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Soldiers Letters From The 2007 Holiday Operation

by admin

Dear United for the Troops,

Recently we received care packages from your organization, and I would like to give you my deepest thanks. When we went to the mail room to pick up the boxes… everyone got all excited and we opened them as soon as we got into the front door of our barracks. The 340th MP Co thank you for all you have done for us and troops all over the world!!


SPC Lauren DeYoung

Dear United For the Troops,

I receved 2 boxes from you today and I wanted to say THANK YOU so very much! The boxes had toiletries, sundry items, and socks and were well received! What we don’t use here we give to our Afghan friends, they love it!

You sent us quality stuff and they were awesome.

Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness!


US Air Force MSgt (Ret)

United for the Troops,

Thank you very much for the package that I received from you recently. It was really nice and it is good to know that there are people who remember that this war is ongoing. This is my third deployment since 2003 and it gets a little harder each time to leave the family behind. I serve with some very courageous people, and I see acts of selflessness regularly. All the people here really miss home and the cards and letters from the kids are the best. Serving is our honor and we do it without expectations, but I want to take a moment to say thanks for your support, and your gifts, it really means so much.


LCDR Ralph J Gargiulo

Ships Anesthetist / Medical Department

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN71)

Hello, my name is SFC John Arnet and I would like to express my thanks for the wonderful surprise I received today by way of your care package. I am humbled daily when I receive such a thoughtful gesture of kindness and support. As a 20 year veteran of the Army it is very comforting to know that there are so many Americans that recognize the sacrifices made by our Soldiers and their families. I express daily to my Soldiers how lucky we are to have the support of the people. It makes it much easier to be away for extended periods of time.

I remind myself that when I am retired from the military that I will not EVER forget to support our Soldiers as I know just what it means to receive the support.


John Arnet

Dear United For The Troops, Inc:

I just wanted to send an e mail saying thank you for the care packages. It’s great knowing that you are not forgotten while deployed. Thank you very much for all your support. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to receive these packages. My tour is ending in a couple of months and these packages have really helped me along the way Thanks again for all that you do fo us back at the home front, and Happy Holidays.


Janne Ibara

C. Co/492 CA BN

Dear The Kelly & Rathschmidt Family,

On behalf of everyone in 2d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, proud home of the Brave Mounted Riflemen, I thank you for your generous package you and the other amazing helpers have given us. It was well received and was empty within a matter of minutes. We would love for you to continue to brighten our days by sending us more packages. We are grateful for true Americans like yourselves. God Bless and Brave Rifles!

Thanks again from all of us from 2d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Chaplain, CPT Ellington

HHT, 2/3 ACR

Dear UnitedForTheTroops.org:

Thank you so much for your very generous and thoughtful gifts during the Christmas season. During this time of year, it is especially hard to be away from friends and family, but knowing that so many folks back home are thinking and praying for us here in Iraq, gives us peace and strength during these tough times. God Bless and Merry Christmas!

Josh Rowan

Hello to UnitedForTheTroops.org and everyone that helped make these amazing things happen in Iraq, and by that I mean “Operation Defend The Holidays”! Every soldier here is so very thankful for all that you have done. We thank each and everyone that helped make it possible! Every package that we have received was opened with love and joy, and it has spread throughout the entire military! I want to also thank the boy scouts, ccd, and elementary schools that sent those amazing cards and letters. We are trying to make time out here to send some return mail, although it has been tough lately.

I can’t express how much it means to have so much love sent through the mail! We as Americans take so much for granted each and every day, and it’s very sad that it takes something like WAR to realize that. I just want you to all know that every box and every letter is what gets us through the holidays without our loved ones.

Once again, thank you so very much for doing your part in fighting this war! You are doing so much more than you’ll ever know! You are the REAL HEROES!

PFC Rathschmidt, Luke

82nd War Eagle

Baghdad Iraq


Dear Jim, Pat, The Kelly & Rathschmidt families and friends at UnitedForTheTroops.org,

Wow!… First, my troops and I would like to thank you. You have humbled us with your incredible generosity and kindness. We were overwhelmed when we received your many packages. Your letters (cards) and all items you sent were very thoughtful and appreciated. Please let everyone know how much we appreciate them and thank them for us. They have helped us endure the long missions and made us feel that much closer to home. You have made a bunch of Marines very, very happy. We have all been enjoying the things you sent. Yes, we are sharing, with each other and even the Iraqi people, mostly the children. They love them and are taken back by the American people’s generosity and kindness. Many say to thank you and wish God’s blessings upon you.

It makes our job so much more rewarding and easier when we know we have the backing of the people back home.

We are currently on an extended patrol (45+) days, where the stuff you sent will come in very handy. (I will respond to any e-mail correspondence when we return from the desert in mid January.) I am at the FOB on a maintenance pause and am able to send this out.

When we are on patrol we take great pleasure when we are able to take a pause in our offensive operations. During these times we walk along side of our tanks and interact with the people. They all seem to love the tanks, especially the children. When we go through the town they all come out to look, wave and say hello. That’s when we share with them some of the things you sent. They seem to enjoy the treats a great deal.

We are a U.S. Marine combat battle tank platoon. We operate in the M-1A1 Abrams main battle tank. The platoon is currently executing missions in Iraq. For some of us this is our first time here but, for most of us this is our second and even third deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom in support of the war against terrorism. We are very proud to be here and happy to serve our country and the good people like yourselves. As Marines we have some big shoes to fill and are trying to uphold the traditions of The Corps and continue to bring honor to the Marine name. We understand freedom isn’t free and are here to defend it wherever it is threatened.

Take heart that your generosity and good will have gone much appreciated and are being put to good use. Your efforts helped motivate us and reinstall the good faith in the Iraqi people. Make no mistake, we are winning this war and making further progress everyday. Your efforts were extremely generous and selfless and helped us on the road to victory. Thank you once again, we appreciate your support.

Semper Fi

Capt Paul Krumenacker

1st Platoon Commander,

Delta Company, 4th Tank Bn, USMC

“With your Shield Or On It.”