Thank you for taking the time and effort to look out for us. Many of
have dedicated our professional lives to doing the same for you, and
it's always nice to be acknowledged and supported. My Marines (many of
whom are from your area...they all do this weird thing where they point
at the palm of their hand to explain where they are from) got the lion's
share of the goodies. The stuffed squirrel is now chillin' on my books,
standing watch. While opening the cards, I was working with video feed
from an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) at the same time. One of the
young'uns transposed the letters in USA to UAS, and the card read as if
I was being cheered on in my efforts at work - "Go UAS!!" I laughed out
loud - the little one got it totally right!
I gather that your project was part of a broader focus on service, and I
commend you and your instructors for it. The truest joys that life has
to offer don't stem from the pursuit of shallow and transient pleasures,
but rather from doing things which really matter. If I may, I'd like to
set forth several things which would be a true service to our beloved
country, and without which our efforts overseas are for naught.
1) Be excellent at whatever you do. I've been to more countries that
most of my age peers have been to counties, and everywhere American work
is given the utmost respect. Our culture is one of precision,
accomplishment, skill, and reliability. As a result, success is not
predicated upon family connections, government favor, adherence to
convention, or bribery. While these old-world things indeed taint our
society (and more frequently, our government), they are an anomaly here.
We value justice, equality, efficiency, effectiveness, innovation, and
progress. Embrace and embody these ideals; they are what make America
respected the world over. When we stray from them, we destroy the
legacy our forefathers built.
2) Embrace American diversity. Although the world has followed our lead
in tearing down demographic walls and we've had hiccups in our past (and
present), there is still no society which is as true of a melting pot as
we are. Take pride in it. In the same week that Germany's PM lamented
that "multikulti ist gescheitert" ("[In Germany], multiculturalism has
failed"), a Jewish American from a southern family receives a care
package from a Christian High School in Michigan, and gives the goodies
to his Marines...half of whom are of mixed races. In almost any other
country, this would blow the doors off societal norms. In ours, we
don't see anything particularly unusual about it. If anything, we
relish the opportunity to embrace (and in Marine culture, to make light
of) our background differences because they belie the truth about how
similar we are about what really matters. On this note, I specifically
ask you to go out of your way to befriend and understand Muslim
Americans. I was a Junior at The Citadel on September 11th, 2001.
While idiot college kids in my hometown (Atlanta) were throwing beer
bottles at (non-Muslim) Indian Sikhs, Citadel cadets sometimes went a
bit too far in protecting our Muslim brothers. While the rubble still
smoldered, a Saudi student confessed to me that he wasn't getting enough
sleep because his classmates (most of whom were devout Southern
Baptists) wanted to make sure he was OK, and wouldn't leave him alone!
Both the Atlanta example and the Citadel example exist in our society.
Choose your side now, and fight for it.
3) Be unrelentingly tough. Decide what you want, and knock down any
obstacle to get it. Endure any hardship, solve any problem, and invent
any possible solution. Read Atlas Shrugged (skip the radio address),
and compare the whining of the looters ("It can't be done, it's too
hard, I'm not supposed to do it, that's someone else's job...") to the
stoic determination of Dagny Taggart. My most reliable Marine is a 20
year old dude from the Northern Detroit suburbs, (OXFORD).. He literally hands me
solutions before I can finish describing a problem. Meanwhile, others
can't walk across a football field if you erect a door at midfield.
They'll line up behind the door, remark that it is closed, and fail to
even look for a way around the obstacle. Be like Sgt Schornak, not the
dudes who have an excuse for everything but success!
4) Pull back the reins on our American tendency towards quick fixes,
superficial solutions, and impatient problem solving. Part of loving
something purely is recognizing its weaknesses, and these are our
culture's greatest. They are the flip side of loving progress and
relentless resolution of problems. It's fine for a TV show to introduce
a problem, tell the story, and bring closure in 30 minutes...but not for
foreign policy and warfare. This desire for a 10-second solution is the
reason so many Americans give lip service to entirely un-American
strategies like 'nuke 'em all,' or 'just give up!' Our enemies think we
don't have the collective patience for long term conflict, and this is
our strategic Achilles' heel. Ho Chi Minh and Osama Bin Laden both cite
American impatience as the reason they'll easily outlast and defeat us.
The first guy was right, as we did lose patience despite being
tactically and operationally superior in combat. But while all he
wanted was for us to leave Vietnam, the latter guy wants something far
more evil. Don't let him win, or the sacrifices of men like my brother
Captain Peterson will be for nothing.
5) Enjoy the ride. We have only a limited amount of time to enjoy this
beautiful land, the love of our families, and the wonders of our world.
Use it well. There are plenty of ugly things to focus on, if misery is
your thing. But why choose that? Even in the worst of times, there are
little things of beauty, fulfillment, or purpose which can get you
Semper Fidelis, and thanks again! Feel free to e-mail me any time Jeff , Captain, USMC
As many of you know I left for Afghanistan on March 5th and Returned back to the United States on September 3rd. While i was in Afghanistan i received packages and letters from a lot of you and have not yet had the chance to tell you how thankful i am. There are days over there when all you need is a couple words to lift your spirits. And as the mail came in from the helicopters, it was almost like an amazing Christmas present being dropped off because we knew we would get to hear about home and how much faith people have in us for keeping them safe at night.
My deployment was always a life long dream for me to defend my countries freedom at the front lines. And many of you ladies and gentleman made it possible for me to fulfill my dream. Many of you have been receiving updates on my condition after being shot. And many prayers and cards have been sent to my family and me. My recovery is coming along at a pace that no doctors expected. They told me i would not be walking for 4 months after i got shot, but i believe that all the prayers that god answered from you amazing people gave me the strength to start walking with a walker only 3 days after i got wounded. I do not believe this is some sort of luck. I believe that I'm in such great shape and great spirits because of how many prayers and how much love was sent my way as well as to my family.
Ever since i was wheeled into the national naval medical center in Maryland my wife Lindsey has been there holding my hand after every surgery, during every meal, and taking care of anything i could not handle on my own. My mother Tina and father Joseph and grandparents Richard and Rosemary Zach have made this recovery much more better than i could ever ask for. I'm walking without any assistance as of October 25th. I have one more big operation to go within the next 3 months and after that i will hopefully be on my way to doing what i dreamt of for so long, and enjoyed doing every minute i was fighting for family, friends, and our great country.
It leaves me speechless and at a loss for words when i try to say thank you to everyone who has been there for me and my family through these hard times. It means more to me than i could ever explain but i just want everyone to know that i am forever in your debt because of the love and care you have showed. The prayers worked and have been answered in keeping me healthy. This dramatic change in lifestyle may have knocked me down but i promise all of you i will be back to 110% within the next year. Thank you again for everything, you have made the biggest impact on my life. And you all give the power to drive through the pain and weakness everyday.
Thank you again, United States Marine , Lcpl Michael J. Zach
Wondering "What am I going to do with all that Halloween Candy???" Teach your children how to "Give" or "Share" ....RECYCLE that candy...YES all those CHOCOLATE Bars....OUR TROOPS would LOVE to have some of that chocolate to share with the children of Afghanistan!!
First off I want to say how much I appreciate the care given to each
care package I have received. Listed below are a group of young
Soldiers who are on a Forward Operation Base in Afghanistan who do not
get a lot of mail and are living in very austere conditions. They are
lucky to get one hot meal a day and three shows a week. They leave the
wire on a daily basis and risk their lives to help the Afghani people.
Please send them some care packages to show them how much Americans
cares about them. Again thank you and your many volunteers for their
support to the troops!! God Bless you All!
Dear Desert Angels,
Thanks so much for your continued support. I was able to get the addresses of our Female Engagement Team. You can now send care packages directly to these ladies.
They have thanked many for the wonderful female hygiene products they receive as well as the summer/winter clothes for the young children of Afghanistan, toys, and many other items. These ladies are living in very austere areas.
Please note that I have included their Staff NCOIC (Master Sergeant ) and Company Gunnery Sergeant (Gunnery Sergeant) who can answer any questions you many have on items you might want to send to these COURAGEOUS women.
Thanks so much for all of your support.
Very Respectfully, Master Gunnery Sergeant
November...REMEMBER to THANK a VET everyday not just on Veteran's Day, Nov. 11th
Dates to remember:
Nov. 7 3 - 5pm K9 Packing Party @ The Grand Blanc Senior Activity Center 12632 Pagels Dr. Grand Blanc, Mi. 48439 We are collecting items for the K9s and their handers! Contact Sandie, our K9 specialist! firstname.lastname@example.org or 810 417 2086, AFTER 12 noon PLEASE!!
Nov. 11th 4 - 6pm The Oxford Meijers "RECYCLE that HALLOWEEN Candy" Packin Party...Bring all that candy and we will send it to our TROOPS!! Plus pocket foods, socks, wete wipes, etc. Please visit http://thedesertangel.org/help.htm
Nov. 11th 7pm The Oxford Middle School Americana Concert!! Oxford High Scholl auditorium 745 N. Oxford Rd. Oxford, Mi. 48371
Nov. 12th 11 - 2 pm The 2nd Annual Grandview Lodge Packing Party, Grand Reserve by Del Webb 6300 Del Webb Blvd Grand Blanc, MI 48439 Contact Jennifer Swoish 810.603.1735
Nov. 16th 4 - 6pm Belle Anne Packing Party - Belle Ann Elementary School 155 East Glass Rd Ortonville, MI 48462 more details to follow!!
SEWING SEWING SEWING...Let's make some MIRACLES!! Miracle Quilts made by ANGELS!! Always the second Saturday of EVERY month @ Independance Village 701 Market Street Oxford, Mi. @ 11 - 3pm... contact Carole email@example.com
We sent out this email asking what we should make:
We have many woman wanting to sew items to keep our TROOPS serving warm....like neck warmers, scarves, or warm ties, like the neck cooler ties we make, they can keep you cool or warm plus use as tourniquet in an emergency.
Is there any regulations to items the TROOPS use?
1. We have been sewing helmet liners, small circle of fleece material, that fit in the top of the helmet.
2. Sewing/cutting fleece scarfs that can around the neck or under a uniform to keep warm and feel nice..reminder of home.
3. Sewing fleece face mask in desert colors
4. Knitting wool helmet liners
5. Small personal fleece cozy blankets...a reminder of home, made special for YOU!
6. We are sewing travel size pillow cases...
We have woman WANTING to sew and make items...ANYTHING you might NEED or want...we just NEED to be advised on WHAT to MAKE.....FOR:
The TROOPS in the field, the field hospitals, WHERE EVER items are needed...they WANT to MAKE something...anything!! They are sewing and making these items from their HEART!!
From our HEARTS to YOURS!!! Please advise as we don't want to make and ship these items and not be used or hazardous.
Here is the answer I received:
¯The items are OK for in FOB/down-time wear...not operational wear (in large due to fuel based IED's, that's why we wear FROG outside the wire).
Would Marines wear these, yes, but know that their wear is/would be restricted to 'in hooch-wear' only.¯ MGySgt K
The items that you are questioning sound wonderful. Some commanders will allow the wear of such items, but some will not. The more discreet and inconspicuous they are, the better. I have spent several winters in Afghanistan, and I know first hand that it gets very cold. Thank you for thinking of us who are out here away from home; these comfort items are definitely helpful.
Sincerely, SSG M
PLEASE remember to VOTE on NOV. 2...The FREEDOM to vote! Use your FREEDOM wisely...There is a price for FREEDOM..."Greater love has no man then this, that he lay his life down for a friend.."
For God!! In GOD we trust!
For Country! This is MY country, Land that I LOVE!!!
For FREEDOM!! Give the people FREEDOM!! I LOVE FREEDOM!
Desert Angels, Inc. 4280 Diehl Road Metamora, Mi. 48455 248 736 6403 DesertAngel4u@gmail.com