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Photos & Letter from Afghanistan
To the gracious members of the Airborne Angel Cadets,
My name is Staff Sergeant M.G. and I am a Soldier of one of the many Army platoons that you support. I am a squad leader of 9 men which is part of a 31 man platoon. Our number one mission is to do route clearance for any coalition force that needs to leave the FOB to go to another area of Afghanistan.
As you know that the number one threat in country both here and in Iraq are roadside bombs. As Combat Engineers, our sole purpose is to find those bombs so they do not kill coalition forces or disrupt the free mobility of our troops as well as the people of Afghanistan. It is a slow and nerve racking job, but it is worth it knowing that we do our part in keeping soldiers safe as well as the people.
Our actions also frustrates the enemy and we are defeating them from replacing these bombs to hurt their own people. It is a career that does not get recognized enough. As of now we have accumulated over 3100km of road and we have put in over 2200 man hours of missions. As well, we have conducted 47 combat missions since we have been in country. To think, we have only been here for 3 months.
The soldiers in my platoon come from all parts of the country. Some young, some old. Some who are single and some who have been married for 15 years with 4 kids. Some with degrees and some who just got their GED?s. Some who are short and some who are tall. But all in all, we are now brothers in arms and we are family until we get back to our own.
We stick up for each other and we constantly look out for one another during missions. Those of the soldiers who are young, they have grown up to be men with courage in their hearts. Those who are old have been rejuvenated by the young and eager to push forth and engage the enemy if needed. However, like most families, we argue and we see some things differently. But when it comes to the life of another, we are all on the same page. We love one another and we love our country. We know the importance of what we are doing and how it plays in the bigger picture of freedom.
However at times, it is hard to see that picture when it is 120 degrees outside or when it drops to -20. It is hard to see that picture when you hear of a soldier who has been killed. It is hard to see that picture when you have family members who do not support your actions or when you see on television how people ridicule soldiers as they return from a deployment.
But, all those images are washed away when you see that other soldier to your left and right helping you up when you are down. When you hear the voice of your child on the other end of the line telling you that they are proud of you. When you see thousands of people in stadiums singing the National Anthem.
When you receive care packages from complete strangers who you know took time out of their lives to put something together for another complete stranger. That is when we know that what we are doing here is for not us, but for the people back home that rely on us to keep them free and safe so they can enjoy the freedoms of our country without having to fear of intruders.
I come to you to say Thank You for supporting us and helping us to wash those images away from our minds so that we can continue doing what we are doing until we come home. We cannot express to you our gratitude over a letter or even over the phone. Even our own families say thank you. But if we could, we would give y'all a huge hug, and being from Texas myself, we would have to have a Bar-B-Que and a cold one to express our thanks. To the members, the volunteers, to the little ones who come out to pack and to the businesses who donated these items, we salute you! HOORAH!