11 December 2004
As it draws to the time where I will soon leave here. My thoughts focus on what life will be like away from here. I will miss certain people, certain places (although not many), and the times that I have shared with the men of my platoon. The leadership, comraderie, morale, friendship and togetherness is almost familial in nature. I cannot say enough about the leadership that we have in this command. As I believe I have stated before, yes, there are those who you would just love to see leave, however, overall, the men we have commanding, leading and directing this unit are some of the best I have ever had the pleasure and opportunity to serve with. When we re-deploy, I am sure that many of these men will go on to different things, different duties and postings, however, they will always remain with me as being some of the best officers and Non-Commissioned Officers that the Army has to offer. Many of them have common sense and the ability to lead men in battle, with the technical and tactical knowledge needed for the fight. The comraderie amongst my fellow bretheren in arms in this platoon, is something that I really did not expect. I knew that we would be closer than we were before we deployed, however, I did not expect the brotherly bonds which has been eveident in many of my young men in this squad and in this platoon. The respect, discipline and dedication to one another is a beautiful sight to behold. When these men are doing their jobs, or just taking a load off in the barracks, they are always together, watching each other, talking with one another. I have seen very few arguments and fights among these fine young soldiers, which is surprising to say the least. Yes there is the odd disagreement, however, it is not to such a scale as to hamper operations here in Baghdad.
I wish to thank some of the American public who have dedicated some of their time and resources to ensure that the men here feel that they are thought about during the holidays. There have been many packages sent from places like Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, and Texas, with candy, cookies and other things for the soldiers here. Everything is greatly appreciated and my personal thanks goes out to those who have had a hand in any of it. Even the cards and letters showing support and holiday wishes to the men who are so far away from their loved ones, gives us the feeling that we know that someone is thinking about us this season.
Everyone is doing well here. I have a few men on leave, which is great. I was looking forward to having at least one or two of them at home to spend Christmas with their families. One of them has a young daughter that he has seen very little of before we came here. I am happy that he was able to go home to see her.
I often think about what I would like to do for my men this Christmas. I often wonder what I give them. I have come to the realization that there is not much that I can give to them, so therefore, I have decided that the best thing that I can do for them is bring them all home safe. That is all I ask for. I don't ask for anything else this year except to have my men safe, at home with their loved ones, their wives, mothers, fathers, children, brothers and sisters when we leave this country. Anything else is extra. Just bring them home.
God bless each and every one of you. Until next time.