This is a shout out to the folks back home.
To an operation named Soldier's Angels for providing me with a number of care packages and 2 cases of great coffee mugs which went great with out instant capuccino bar we have in the chapel. And they provided a great capuccino machine for our EMEDS unit here. Already they are becoming specialists in their own right and have helped me realize a dream of my own of someday owning my own coffee shop.
Thanks go back to Rhea County too. To the schools there and many churches who are supporting Operation Little Debbie. A special thanks to Marilyn for heading up the project there in town and the Dayton Herald for publishing about it. Marilyn and her husband were huge supporters of ministry in my days in the parish there and I am proud to say they have become like family to my wife and I. People who have a true heart for the Lord shine out in a parish and make being a pastor or a chaplain a true joy. She has passed word that Dayton has just shipped close to another 300 boxes. I'm estimating this will bring the total somewhere between 4500 and 5000 Little Debbie cakes that I will have passed out through visitation and the chapel to our troops here at my location, and that is just what is coming now. I anticipate more to arrive.
Then there are all the school supplies coming in from Lutheran congregations in Cincinnati and Bloomington Illinois. Thank you. I wish I could post pictures fo their bright smiling faces as items are put into their hands. Blankets, shoes, and clothing are greatly appreciated as well.
General Rand, our Wing Commander, was in and was very pleased with all our outreach efforts as has been our Group Commander here. The truth is that we can only do these things because of the support of the fine folks back home. You are very much involved in this struggle and you are making a difference. A big hoooahhh! goes out to you.
As for an update, we are gearing up for the holidays here and for our upcoming rotation of personnel. But each day is another day the mission is done. Flights are flown, security posts are manned, construction is done, training of the Iraqi Airforce, Army, and police forces progresses. Security checks are made at gates and security patrols are conducted in the city. In their off time troops watch movies, get a coffee, or visit with comrads in arms. Each day and ever day is a work day and every day a little more progress is made - another piece of the puzzle that makes a country and a society work comes alive and begins to function. Christmas will be another mission day. The last day we are here, as we ready to board the aircraft home on the next, will be a mission day. We are here to get the job done. And we are. Thank you for the part you play. The care packages, the cards, small gifts from families and friends, and even total strangers who become known make a huge difference in morale and attitude. We are in the struggle together. I wish all could see from where I stand the amazing changes and thankfulness of the Iraqi people, but rest assured it is there.
Blessings to you.