Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Packages get passed along....


Mrs. Rankin,
I wanted to write and personally thank your for all of the support you and all the volunteers in Churchville and in the Shenandoah Valley are providing to the troops over here in Iraq. I am with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Division stationed in Kirkuk, Iraq. My mission here, as part of a Military Transition Team (MiTT), is to train the 2 Brigade, 4th Division Iraqi Army staff to assume control of and take the lead in counter-insurgency operations (operations against the terrorists in civilian talk). I am part of an 11 man team that lives on K-1, an Iraqi base approximately 8 kilometers away from the U.S. Forward Operating Base Warrior. My daily responsibilities include working with the civil affairs officer, the public affairs officer, the legal officer and the Imam (the equivalent to our US chaplain). I try to coordinate and synchronize all of the projects each of these officers are conducting as well as mentor, guide and professionally develop each one of them. I will tell you that they have come a long way since we first got here and appreciate the US troops and all of the support we provide them. The cities and villages within our area of operation also continue to improve and with the help of the Iraqi and US armies move ahead. Of of the things I have been blessed to be a part of is the civil affairs section here. Their job is to improve the public perception of the Iraqi Army and spend a lot of time and energy assisting the needy children and less privelaged in the local communities. I have attached some pictures from a couple of the joint Iraqi and US projects that we have conducted. Some of the supplies you provide go to these children while the rest go to very appreciative soldiers. Thanks again for all of your support. People like all of you enable us to accomplish our mission. I love you all and hope that God blesses each and every one you.


Richard Dixon
CPT, US Army

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Augusta County Fair 2006

Augusta County Fair
Republican Party Booth

Ssgt. Herb Harman of Churchville stopped by the Republican Booth at the Augusta County Fair with his family on Wednesday for a "Quick" visit that turned into hours with numerous people meeting and thanking him for his service to our country.
Herb also spent time at the "From Our Hearts" booth and spoke with several people on how much these packages from home are welcomed by the troops. Herb's squad is the "Four-One Element" of the 654th MP CO and is serving in Baghdad Iraq where Herb will be returning to in a few weeks. The "Four-One Element" is one of the units that "From Our Hearts" supports and receives numerous packages approximately every 10 days from home

"What a treat it was to walk into our booth and see Herb there! There were tears in many sets of eyes as people came by to wish Sgt Harman well and to thank him for his service to our nation. Herb spoke about his duty in Iraq and actually how well things are going over there in Baghdad. He said that the media is so incredibly slanted that is makes the soldiers serving over there sick to their stomachs. He said the people of Iraq are very appreciative of the US and often thank the soldiers for their freedom. Herb is learning Arabic and told me that the Iraqis are great people who love to talk religion. They respect each other for their deep religious faith."

"Some stories, I guess, just never make it to the airwaves over here."
Chris Saxman

Republican Delegate Chris Saxman talks with Ssgt. Harman about the squads work in Baghdad and how we can support them.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

"Thanks for the Packages"...

Sgt. Averill

From Sgt. Marcus Averill, U.S. Army, Iraq:

I can not tell you how pleased I was to receive the "From our Hearts" boxes this month. Myself and my soldiers are very grateful.We have been in need of supplies for quite some time. Unfortunately we do not have access to a P.X. as often as others do so I am sure you can imagine how handy the shaving kits and cookie boxes were. The moral has been lifted tremendously by your generosity. It reminds my men that there are Supportive, hard working Americans, behind them 100% every step of the way. Once again thank you so much.
SGT Marcus R. Averill