Sunday, December 26, 2004

A Letter from a Soldier in Iraqi Territory...

This is a copy of the actual letter sent by an American Soldier assigned in Iraq. A permission from the letter recipient was given to me for purpose of reitirating to many, what we, as Americans, our soldiers are saying. Please allow me to just use initials of the names stated in her letter to protect their identity.
The letter started this way...

Merry Christmas

As we depart another year, we thank the Lord for rendering us another full year of blessings. It has been a year of wonderful experiences and adventures for the H family. This year have given us a new meaning of the holidays.

In March, I was given a short notice to go to Birmingham, Alabama, get all processed for possible deployment to Iraq (continue to be in the army reserve). Fortunately, it was just for readiness process, not my turn yet to head to the theater of operation (combat zone). It was such a relief that I did not deploy yet, I was able to see Mel graduate from high school. My family from California joined us to celebrate her graduation and we were all able to spend time together. The school invited us to attend the rehearsal, which was also the award ceremony. Mel had an idea that she might be getting an award, to her surprised not only was she presented one but six awards. She was proud of her accomplishments and proved that her hard work was such an investment. We too, share such pride. UF is where she was admitted for college and started classes in the summer. It was exciting to get her all ready for college, reminded me of my own college years. Der, Erik and myself were able to move her to her new home (dorm.). Did not hit us until we were in the process of moving and saying goodbye, that our firstborn has grown to a young adult leaving home for college. Fortunately, college is only 90n miles from home. So far she is doing well, though she claims, she is not quite challenged wet, at least for now.

In June, I finally got my turn for deploymentto Iraq, join an FST (FORWARD SURGICAL TEAM). Getting ready for such uncertainties (do not think you can really be ready heading to war)was not easy and leaving the girls and Der for at least 4 months was tough. As of July 15, I am now military active duty and on 18th of July, I headed for texas for in processing to leave the country. One of the toughest things I have to do is say goodbye for now to my family. I know that it has been also the hardest thing unimaginable for them. I know I will be doing my job where I was going, but for Mel, Erik and Der, it was tough not knowing how would I do and scared for my safety. I cannot reassure them enough that I will be okay (I have to admit I was scared). Just getting to Iraq was itself an experience. Left the US on chartered plane to Germany then Kuwait. After hopping from one military plane to another, from C130 Chinook and Black Hawk, by 1100pm 3 days after we left the States, we arrived safely in Tikrit. Witnessing first hand what we do in Iraq, I am confident; we are helping the less forunate achieve their freedom. Freedom comes in such a high price, all the dollar spent, the brave soldiers, Iraqi soldiers and all coalition forces who have lost their lives and most importantly, the many bodies mangled. I witnessed this, day after day and did what I know best in relieving some pain and doing anesthesia. I am so fortunate to be blessed to be able to care for our soldiers and work with such incredible soldiers. Camaraderie is what kept us all going. Despite being mortared almost everyday, we were able to carry on our duties. We were also fortunate to be able to communicate with our families back in the States. We were well taken cared of by military, reasonable living conditions, (necessities become luxuries) and a lot of food. 3 weeks to my heading home, we were ordered to go another mission, this ime to Operation Enduring Freedom, in Afghanistan. This time, we were forward as can get to the combat grounds. We set our operating room and within 3 hours we were operational. 2 theaters of operations in my 90 day tour, it has been a rewarding experience. This time, we were in such an austere environment, not only we survived it but we all thrived. I would like to thank again everyone who had been very supportive to my family and me in this time of our lives. What an honor and privilege to have served our country. It was life changing experience. Third of November, I was back in American soil and what great feeling it was. I have been trying to get back to civilian life and doing well but just taking it slow. It has not been as easy as I thought. Again, thank you to all.

My family were all busy taking care of their businesses in school...Der helps out the most....

December 1-th, we celebrated our ?? wedding anniversary, one more event in our lives to be thankful for and got spent some time in the US V. I.. Not only Der and I were able to spend time together, it was a great way for me to decompress from military life back to civilian life.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, we give thanks to the Almighty God for keeping us all together and safe. I asked that we all be patient with what is going on in the Middle East and the rest of the world struggling for freedom, and pray for all our brave soldiers and their families who have been doing other duties selflessly.

You all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and that all mankind someday enjoy
PEACE on earth.

Der, chang, Mel, Erik


Abe said...

Hello there! This is Yuga from PinoyBlog. Just came by to ask if you still have problmes logging in to the site. Happy New Year!

Romesez said...

Have tried it since, however, thanks for the follow up...I will try it soon. Happy New Year and God bless!