Christmas in Afghanistan: your largesse has arrived

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xmas_football Enjoying Christmas in the only place in the world more dangerous than Charlie Sheen's house.... [ON EDIT: the email was from the First Sergeants email, but it was actually SFC Hill, changing to reflect that. He also is tougher than woodpecker lips, and his wife is uber-nice, I got to meet her in Col Sprgs.] It was a long time getting there, but some of the stuff sent to the COP Keating brothers has begun to arrive. Got an email from SFC HILL the other day with some pictures (more to follow) and I wanted to share parts of it with you. On a personal note, I hope everyone said a prayer for these guys and for their families over the Holidays. No matter what your religious, political or social beliefs are, these guys deserve more praise than we could ever heap on them. It's not a thankless job as we have shown, but it is one that goes largely unknown, and almost universally misunderstood. Obviously you know about how they kill bad people and destroy bad people's stuff, but on any given day they do a lot more of that. They are far from home, surrounded by death and destruction, and they are there to make us safer and to provide a gift to the Afghan people that is one that they so desperately need: Hope. Anyway, here is a snippet from the SFC Hill's SITREP:
Christmas was a great time for the soldiers of Black Knight Troop. After a day of relaxing and playing football myself and the Troop Commander placed all the items in a gathering area and then I took the center of the troop giving them a Christmas Speech, I told them how fortunate we were to have the folks back home that "Gave a Shit" that this was an overwhelming amount of support and that we have a great family and team not just here in country but back in the great USA. I was needless to say nearly in tears while I was talking and looking at the amount of "gifts" there were in the stack. It was knowing that the time, effort, and care that was taken to put all this together. I also asked the troop for a moment of silence for the men lost on OCT 3rd, the silence was hauntingly quiet and you could tell that the fallen soldiers were in the minds of us all name by name.
The fact that Hill  (who is tougher than woodpecker lips) would be near tears is enough for me. I would also like to remember the fallen.
Halfway down the trail to Hell, In a shady meadow green Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped, Near a good old-time canteen. And this eternal resting place Is known as Fiddlers' Green. Marching past, straight through to Hell The Infantry are seen. Accompanied by the Engineers, Artillery and Marines, For none but the shades of Cavalrymen Dismount at Fiddlers' Green.
  As Leta says in the comments:
And I will always keep SGT Joshua Kirk, SGT Justin Gallegos, SGT Joshua Hardt, SPC Michael Scusa, SPC Christopher Griffin, SPC Stephan Mace, PFC Kevin Thomson, and SGT Vernon Martin and their families in my prayers. Rest in Peace brave warriors.
Anyway, here are a few of the pics that SFC Hill sent me.



More of the stuff is still enroute, and the First Sergeant will be sending more pictures as soon as he gets to a place where uploading photos doesn't take the better part of an afternoon. My Girlfriend got me a book for Christmas that was our initial post about COP Keating put in hardcover with pictures and all the comments that you folks made. In the forward she tells me how proud she is of the work I do with the Burn Pit. I suppose I am proud of it too, but more so I am humbled by what we can accomplish together. The book is about 2 pages of me writing, and 20+ pages of the things you wrote. My stuff is silly and inconsequential conpared to what you readers bring to the table. This blog is a joint effort. Sure, I am the only one who gets paid, but you guys do the heavy lifting as it were. I expect big things for all of us in 2010, showing what a community of online folks can do to change the time we live in, and make sure that all the soldiers, male and female, deployed or not, know that we love and appreciate them. 3rd plt with gifts The Boys of 3rd Platoon, Bravo Troop 3/61 CAV.
Posted in Uncategorized, the burner | 15 comments
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I am looking forward to more pictures! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

[...] This post was Twitted by AmericanLegion [...]

Happy New Year!!!

God Bless our troops. May this new year bring health and prosperity to each of them. We love you all. Thanks for all that you do. Happy New Year

MOTHAX, thank you for sharing this. I've still got tears in my eyes after wiping out many.

It's just incredible in ways beyond words to describe what the American Legion and so many did in such a short amount of time. Well done all. Well done.

Ron, if you read this I want you to know how much your words touched me. I'll always regret the circumstances that brought us together but will also always cherish your friendship. I'm sure the Black Knights are grateful to have you on their team.

And I will always keep SGT Joshua Kirk, SGT Justin Gallegos, SGT Joshua Hardt, SPC Michael Scusa, SPC Christopher Griffin, SPC Stephan Mace, PFC Kevin Thomson, and SGT Vernon Martin and their families in my prayers. Rest in Peace brave warriors.

We Love you guys!!! and we Do care -- so very much!!! You better believe we give a shit!! Mothax, thank you for posting and sharing the words and pictures -- I am smiling big through my tears!! God bless you -- God bless our troops -- God bless us, everyone!! Hooah!!

Oddly enough my wife just asked if any of the stuff had gotten there yet. Even more strangely I said "I think it did." And when asked what the reaction was I said (and I'm not making this up) "Well, the 1SG there is tougher than woodpecker lips, but I bet he cried. Yeah, I'm sure he did".

She asked me that last week.

No matter what we get these guys, we'll still never be able to repay them the debt we owe them.

Not enough by any means but....Thank You.

Nice to see and hear this. I havent talked to Eric for about a month so its nice to spot him here! They are half way through their deployment...June cant come soon enough!!!

I wish that we at home could do more to help provide safety fro all you brave Americans. I know that words are not enough, so I pray that our heavenly Father wi look after you and keep your souls save. Ken Harpool

Happy New Year from Lake Stevens, Washington! Thank you all for protecting our freedom. You are in the thought and prayers of countless veterans and Americans. We can never fully repay you the debt you are owed by free Americans but we will try. God bless all of you, and God bless America.

1SG Burton here from Black Knight. I wanted to once again say thank you for all the support that you all have shown. It has been an amazing journey and one that we here in the Troop will always remember. Your support and dedication to us is unsurpassed. Our trip here will be complete soon. We lost 8 of our friends, brothers but they will never be forgotten and will live on in each of us forever. God bless all!!


There are no words to express the pride and graditute that I feel for you men and women who are sacrificing your time and lives to protect the world from oppression. And I pray for your loved ones who feel the pain of your absence especially during these holidays. May god protect you all and bring you all home safely real soon.
God bless all!!

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.