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Gift to troops in Iraq gratefully accepted

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I’d like to share something with your readers about several very generous people in your community.

I’m a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy and a graduate of Polson High School. This Christmas I was in Baghdad as part of the U.S. Forces-Iraq working towards a responsible drawdown and helping to plan our exit from the country. 

This is my third time in Iraq and my second Christmas in a row away from home. Though the U.S. military always goes out of its way to try and make this season a little nicer by providing some very good food and organizing volunteer concerts by patriotic performing artists and groups like the USO, it is still hard to be away from friends and family during this season.

We all receive packages from friends and loved ones, however we were completely surprised by two enormous boxes that arrived at our command a week ago. Inside were dozens and dozens of great cookies, fruitcakes, jerky and warm wishes. This year was much nicer due to the kindness of some wonderful strangers, and I want them, and the rest of our friends in Western Montana to know, that this gift made a real impression upon all of us. Thank you for making our Christmas away from home a little happier this year.

Apparently the crew at M&S Meats in Rollins found out that I’m in Iraq after my folks bought some gifts for me there. I’m not sure how it worked, but the nice people on the west shore found out, got together and sent us these packages of goodies. 

There were many people involved, and I’d really like to thank each of them personally, but here are the few names I could find in the boxes: The Lakeside Ladies Club, the Ladies of Rollins Woman’s Club, the Heath family of Lakeside, Ms. Ruth Barber, Mr. David Maurer, Ms. Lucy Carlson and M&S Meats. Thank you all very much.

If you see any of these generous people, please thank them for the great support they provided the deployed troops in Iraq this Christmas. Your thoughts really mean a lot to us.

By the way, aside from sharing the cookies among the 90 American soldiers in our office, we also shared them with our Iraqi teammates. They appreciated that we shared our holiday treats and were touched by the gesture. A little kindness and good will goes a long way and crosses all sorts of divides. That’s a lesson I’ll take home with me after we’re through here.

Michael D. Reiners
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy
Baghdad, Iraq

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