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Inside April 22, 2003's Issue




Bourne with an Opinion


Letters to the Editor

Sandy House - staff writerHouse of thought

Quit writing letters and send something useful!

By Sandy House
Staff Writer

Alright, I know that all the local elementary and middle schools, churches and other organizations are writing letters to the troops over in Kuwait and Iraq.

Well, I have some news for you all. Writing the troops is OVER RATED. Most soldiers do not value the letters they receive; in fact some even detest getting random, meaningless letters from people they do not know.

I think that writing the troops is more for the people back home to get a warm and fuzzy feeling because they feel like they are making a difference.

Here is what one United States Marine, whose name I can’t mention, has to say about it: “I hated it. They are so generic. We got some from a church, and I swear they were almost all the same. So we disliked those letters because they just feel so fake.”

There you have it folks, straight from the horse’s mouth.

Now some of the troops do not mind. One Marine stated that he was preoccupied at the time but it was nice to know that the folks back home were thinking of them. So it’s not like the troops even have time to read the letters.

On another note, most of the troops in Iraq are not even getting mail because the supply lines are needed for supplies, not mail. Most of the ones getting mail and packages are those that are still in Kuwait, and they are just as busy supporting those in Iraq.

If you really want to do something good for the guys overseas, send them a care package with baby wipes and junk food. Showers are scarce and so is good food. Imagine eating MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) three times a day.

In a letter from a U.S. Marine, whose name I also cannot mention, he said, “This place wouldn’t be so bad if we had hot meals and cold beer.”

Granted, you cannot send alcohol in a care package but chips are much appreciated. But don’t send chocolate or anything that will melt in the hot desert sun, and don’t send magazines. Perhaps packages of hot chocolate that they can mix with water would be good. Beef Jerky is also a favorite. Care packages can get pretty costly, but they sure do help as opposed to a monotonous letter.

Some do enjoy getting letters of support, mostly the ones who have never been deployed and it is their first time. They are the easily amused.

So when you are looking for a troop to write, pick out the Pfcs or Lcpls (Private First Class, Lance Corporal). Those are usually the new guys.

Perhaps they will enjoy the letters more than you do because, as I said before, support letters are for those left behind.


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