Letter to the Editor

Iraq update

Thursday, April 1, 2004

Dear Editor,

I thought it was time for an update on the Adopt a Soldier program.

First, I wanted to thank all of those who have supported this program for our soldiers, who are protecting our freedom and helping the Iraqis to learn what freedom is all about.

We have received many letters from the soldiers who are just starting their tour in Iraq. They want to write to people here in the states. So I have actual names and addresses for any of you who want to write.

We are still taking donations of cash or items to be sent to the soldiers. It can be left at Budke Motors, McCook or mailed to my address.

Here are a few words from some of the soldiers we have heard from recently.

Hello Nebraska! Jarod Epp (Jarod is my nephew) and I joined the Army together back in 1995, and ran into each other at basic training. I got commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant about two months before my buddies were activated, before the war started.

I am on my way to this place and Jarod is on his way out. It's pretty awesome to run into a good friend in a place so far from home! Anyway, he told me about the network you've created, and when he said (it was) from McCook, I got pretty fired up. I am originally from Benkelman and my grandparents still live there.

Now I live in Omaha, I'm a high school teacher and coach in Gretna. I have a wife and a 1-month old baby girl waiting for me at home, and I can't wait to get back to them!

Thanks again for the kindness you share towards ALL the soldiers over here. Your network is impressive and it is touching many soldiers over here. We do appreciate all that you are doing for us!


Jeremy Ham

Dear Budke Family,

Thanks you for all the goodies. And most of all thank you for supporting the troops. I am an old soldier, I have two sons and six grandchildren. I know my wife and grandkids miss me, I miss them too. But, freedom is very important and is the responsibility of ALL ABLE AMERICANS, not just the young soldiers, not to mention the fact that the young soldiers help keep me young too.

My unit is a transportation unit. We drive 5-ton trucks; we have both cargo and straight trucks and tractor-trailers. Our mission though is not to haul "Bombs and Bullets" as we come trained to do, rather we will be converting our 5-ton cargo trucks into gun trucks and run security for convoys.

Well, I gotta get ready to go to bed, so I better close for now. Please write back, if you wish, I love to hear my name called at mail call. By the way, I am from Missouri.

PFC STG Stephen Smith

Again Thanks for your support the troops need it and deserve it!

You can see how grateful the soldiers are and really need the contact from us back home.

They are there to do a job, and know how important it is because, FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!

I see all over the patriotism that is being shown by Americans, how about putting that patriotism to work and share with the soldiers protecting our Freedom!? You may contact me for the names and addresses of soldiers. Or write your introductory letter and we will send in a box to the soldiers that are just arriving for their tour in Kuwait and Iraq for the next year.

I recently met a soldier from Phoenix in the airport in Denver; he has just returned home from Iraq. He told me that the longest he went with out a shower or a change of clothes was eight weeks. He was very proud and humbled that he could be a part of helping the Iraqi people get their freedom. The stories he would tell me would bring tears to my eyes. Which the most important to them was getting mail from home!

I can not even imagine what our soldiers are going through, and how much it means to them to get a short letter and a box of goodies from anyone. They are truly heroes in my book!

Please take the time and do it today, reach out to our soldiers, it will make you feel good! For more information contact me.

God bless America and each and every soldier!

Charlynn Hamilton

HC 62 Box 39

Hayes Center, NE 69032

hamilton@gpcom.net please put soldier in the subject box.

(308) 286-3388

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