Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Thanks from Sgt Art - The medic who needed Help!

You all remember our request for the group of 40 medics who were posted all by themselves at an Iraqi Army base. They had no PX, no toiletries, no medical supplies, no tv, movies, music, snacks....etc. NOthing. I sent this request to the wounded team and posted it here, and ...well, all of you Soldier's Angels gave a HUGE response.

I'll let Art tell it in his own words....

Hello to all my friends and supporters! First, let me say on behalf of everyone here at the Besmaya Range Complex, THANK YOU!!!

I never, in my wildest dreams thought there were so many people who were so committed to those of us deployed in the Combat Zone. I received an Overwhelming response from all of you and it has renewed my faith and helped me to remember why I asked to come back here again. It is because of good people like you. Back in the real world, I am just your average Joe, no different then any other person on the street. Here, the men and women who put on the Uniform make a difference, not only to those that we come in contact with here, but also for those of you at home. Know that our commitment to you all is there and that what we do here is worthwhile and has purpose. All the sacrifices, pain and loss that is reported on CNN cannot compare to all the worthwhile things we do here.

From teaching Iraqi soldiers how to defend their own country to helping a child get to the US for an operation (thank you Cerise) to getting things that would take the whole deployment to get so I can better take care of a village of people and my own soldiers (Thank you Al, Susan, Lisa n., Lynn & Jill E. ).

Now about the Packages we have received, our mail comes from another base, about 45Km west of us. The route has a few pitfalls so on average we get mail about every 1- 1 ½ months. It has to come in a re-supply convoy (we call it a LOGPACK), which is most often our food, fuel and water. I received 6 pallets of boxes 2 days ago. Our Internet was down, but one of the things that was in the last box was a router and as you can see its up and running now fine.

I spent the past two days unpacking, sorting and repacking boxes and supplies. The medical stuff is here with me, (thank you for the exam gloves, I had used up my last pair last week and was using surgical gloves, so timing was wonderful!) The food is in the chapel, along with all of the bath and hygiene stuff, socks and t-shirts. Coffee and coco are in the Mess facility along with all of the Christmas stockings, Christmas tree, games and movies. I admit I kept one tray of homemade fudge for my self, it was just too good, but the other I did put in the chow hall.

I contacted the mail room today, they say as of right now I have 35 more boxes waiting for me and I assume from some of the emails that I received while the network was down that I will have a few more added to that number. I have given out all the MACH 3 razors, we are good to go for now with those, (my face is thankful for that) but we could use some shave cream to go with them! So many people have given so much, not only in donated goods, but also in time, research and out of pocket expenses. So many people who really opened their hearts and though about what we needed and would like (Dave & cyndy aldous, the Olivares family) and all of you, I just want to say thank you.

This will be the 16th Christmas I have been away from my family in the past 20 years. This year I have a new family of friends and you all mean as much to me as my own flesh and blood. Thank you for everything you have done for my men and me. I will try to keep you updated as time allows. I wish I could write to each of you, but I will reply to those of you that write me back ( I finally am getting the hang of Outlook). If for whatever reason you do not hear back from me before Christmas, I wish you all a wonderful time and blessings on your family.

With warmest regards, Arthur L. SGT/NYARNG

God Bless us, every one



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