Letter from overseas
There's nothing like a care package from home when you're half a world away living in less than ideal conditions, especially when it is unexpected. Hundreds of soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors in Iraq and Afghanistan have written heartfelt letters of thanks to the volunteers of Operation Shoebox New Jersey for their care and compassion, likening the arrival of the OPSHBX NJ care packages to opening gifts on Christmas day.
|To Chubb and the Working Parent Network – Thanks so much for the shoeboxes! They arrived earlier this week, and we distributed them to everyone around our compound.||
Rod, Operation Shoebox New Jersey packages are a big hit with our Marines and Sailors in 2d Marine Division (Forward) here in Helmand Province.
We got those boxes yesterday and today with the help of our operations department we got all the shoe boxes to the flight line and they are heading out to the most needy soldiers. Read More
July 7, 2011: 2d Combat Engineer Battalion, Afghanistan
Mr. Rod Hirsch,
I am SgtMaj Stroud with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion currently deployed to Afghanistan. I want to thank you for your support. I want to tell you a little bit about what my unit is responsible for here in Afghanistan. We are up front on the ground searching for IED’s. That is the greatest threat we have here. This place is not safe and it’s very dangerous. The summer is here and it is HOT and DUSTY. I have done three tours to IRAQ and its worse here than IRAQ. I have 845 Marines and Sailors in 39 areas here in country. Our casualty rate is significant due to the nature of our mission. We clear the way for the infantry patrols and all vehicle movement. It’s a tough job and it takes a special individual to accomplish this task. My Marines and Sailors do it every day. I love them all very much! It hurts when I see them get injured and some of them have lost their legs and arms and this is a very significant emotional event for us and their families. We are “MARINES” and that is what we sacrifice daily for our families and country. We are a special breed. We are very grateful for your support and we thank you for your unswerving dedication to supporting all the service members serving our grateful nation. Most of my Marines and Sailors do not have internet or the ability to send letters. Most of them live in fighting holes and use baby wipes to keep clean. They are living in a very austere environment. I have numerous route clearance platoons that execute missions for several days. They live out of their vehicles and they really do not have a home base. They come through my camp and grab items for the mission that I set aside for them. I was approached by a Marine SSgt today that was donating some of the care packages that your organization had sent to him. I can say that I was very impressed. He did give my unit 4 big boxes that had individual boxes that the Marines will be able to grab and go. Not sure who came up with the idea, but it is a marvelous idea and it is perfect for the men fighting everyday outside the wire. You will not see my name on anything within your organization because I just learned today about the awesome organization that you founded. You have made a tremendous difference in the many lives of our military through your generosity and hard work. I ask that you let everyone in your organization know that their efforts are appreciated and we salute everyone that is responsible for the support we all receive who wear the uniform and serve in harm’s way. Again, thank you for working so diligently to support us all. Keep us in your prayers, pray for our safety, and our return home to the greatest nation on earth. We all here serve proudly! Please keep in touch!
Sgt Maj Stroud
2d Combat Engineer Battalion
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
June 1, 2011: Recognition from Camp Dubs, Afghanistan
May 5th, 2011 Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2d Marine Division (FWD)
Thank you for the boxes. I have been distributing them all over the Helmand Province. I don't always take my camera with me but here are some pictures from the Navy Hospital Corpsmen serving with 3d Battalion, 2d Marines. The second picture was taken today just before a memorial for one of the Battalion's Marines who was KIA last week. The unit lives atop a hill overlooking two, wide wadis (streams/runoffs). As you can see it is very Spartan living. Please tell your organization that their efforts are making a difference. I also passed out the last batch of Beanie Babies, paper and pencils this week so the Marines and Sailors can hand them out to the kids. I'm grateful for the support and I'll try to do better at remembering my camera.
The third picture is me and the last two are of the killed Marine's squad at his memorial today. It was very touching and poignant. The hero is the one who gives his life as well as the ones who remain behind to carry on his memory and duties.
CMDCM (FMF) Chris Aldis
Command Master Chief
2d Marine Division (FWD)