Friday, January 22, 2010

NEWSLETTER FROM AFGHANISTAN

Daniel is about halfway through his deployment in Afghanistan. Below is the monthly newsletter from Easy Company's commander. Please keep them in your prayers.


Dear Easy Company Families and Friends,

20 January, 2010
 
Happy New Year from Afghanistan.
 
For the Marines, Sailors, and families of Easy Company we are approaching the midway mark of the deployment.  Separation and anxiety have certainly taken a toll on families; it is important that we all remain strong and focused. The Marines/Sailors are motivated and devoted to their mission in Afghanistan. Every day they strap on their gear and seek out ways they can improve the lives of villagers around Easy Company’s area of operations in Garmsir, Helmand, Afghanistan. I had extremely high expectations of our team during pre-deployment training, as did the Battalion Commander. I will tell you, the Marines and Sailors have outperformed expectations at every level. The area we operate in is war torn, poor, and isolated from much of the prosperity in this country; under all of that the people here are desperate for change. Like us, the people of Garmsir want a brighter future for their children and a place to live in peace. Unfortunately, the area is also a vital link for insurgents to keep their misguided fight alive. They do this through fear and intimidation. This places the innocent in the middle. Our young warriors are creating a wedge between the insurgents and the people of this area. The maturity and care our young men have demonstrated is what has truly made a difference. Although we are different on many levels, the people know the Marines/Sailors care.
 
Our bond with the partnered Afghan Nation Army(ANA) forces continues to grow every day. The Marines/Sailors understand that their success is the critical link in securing Helmand Province. The ANA have become friends and fellow warriors in this fight against terrorism and oppression. They are grateful for the opportunity to work with Marines and for the sacrifice U.S. forces have made coming to help their country. They too have traveled far from their families, often spending 12-18 months away from home. In some cases ANA soldiers are permanently ostracized from their villages for standing up against the Taliban. Most of the soldiers have proven themselves in combat alongside the Marines/Sailors. They are the future security of Afghanistan and your sons, fathers, brother, and friends are playing an instrumental role in providing them a chance to succeed.
 
Most of you have read or watched on the news of recent riots that occurred in Garsmir. I can say proudly that your Marines and Sailors acted as true professionals. They showed restraint and maturity at every level. The alleged desecration of a Qu’ran was fabricated to create dissent between the people and Coalition Forces by Taliban instigators. Easy Company was at ground zero; the Team’s actions were critical in ensuring the lies and deception tactics employed by the insurgents did not unravel all of the hard earned gains in this district. At no time were Marines asked to avoid shooting in self-defense at rioting crowds; rather they were simply asked to make mature decisions. Each and every single one of our Marines/Sailors did just that. The relationships built over the last three months with the people, and the mature decisions made by our young leaders, were both critical factors in the avoidance of major violence.
 
In addition to hunting down insurgents and pulling IED’s out of the ground, the Marines and Sailors are working hard on establishing projects in the war torn region. They are helping the people improve canal systems, rebuild roads, and refurbish mosques and schools. Our Corpsmen treat injured children and evacuate those who cannot receive proper medical attention for life-threatening illnesses. It is inspiring to watch these young men sit down with a group of elders and talk through future planning for irrigating their lands, rebuilding wells, and improving security so their children can play. The Marines of Easy Company and the Battalion truly get the mission here in Afghanistan.
 
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Gunnery Sergeant Blanton and the battalion’s S-4, the living conditions and amenities at the company’s combat outpost and patrol bases are improving daily. All Marines are in tents or structures with cots, except at a few of our outposts. Although cold and outside, Marines have been able to shower and hygiene regularly. We are working on getting phone connections and several internet connections at the combat outpost in the next month; increasing the frequency Marines/Sailors will be able to communicate to their loved ones back in the States.
 
On behalf of the Easy Company Team, another huge thanks goes out to the support we have back in the United States. The messages are inspirational and the care packages are plentiful. These selfless acts provide the Marines and Sailors support mentally, morally, and physically. Families are the backbone of any great organization and we truly appreciate everything you do.
 
Congrats:
SSgt Whidden for promotion to Staff Sergeant
The Strelke Family- Welcome to little Logan Luke Strelke
 
Our wounded Marines back in the United States recovering from injuries remain in all of our thoughts and prayers. Every one of those Marines is loved and missed by their brothers in Easy Company. God Bless. We will see you soon.
 
I will end with a few words: Your Marines and Sailors are true heroes; they selflessly serve their Country in this dangerous land to bring security and deny our enemies from spreading terror and fear in any clime or place. I am motivated everyday by our warriors.
 
Semper Fidelis,
Capt Gorman

1 comment:

debbie said...

You and Karen must be extremely proud to read a letter like this about Daniel and other Marines/Sailors.I am too. They are in my prayers everyday and I am very grateful for all they are doing for us.

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