From the FRONT: 3 Jan

Hi Lara, Our package from you arrived with our mail push two days ago and I am sorry that I haven’t written sooner. Our mail takes a long time to reach us here in (location redacted) but it is a huge morale boost when it does come through. I am very grateful for your thoughts and all of the supplies that you sent. Whenever I receive a box of supplies I always bring the company together in our CP to open and distribute the treats among the platoons. It goes a long way to making Soldiers’ day when they might not have gotten something from home. Beyond just getting something to snack on or have, these packages remind the Soldiers that there are more people back home than just their immediate family who care about them and appreciate what they are doing; they provide motivation and a drive to do the job.

I hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas. We celebrated in the best way that we could but it is hard to truly get in the spirit of the holidays in an environment like this. We did have a great meal that was a mix of a little American food and local Kurdish food which is very different but delicious in its own way. Mostly, we were happy that all of the Soldiers were safe and at least able to call home and talk with their families as they opened presents.

Also, before I wrote this, I had a cigar with some of the guys in the company who smoke and WHAT A TREAT. Artuero Feuntes are some of my absolute favorites. It was fun to see some of the younger guys who have never had a good cigar before enjoying them. Thank you again for your support, it means a great deal. Thanks, 1SG C”