We’ve got a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving – and our brave troops in harm’s way in a far way dangerous land should be at the top of your list.
After spending nearly two weeks with the Marines in Fallujah, I am especially thankful for their dedication, devotion and sacrifice to our nation. The fight in Iraq is not only difficult, but admittedly terrifying. Our Marines face sniper fire and improvised explosive devices on a daily basis in an effort to make life better for the people who live there. They conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism and amazingly remain optimistic in the face of adversity.
I could not be prouder of the Alpha Company of the 1st Battalion, 24th Marines. I lived, ate and slept with them on the front lines of the battle in the Fallujah Peninsula. I shared the danger they face to witness how they live and work everyday so that the American people might better understand their hardship as well as their success.
I will have much more to say about these remarkable individuals and the progress they are making in the coming days, but for today, I want to ask that we all take a moment and give them the thanks they truly deserve.
Countless parents, spouses and children will sit down tomorrow for a great turkey dinner but their hearts and minds will be with their loved ones faraway serving our country. So for them, we are thankful as well.
I am going to be thinking of my new family of Marines in Fallujah. They were kind to accept me as one of their own and they risked their lives to make sure I made it home safely. I wish I were with them on Thanksgiving too. It’ll be a sub-par turkey dinner for them – but it’s certainly going to be a day of great camaraderie.
First Sgt. Baum will have countless one-liners about the virtues of the meal. Sgt. Jeremiah “Frank” Howe will lead the “Hobbits” on collecting important intel on the enemy while entertaining everyone with the latest geo-political news of the world. Sgt. Doezma and Sgt. Kopera will bravely lead patrols and hope to be the lucky “log run” leaders to get the chow at Camp Fallujah. Gunny Kyle will no doubt finish his day with a fine cigar – and if the XO is as lucky as Errol Flynn – he’ll get one too. Lt. Greco will spend the day hunting for willing participants to beat at one-dart games of Cricket. And SSgt. Owens will impress the rest with the most obscure movie quotes of all time, “main!” All in all, it will be a great day and my heart will be with them.
So to my newfound brothers of Alpha Company at Forward Operating Base Black under the great leadership of Major Dan Whisnant – Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for serving our nation with heroism and valor.
I can be reached for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.