Colonel, Commanding.
NOTE: On February 11, 2004, volunteers of U.S. Troop Care Package drove to two military bases in western Washington and delivered about 1,000 pillows, which were handed out to deploying soldiers several days later. The following letter was received from one of the recipients of those pillows:
. . . ”Thank you for the pillows. We really enjoy them. God Bless.”
(Signed by eight soldiers.)
. . .”I am the Commander of a U.S. Air Force medical unit. We would like to receive some of the “U.S. Troop Care Packages.” There are approximately 70 personnel in the unit. Thank you very much.
. . .”I just want to thank you for the package that you sent us. My roommates and me really enjoy the goodies that you send us. I would like to keep receiving goodies from you.”
1) “What a great idea. Thank you so much!”
2) “I slept great last night! I am so impressed with all the support I’ve seen come out of the Tri-Cities!”
3) “Thank you!”
4) “We’ll definitely have sweet dreams of our safe return!"
5) “Thank you very much!"
6) “Thank you!”
7) “Thanks a lot!!"
8) “Pillows are just what we needed! Thanks so much. Also appreciated the bouncy ball."
9) “Thank you very much!
10) “Thank you!”
NOTE: A thank you card signed by ten soldiers from the 2nd Platoon of the “Rough Riders” in Iraq was received for the care packages containing pillows.
. . .“When you open this, my unit and I should be in Kuwait. We will be cleaning equipment for movement to the United States. Where? Not sure yet at this time of sending. With no disrespect, I have written one thank you letter, photo copief it onto this paper and mailed it to everyone who has written me while here in Iraq participating in Operation Enduring Freedom. I want to thank every one of you for your generosity by sending me your support and prayers in letters and treat boxes. It is awesome to think about it. Thank you. Over here we did a job, no different than any of you there – you kept America going that is very important. So God’s Blessings to you all and please God, Bless America. Freedom is not free – it costs us all. P.S. Thanks for all the packages and pillow.”
. . .“To the people of Operation Comfort: Thank you so much for all of the wonderful pillows. Everyone is enjoying them. It was so thoughtful, generous, and kind of you all! May God Bless you. And Happy New Year. . . Iraq U.S. Army Reserves.”
. . . ”What’s up A.J.! My name is Dennis. I am a Specialist in the United States Army. I am in the Infantry. I have been in Iraq for three months. When we first got here it was real hot, now it is cold. No I don’t drive a Jeep, but a lot of guys in my Platoon do. I am a team leader so I am in charge of four other guys. Serving your country is something you will always be proud of for the rest of your life. There are scary moments, but it’s all for a good cause. It is so my kids and your kids don’t have to go to war in the future. Well that’s all. Thank you for your letter. Oh yeah, I am 23 and I used to play football in high school. I was a linebacker first string. Stay in school and work hard. Thanks for your support.”
NOTE: This letter was in response to a letter written by a young school student that we mailed when we sent pillows from the “Operation Comfort” project at Christmas.
. . . ”Thank you for all your support and love you’ve sent to the troops. We sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness.”
. . . ”Thank you very much for the many troop care packages! Although, as I think I told you, my husband is not deployed, he flew all 13 boxes down to Iraq and there were many delighted soldiers who got new pillows! We thank you for caring for our welfare, the gifts and prayers are getting us all through this.” (Wife of a soldier)
. . . ”I did get the pillows. Everyone liked them. We use them when we go to the police station and work, for when we want to take a nap.”
NOTE TO US FROM HIS GRANDMOTHER: Hi to all of you wonderful people. I am sending the note my grandson sent me about the pillows I had you send to his group. Thanks again and keep up the good work it really is appreciated by us all.
. . . ”Hey, I got a package from you guys. Thanks a lot. It means a lot to me (I am a soldier from the 4th Infantry Division serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom). I get packages from friends and family, however, to get one from folks I don’t know shows me how much my country stands behind me. That is really important. Over here, the press or at least the news we get doesn’t really give us the impression that the citizens of our country support us in what we are doing. In fact, I think we hear more about folks opposed to this war and what they have to say more than anything. Well I guess that is just the way the press does things. Once again, thank you very much for the package.”
. . . ”I received 2 care packages and I had enough pillows to give to everyone in my platoon as well as a few others. Everyone was very touched by the gesture. Especially one soldier who received a crayon picture and a letter from a young man expressing his gratitude towards us soldiers wrapped up with the pillow.”
. . . "First of all I'd like to give a huge thanks for the letters and package. That someone back home is thinking of the soldiers over here means so much. I shared the packages with my platoon. You have really helped brighten up the holiday season over here. Thank you so much. For the last nine months my company has been deployed to an undisclosed location in Iraq. It has been a very interesting experience for me. The culture here is so different that there really is not much of a comparison to the American culture. Just another huge thank you."
. . . "On behalf of B Company, I would like to express a small thank you for “Operation Comfort” Pillow gifts! I cannot tell you how awesome gifts like that were to soldiers just before Christmas! I couldn’t believe how these small tokens from home meant to us. They are a perfect, tactical, comfort item-engineered for every method a soldier has to store and transport these luxury items. I am sure glad we received them! I cannot tell you how much those small little bundles of home mean to me and every soldier in the Company. Our current deployment will be long and every taste of home we can get is always appreciated. Thank you so much for your packages. Your package is one of those things that bring tears to our eyes here. I hail from the Tri-Cities and as commander, it gave me great pride to hand these out as gifts from “my” home. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity-the opportunity to take care of troops. Please thank any and all of your friends for their support. We really smile and are so grateful to see some folks behind us. Thank you for your kindness. Please take care and God Bless."
. . . "I just wanted to say "Thank You" on behalf of the 137th Quartermaster Company, located in Mosul, Iraq. We received two boxes of pillows. Thank you for thinking of and supporting us soldiers."
. . . "Thank you for the pillows. Now at the Airport in Baghdad...we are able to buy what we need...but those who wanted the pillows are so grateful for alllllllllll you all do for all the troops. Thanks. What about a card of love and support to any spouses and families you might have addresses for...they are on call 24-7 at home with out families...which is an endless dedication to us an our country too. Merry Christmas and God’s blessing to you all. May God bless America. Thanks for your care, support, treat boxes, and prayers."
. . . "We received the Care Packages that you made for us. Thank you!! We are located in _____, Iraq, it is in the heart of the Tsunni Triangle. This is a very dangerous place. It is nice to know that you took the time to think of the men serving over here. It means so much to them. Again, thank you for the support."