25 November 2004
We have had two IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) go off on us, one of which caused a minor casualty on one of my soldiers. He is fine now, but it was a close one. Shook us all up for a bit, but these men are good, shook it off, and began to fire, even as we were still assessing the situation. The soldiers of my squad and in this platoon are well trained and they act on that training to the fullest. Every day they make me proud.
As I write this, on this Thanksgiving evening, I am reminded of several things that I am thankful for, especially grateful for things over the past year.
I am reminded of the time last year, when I was informed that I would be coming to this platoon. Many can attest to the fact that I was not happy for the move, as I had many friends in my old company and I was not looking forward to serving with some of the men here. I can tell you this, though; it has been the best move that I could ever have possibly made. I would not want to live, fight, laugh and cry with any other group of men, than the ones I am here with today.
I am thankful for the training and the equipment that we received before, and during this deployment here to Baghdad. Everything has stood us in good stead, and there are many times I cannot imagine life without some of the things that we have.
I am thankful for my family, not only my immediate family, but also my extended family, who have stood beside me this year. It is always good to get letters, cards and packages from home, and those of you reading this; I apologize for not writing more often, thanking you for all that you have done.
I am thankful for friends, both here in Iraq, and Stateside. Friendship is a wonderful thing, that without, I don’t think life would be worth living. I cannot imagine going through one’s existence alone and without someone to care for, or having someone care for you. Would be lonely and without cause for living.
I thank each and every one of you who read these oftentimes jumbled thoughts and words. It has been my wish to get the story of life here as a soldier to the American people and I hope that most of this has been informative.
God bless all of you on this day of Thanksgiving. Remember those who cannot be home for this holiday season, and especially remember those who will never spend another with their loved ones. Remember the fallen. Remember those who have given their all. As the words go to the famous song, “as He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free”, remember those who have given their all so others can be free.