Letters Home More on "Guest Book" updated 06/11/2011
John and Wendy, 06/11/2011
Thank you guys for the packages that were sent to Afghanistan in my name. They arrived late in our deployment, so the guys I'm deployed with scavanged what they needed out of them and the rest we brought to our Unit Run Task Force Exchange for distribution to the rest of the soldiers and civilian contractors on our post. I mention our Unit Run Task Force Exchange (rather than PX, because AAFES doesn't run it) because our camp is so small that AAFES doesn't think we deserve all the stuff a regular PX gets. Therefore your packages were greeted with enthusiasm and there was shortly nothing left. I assure you that EVERYTHING that was sent was put to good use. I personally know a couple of your kids (I live in Whitinsville right down the street from the 101st armory and my wife works for Family Services, she's the State Youth Coordinator), so I know how much doing this stuff means to you...you would think in this day and age where you can order anything you want off the internet and get it usually within a week, that care packages would be out of date. I'm here to tell you they aren't, and the kind of stuff you send goes a long way towards making Joe a little more comfortable and keeping a few more dollars in his pocket.
Thank you both so very much! God Bless!
SSG Gerald W. Kabul, Afghanistan
P.S.- The 181 is rolling out soon, but the 26th MEB is here and the 182 is replacing us...so keep the goodies coming to Afghanistan for the MA Army National Guard. Our boys deserve it.
05/29/2011 I received the care package that you all at Operation American Soldier sent me. I must say it was a real treat to have received this. I just want to say thank you very much, every little piece of back home that we can receive really helps out. So again, thank you very much. Scott
Also you wanted to know when I will be returning home. It should be in December some time.
John & Wendy Rocca, 05/29/2011
I would like to thank you for the package I received.What you are doing is very appreciated out here.I know myself and all the other Soldiers appreciate everything you do for us and all your support.I know when Soldiers receive packages it puts smiles on their faces.
Thank you for everything you do and please pass on our thank you!My husband is also deployed right now and we are away from each other.If at all possible is there any way you would be able to send out a care package to him and his fellow Marines?I know I would really appreciate it as will they.Thank you again for everything you do for us deployed!
Thank you for your Support!
SSG Amanda Clawson
05/28/2011 Just wanted to take the time to thank you for a care package I recieved from you a couple of weeks ago. I am very apreciative for the time and effort you put into making things like these for soldiers. The package was obviosly thought threw and not just thrown together. I know you don't know me and I don't know you but I am gratefull for what you do.
SSG Batteiger, Bagram Afghanistan
John and Wendy Rocca 05/09/2011 I want to thank you for the care package. It is so nice to know people care about us. I will hang the picture the children sent me I have a 9 year old at home and it reminds me of me. Thanks so much I think Dave and Judy brooks work there tell them I sais hi. Thanks again
Dear John & Wendy Rocca, 05/04/2011
I received your box today in the mail. I can’t thank you enough for the support you have provided to our company. Our soldiers were very happy to receive the items that you sent us. It is very nice to know that there are people that still support our military today. I pray that God will bless you and your family and again I can’t thank you enough for what you are doing for us.
SGT Starks, David
D Co. Orderly Room Clerk
Good morning, 04/28/2011 My name is Vikram Mittal, and I'm one of the soldiers from the Massachusetts Guard that was deployed to Afghanistan.I got one of your Operation American Soldier packages today and it really touched my heart.Thank you so much.It's the first mail that I've gotten since I've been here, and it really made my day.
Thank you so much and God Bless, Vikram
A LETTER HOME 04/20/2011 John & Wendy
We have continued to receive the military care packages you and your organization send. As you might imagine, the battle rhythm here is intense. I’m not sure how many people thank you, so let me speak for the group and express our gratitude. God Bless you for remembering us.
Remember to stay strong, stay motivated and have A Fine Navy Day!
V/rJerry T. , PO1, USNISAF Detachment AFCENT CAOC (IDAC)
ALETTER HOME 04/19/2011
John and Wendy,
Thank you very much for your care package.We are extremely grateful.
I know many soldiers in Afghanistan live on relatively large posts.
We, however do not.I'm a medic on a Special Forces team and we are out by ourselves.We were able to pick up the package by travelling an hour to a semi big base.It's not that bad out here though.I think our biggest frustration is our restraints for our rules of engangement.We really want to take the fight to the enemy and we don't have the freedom to do what we would like.But we're part retarded, give us no food, water, any sort of amenities and let us fight....we're happy as can be ;) It's so great for us to have Patriots back home who support our service.Knowing there are Americans who suppport means more than anything.Thank you for YOUR service.
I am a soldier (Medic) currently in Afghanistan who recently recieved two packages from Operation American Soldier. I find it baffling the kindness people like you have for those you do not know and it gives me hope for the job we are trying to do here. As a Medic I see and deal with alot of needy locals who dont have what we would consider anything. Asking for a portable radio or a pen seems to be the limits of their needs. So when I opened the boxes you sent i took to heart and thanked god that their are people out there that understand what we are doing and care. Thank you so much for everything you do. You guys are Angels.
First and foremost let me start out by saying thank you. Without people like you that support us our job over here would be ten times harder. My name is SSG Counter and I have been in the Army for 8 years. I have two beautiful daughters and a wife who is the love of my life. I am from the cold plains of central Kansas, which it seems every year gets colder and colder during the winter months. I would like to take this time to tell you a little more about myself since the letters I have received have really given me a better understanding of what you like to do. I love to collect football cards and have had a collection for about 20 years now just sitting around collecting dust. I also am a big fan of hot rods, and I am a current owner of a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach One that my wife bought for me on my last deployment. The car is in great shape and never let the state of Kansas, even though in the Army it has been really hard to get the time to fix her up; one day I hope to send all of you pictures.
Now I want to take this time to again thank you for all you have done and shared with me in letters and pictures. Mail out here is very rare, since our location is a little farther than normal but know that we are all doing great and with the packages you sent, it felt like Christmas for all of us here, and we needed that. It feels really good to hear from true Americans, and I wish all of you the best and hope to hear from you when you get a chance. This is my email account that I am sending this to you on so please don’t be shy and email whenever you get bored, a free moment, or even need to let off some steam, lol. GOD BLESS all of you and have a great day.
SSG Counter, Russell
03/25/2011 A Letter Home I would like to thake this time to thnk you for all your support and thoughtfulness. We all appreicate the wonderful care packages you have sent. We also would like to take the time to thank you all so much for all you do in making this deployment more bearable. I hope to some day meet you and return the kindne...ss you have shared with us. Allways Terry
This was a guest book entry:
THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE -- IT CAME AT THE PERFECT TIME AND REALLY MADE MY WEEK! GOD BLESS.
To john and wendy rocca, 03/24/2011
Hi you doing my name is Cpl. Martinez, Ben and Im a marine currently deployed overseas. This is my second deployment in less than year I recently did a deployment for seven months to Afghanistan. I was emailing in regards to the care package I received today in the mail. I want to thank you and I highly appreciate the package. Thank you for taking the time in sending me this everything in the package was very helpful I shared everything with my marines. It my honor to defend this great nation of ours and everytime I put on this uniform it makes my proud.
Thanks again I highly appreciate it
I would like to thake this time to thnk you for all your support and thoughtfulness. We all appreicate the wonderful care packages you have sent. We also would like to take the time to thank you all so much for all you do in making this deployment more bearable. I hope to some day meet you and return the kindness you have shared with us. Allways Terry
3/12/2011 Just a quick email to say THANK YOU so much for the package you sent me! It had some awesome, practical and delicious items! And anything I couldn't use, I shared with others here at my base. What you are doing really means A LOT and truly makes our day/week/month! :-) I will donate to your cause as well.
May God continue to bless you and your outreach. Please keep our political and military leaders in prayer, as they make daily life or death decisions. Also, pray for the Middle Eastern people as we seek mutual respect and understanding for the future.
Thanks again and all the best!
Thank you from friends
My name is Mara, I’m 23 years old, I’m from Puerto Rico. This is my second deployment. I’m really happy to hear about what you guys. To do that made me really happy cuz a lot of our support comes from people like you. Believe it or not that makes us keep going. Thanks again for what you guys do and GOD BLESS you.
Your Solder Martinez
John & Wendy
Thank you for the care package. I brought the box to the wounded warriors house in KAF. This may sound like an odd request. Is there any chance you recieve any office supplies you can forward me. We are trying to set up a clinic, but supplies are hard to come by. Please and Thank you.
12/03/2010 Just got your care package and I wanted to personally thank yoyu for it. Your Generosity is greatly appreciated and you guys being from MA makes it even more so. I am form Revereve to be exact. In fact there are tree others from MA, Please thank Dunkin Donuts, and CVS for their support. I was very suprised to get a cre [package and the amount of Christmass cards in the package. All those people supporting someone they barely know, its human nature at its best. Go PATs,Cletics, Red Sox and Bruins.
P.S. GO PATS BEAT THE JETS.
OAS Just a little note to say thank you for the care pacages. You made a soldiers day 2day. PFC M.S
John&Wendy 11/05/2010 Just wanted to take the time to let you know how much we appreciate the packages tha OAS has sent. I am fortunate to have LT.B as a leader as well as a friend. She shares the packages with all the troops. Again Thank You for your support. Sgt.M
Operation American Soldier 10/29/2010
I would like to thank you for the care packages you sent my platoon here in Afganistan. It was really nice to know that you have family that serve also in the military. Also it's really admirably the reasons why you do this. There are a couple of guys that I know who would love to recieve mail like this again if you could.Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Operation American Soldier 10/26/2010 I want to tahnk you so much for the care pacages you have sent us, I shared them with all the soldiers on our small FOB. They really appreciated them, Thanks again for what you are doing. ED.B
Dear John & Wendy,
Sorry, I have not written to you sooner, but work has kept me pretty busy over the last couple of weeks. I wanted to send a little thank you note for the package I had received from you guys. The items inside were enjoyed by myself, friends, co-workers and even in-transit military personnel.
Here is some quick information about myself:
I am a reservist from Westover ARB, Massachusetts (58th Aerial Port Squadron). I have been in the military just shy of ten years. My current rank is Technical Sergeant (E-6). My Air Force job is Air Transportation, which basically relates to the offloading and uploading of our services aircrafts. Within this career field we have six major functions, currently I am filling a slot that has to do with Passenger Service. This passenger service section entails working with the troop movements in and out of our location. I kind of compare it to working in an Airport, but it is a lot different than that most of the time. I also help with some of our cargo movement mission by releasing space of aircraft that would not be filled with our passengers. This deployment for me is my fifth in the last six years and I should be heading back stateside sometime in the month of September. Back at home I work for the Wakefield Police Department as a Patrolman.
Since my first deployment to Baghdad (2004), I have been amazed with the response by many individuals and groups who have taking it upon themselves to support our troops while they are away from their family and friends. THANK YOU for your time and efforts as it goes a long way to bringing smiles to so many faces! Keep up the great work as many do appreciate your hard work when you do not have to.
Since, I will be heading home in the near future if you would like to continue sending cares packages to our location I can provide another contact who will be here until the end of the year. Any leftover items from your care packages would be put out for all the in-transit troops moving in and out of Balad going to numerous places within the Area of Operation (AOR). If you have other less fortunate soldiers, please send care packages to them instead as we do have some amenities that other locations may not have (ex. Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell, BX’s, etc.).
Once again, I THANK YOU and hope to hear from you in the future!
So, I’ve accepted that I’m not on leave anymore, but it sure was great to see some friendly faces and be amongst a Western culture. Don’t get me wrong, the Ethiopian people are awesome and some of the sights here can take your breath away…but too be a little corny ‘cause I am…there’s no place like home (for those who don’t know, I’m from Kansas and you might miss the Wizard of Oz comment…sorry, it can’t be lost on anyone J).
We have entered the last month of the really rainy season and our friends the mosquitoes are still with us. I seriously was looking into Ethiopian flood insurance as I watched our roof leak through the light fixtures and my stoop outside my door almost couldn’t been seen. I was considering using my laundry bag as a “sand bag” on the inside of my door.
Labor Day is quickly approaching as is the end of Ramadan and the Ethiopian New Year. The Ethiopian New Year is September 11th and in 2001 in the United States, many Ethiopians who worked at the World Trade Center took the day off. They were questioned about it and had to explain they missed work because they were celebrating their “New Year”. The upcoming new year will be 2003 for Ethiopia. They operate off the Gregorian Calendar and are eight years behind our calendar…in addition to being 6 hours behind…look it up, it could be fun.
We have finished our first phase of our children’s deworming project of collecting urine and feces (yes, you read that right), and will kick off the next phase of treating children for the parasites found (we could use some flip flops and children’s shoes). We have also been supporting a youth soccer league where we live which includes 1300 kids. We will also be working more with bed nets to fight off malaria.
For us, we could really use some fly strips (I’ve decided flies are Ethiopia’s national insect, bird, and animal), granola bars, mosquito repellent, kool aid grape and cherry drink mixes and whatever else you would like to send.
I know I’m not good at replying in a timely fashion, so please forgive the shotgun blast…but thanks for all the emails, care packages, thoughts and prayers…I’d be limping along without them!
Have a great Friday!
Hi! My name is PFC Mendez-Datiz and I was trying to sign up for your amazing program. My unit is here in remote location in Afghanistan and I was told by a friend who deployed a year ago that your program was really great for deployed soldiers we also have a soldier that is receiving mail now from your program but he is at a different location. I was hoping to get some mail for my unit since A LOT of our soldiers aren't receiving any from home or programs. I set up an area in our mailroom to try and get pacakages for any soldier. If you could help out the soldiers in my unit the address is
Thank you very much for the care package... I see my friend Renee Nusum left a message on the box, You all cant imagine how getting these things makes a soldiers day, we live in a pretty bad area of the world and work in pretty tough conditions, but it is the least we can do for our country. With people like you it makes it so much easier.
With all the love
ISAF IMP Kandahar AFghanastan
John, I would like to thank you and your organization for the package i recieved. I have been in Afghanistan for two weeks now and it was nice to get something from home. This is my second tour I went to Iraq in 2004. Thank you and your family for your service to our country and thanks again for what you are doing for us now...
-- Jeffrey T. Surprenant
May,2010 Thanks for blessing us with the Care Package. May God Bless you Always. From the 580th Signal Soldiers Bagram, Afghanistan
Good afternoon, April 2010
Thank you very much for the wonderful care package! I was soo surprised at all of the items in it and it was wonderful to receive some "creature comforts" from back home!!! My soldiers also greatly appreciated a number of the items that were enclosed and we are very thankful for the time, care, and thoughtfulness that went in to organizing, packing, and sending these packages (What a great team effort!) My soldiers will be able to utilize many of the items while out on the road, and the snacks will most definitely help in keeping them awake during the long nights of driving. I hope everyone back home is doing well, and that the rain has finally stopped?! Thank you again for your kindness!!
1LT J. M
164th TC BN
May,2010 Thanks for blessing us with the Care Package. May God Bless you Always. From the 580th Signal Soldiers Bagram, Afghanistan
Thank you so Much for your time & devotion to soldiers. Please thank Dunkin Donuts for me as well. ( I always did love their donuts!) I hope your children come home as one.
P.S. WE ARE GOING HOME!!!!!
On behalf of the sailor and Guardians of Task Force 56.5, please accept my sincerest thanks for your very thoughtful care package. While our Navy and Coast Guard leaders do an outstanding job of meeting our various needs while deployed, you just cannot beat a touch of home. Your package provided just that.
It is indeed a privilege to lead the outstanding men and women of Task Force 56.5. Our Mission - and their well being are my highest priorities. You might imagine, then, how it pleases me to have seen the smiles on their faces when your package arrived. Thank you again for your generosity and for supporting our men and women serving their country overseas.
Recently our office received some of your organization's care packages. It was wonderful to receive news from home and the items were like a treasure trove of goodies. Each package we receive is unpacked and placed inside our canteen for the Soldiers, Sailor,Airmen, and Marines to come and claim what they may desire. My fellow service members have opportunity to utilize these items, which you and other organizations have graciously donated.
We of the Chaplin"s office and Service Members of Camp Crooper want to say thank you again for the gracious donations. God Bless
Mr & Mrs Rocca 01/2010
Thank you so much for the support of our troops, I want you to know that everyone appreciates what you all are doing for us. Thank you very much and God Bless you.
From Afghanistan 2009-2010 HAPPY HOLIDAYS
John and Wendy, 11/09 My name is Sergeant First Class Tim Lawless and I am currently on month 2 of a 12 month tour in Afghanistan. Today I was blessed to receive a package from you. It was great! Thank you so much for your support, it is wonderful to be remembered by people back home. I can tell you have been sending packages for a while because you seem to have mastered the art of packing 20 pounds of stuff into a 10 pound box! The contents of the package were great, all needed and useful. We actually have no store here on base, no place to buy toiletries and so on; so the toothpaste, razors and all were great. The brain teaser book will be sure to provide many hours of frustration, in the best possible way of course! It is great to take your mind off Afghanistan and get deep into a puzzle. Thank you again for your thinking of us troops, your support is very much appreciated. Tim
Dear Mr. and Mrs Rocca 10/08/09
I received your box yesterday, and I thank you frtom the bottom of my heart. Everything was wonderful! In fact, I had just been talking about missing gummy worms the other day! I can't tell you thank you enough for everything ya'll do for us. Sometimes you do feel forgotten about. It is so great just to know people back home are still thinking of us.
Lt. Gaye Bobbitt
Dear John and Wendy: 10/05/09
My name is Gavin Heater, and I just received one of your great care packages filled with many yummy treats. Thanks so very much. Everything was very well appreciated and very well shared amongst my fellow Soldiers. I am actually from Chelmsford, MA, and I work in Boston (for NSTAR Electric). Me and my unit (Army Reserve out of Londonderry, NH) are redeploying shortly. We have been here in Iraq since late November, and away from our families since September (August in some cases). We are being replaced by another fine unit from Queens, NY, the 389th CSSB. If you wish to keep sending goodies to Iraq, send them care of: LTC Lisa Schieferstein, 389th CSSB, CSC Scania, APO AE 09304. If not, then thanks for what you sent us.
Yours in Service to a Grateful Nation.
Lieutenant Colonel Gavin Heater Commander, 167th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion
P.S. Go Red Sox and Patriots! ------------------ LTC Gavin Heater
09/23/2009 Wendy, thank you so much for the box of goods & the books. Yes, on your next shipment theirs a soldier in my platoon that only gets a letter from his dad once in a while and no packages. his name is SPC Newman,Nathan, that would lift his spirits. Yes, our chaplain is a little freaky, so i don't talk to much with him.
Let me know the information on your son that's over here and i might be able to make some contact with him. I am at camp liberty staying on pad 5. I am working on the night shift which makes it easier to go on missions, because we run at night.
Tell me, how are things back home; the real estate, interest rates and things at century.
Thank you again Wendy and talk to ya soon
My name is SPC Jessica Pesantez. I'd like to say thank you very much for the great box of goodies you sent me! everything in it is greatly appreciated. the SOX shirts are awesome! its great to have a little something from home. the black hygiene bag is awesome, you don't even know how excited i was to have that. i have been using a zip-lock bag to hold my shampoo and body wash. and the loofahs.... We cant even find them here! you may not think that the ramen noodle soup is that big of a deal.. but let me tell you, tonight it was. i worked late tonight and had no time to make it to dinner and that was a life saver!
let me tell you a little about my self. i am 22 years old. I'm from a small town called Turners Falls MA. i moved to Lowell about a year ago to live with my boyfriend Alex. (he is also in the army) and that's when we volunteered to come on this deployment. (his 2nd and my 1st) while on our 4 day pass in Chicago we got married! so now here we are in Iraq and we get to live in the same room together. thank god because other wise i would never get to see him. he works night shift and i work days. i don't know what i would do with out him, he is my support and my life line. he is there for me when ever i need him. we're trying to save our money so we can have our wedding ceremony AND buy our first house together when we get home. so this box means a lot to us and will help us tons!
we both thank you very much!
-Alex and Jessica Pesantez
john&wendy, i can;t thank you guys enough for all your support. i also want
to thank your team at OAS. you guys are doing a noble act. it means so much
to receive something from back home.things here in iraq where rough for the
first few weeks but are starting to get a little better. the co. we replaced
had this place a mess.my mission is delivering fuel to various camps
throughout bagdad. john the roads over here are starting to get bad again.
eod is finding ied;s; efp;s more frequently. we;ve lost 2 soldiers in our
battalion last week and a kbr truck driver got hit in a separate mission.
it;s a little strange not having any ground troops on the ground patrolling
the streets. other than that, things aren;t so bad. i am at camp liberty
so if you talk to nick. let me know what camp he;s at because i deliver all
over and i can make contact. wendy, thank you so much for those books, that
should give me a good start. take care and talk to ya soon!
Dear Mr. and Mrs Rocca Sept 2009
On behalf of the HSC Company and the 101st Engineers I would like to personally thank you both for the kind gifts that you have sent the soldiers. Each and every soldier fully appreciate your concerns and thoughts for the men and women who are here in Iraq fighting the War on Global Terrorism. We don't always have all the comforts of home here, but because of the gifts you have provided these will help to bridge the gap and let the soldiers enjoy some small comforts.
Once again, THANK YOU for your support of the American Soldier, the men and women from Massachusetts and the 101st Engineer Battalion.
Very Respectfully 1SG Robert L.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HEADQUARTERS, 42nd MILITARY POLICE BRIDAGE TASK FORCE BUCCA APO AE 09375
To John Rocca Family & Friends 16 JUL 2009
Greetings from Camp Bucca Chapel,
I am writing to thank you for your generous support of the Service Members and cilivan contractors stationed here on Camp Bucca. The items generous donated by you and other like minded individuals bring smiles to the recipients here.
Even something as simple as a pack of gum or a piece of their favorite candy can remind a person of what life is like stateside and who they are over here serving. The various food and hygiene items infolded in package help supplement what the Service members were able to bring with them and sometimes can't buy at the Post Store due to lengthy supply lines and requisition times.
Be assured that your package did reach the Chapel in good condition and will be used to benefit all who work in support of Camp Bucca. Every box delivered to the Chapel is opened, sorted and made available to any who come to the Chapel asking for items from home. Often times Unit Chaplains will take boxes of these items down to distribute amongst the Service Members during their shifts as a quick-pick-me-up from home. Sometimes Soldiers just take a whole box and act like a child during Christmas. it is a view to behold.
Thank you for your willingness to support the troops while they serve the people of the United States in any region of the globe to which they are called.
In Deepest Appreciation, Chaplin Thomas
PS We appreciate you giving to the troops but would like you to redirect the package to Chaplain Robinson. Thank You Very Much!!
Dear John and Wendy, July 13 2009
Just writing to say thank you so much for the care package. I was so happy when I got it, and everyone else here with me as well. The box had so much great stuff on it, everyone was able to get something. Life is tough over here, especially with the transition because we want to make sure the Iraqis have all they can to be safe and take care of their own country. I wish I could be out there and do more for them, especially the Iraqi kids. We have a volunteer program in the weekends where we spend time with them trying to show that we are here for them and that we care.
I'm a Marine deployed from Hawaii and I'm very happy to be here fighting for all the we stand for and realizing how good we have it in the States. It is a big life lesson and I am learning a lot.
People like you that support us make all of this worth it, and I appreciate the help.
Thank you again for your support.
God Bless our country and Corps.
Respectfully, Ticiane de Oliveira USMC
John & Wendy July 10 2009
It is with sadness that my heart will no longer feel the joy of opening one of your boxes. I am due to depart Iraq next week and return to my civilian life and my family. However it is with great joy that I pass onto your group the name and address of the fine gentleman that will be replacing me and my soldiers. I have asked if they wanted to continue receiving your packages of support and love from you all and they have agreed. Below is the address.
Again- THANK YOU! I will never forget that in spite of the media Reports- there are still wonderful Americans that never forgot who the real heroes are. You and the soldiers who are in harms way- so our children back home don't have too be.
SFC Rich Bright
"We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate". Thomas Jefferson
John and Wendy-
Thanks for the nice treats.We shared the cookies with the kids. Attached are some photos you might like. We all live right next to the Pakistan border in northern Afghanistan.I think the tall mountains in the photos are actually Pakistan, if I am orientated right.
My partner Eric Leverone is the one on your mailing list.Thanks again,
Dear John and Wendy...last night while at camp mesa I received your package along with the drawing from Angel from Pack 250. I was very touched by your generosity and effort. I myself, am a retired NYPD cop working as an advisor to the Iraqi Police Dept. here in the al Anbar Province. As a contractor, I am handsomely compensated for my efforts here to bring a more democratic style of policing to this war-torn nation. The real heroes to me are the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who are not here voluntarily and who put themselves in harm's way for us all. I travel with a Marine PTT team ( police transition team) who are also tasked with working alongside our Iraqi counterparts. When I opened the box, I saw how much your how much generosity was conatined therein and I promptly went to the recreation room where several of the young Marines were watching movies and told them to pass the box around and how it came to me. They were all impressed and told me to say hello to you and to Angel. I myself have an 8 year old son who is in the local Webelos and the picture reminds me alot of something that my son would draw for me. From your letter, I see that your entire family is dedicated to serving this great country of ours and it is evident in the gift you have sent. I want to thank you wholeheartedly from myself and PTT team 12 here at Camp Mesa. God Bless you and yours for your patriotism and generosity, Matthew F. Adamchek- International Police Advisor,
John, July 6 2009
I am writing because one of Soldiers has consistently walked away from our mailroom empty handed for the past sixty days. Her address is:
Please help me let my Soldier know that there is someone in the outside world that cares.
Joshua B. Lee SGT, USA "PROVEN IN BATTLE"
"I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself." "Do your duty in all things. You should never wish to do less." --GEN Robert Lee
John, Wendy, and Family,
We received your two packages this week and wanted to thank you for your generosity. Thank you for your support. It means so much to us knowing that families like yours at home are supporting us. I enjoyed reading about the history of "Operation American Soldier." I've attached a photo of some of us to put faces to names. Please feel free to email me anytime. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
Semper Fidelis, Adam
First Lieutenant Adam Drexler
Multi-National Forces West G-4 Future Operations and Plans
Dear mrs. Rocca
This is MMFN DAGATI, nicks friend joe. I received your package today and I just wanted to say thank you very much. You don’t know how much it means to get mail when mail call is called and I really appreciate it a lot. Thank you again and if you see nick tell I said hi.
MMFN JOSEPH DAGATIENG/ AHYDRAULIC MECHANIC USS DWIGHT S. EISENHOWER
John and Wendy
My name is Bobby Wing and I received two packages from you. I shared the contents with my platoon and everything went very quickly. I just wanted to thank you for all that you are doing for us. You are doing a very noble thing an my Soldiers really appreciated it. I am going home on leave soon and after that we will only have another month in country. Since mail is so slow I think it would be a good idea not to send any more just in case.
SFC Robert Wing
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Rocca,
We recently received a package from Operation American Soldier and would like to thank you for your support. I am the donations coordinator here at the 332nd Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility at Balad, Iraq. We care for sick & injured Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and contractors awaiting aeromedical evacuation flights to more definitive care and to recover. Most of them are coming from “outside the wire” and smaller forward operating bases with less support than we receive here. It puts a smile on everyone’s face when we get a box of goodies from you! We put the cards/letters that kids made out on each patient’s bed and the snacks are usually gone within minutes! On behalf of the entire CASF staff and all of our patients, I want to thank you and all of your supporters for your generosity and continuous support!
Thank you! ~ TSgt H.R.
Dear Supporter, Friend, and Countryman Feb 21 2009
Thank you very much for all of the packages. It’s amazing to see the amount of love and support we continue to receive as the years pass by and the popularity of our cause continues to fade.
In the beginning we were faced with a difficult task… invade Iraq and de thrown a dictator. As the years moved forward our mission has changed but the challenge is still difficult.Together our Nation has scarified much…our Sons and Daughters, our Brothers and Sisters, our Mothers and fathers, and our Neighbors and Co workers. Everyday throughout this deployment and deployments to come we must stay focused on our mission… stabilize the government, continue to defeat the enemy and show these people that by working together they can grow a proud Nation. We must not leave this country without providing them with the tools, and skills to be prosperous and the training to continue the good fight against Terrorism and the enemies of this country.We must not cheat this country, and in doing so cheat all the fine Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We as a Country must remain Focused, ready, Willing and Able.
You are playing a big part in our mission. Your support and prayers have always been there. Every day we receive care packages from around the Nation from people we have never met. We are continually reminded why we do what we do by Students in schools all across America, Small Business, Large Business, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, individuals just wanting to help, Churches and other clubs and organization across the nation.I want to let you know how much it really means to us, but find it difficult to explain. Just know that we are doing okay, and will continue to press forward and fight the good fight. Your support helps to motivate and remind us where we come from.
We are a proud Nation.
The Soldiers Of: Detachment 1,490th Civil Affairs Battalion
From DallasTexas to Kirkuk, Iraq
Dear John and WendyFeb 18 2009
Your wonderful care package arrived intact and to great appreciation by all of us in the Counter-Terrorism Force Transition Team. You sent the perfect items and we divided the box between your faithful Army(4), Air force(1), Navy(2), and Marines(1) service men. We are a joint force and a family here. You have just became an extended member.
Thank you ! God Bless
Lt Colonel US Army
JohnFeb 15 2009
My name is Cpt Jeffery H., currently serving in Mosul, Iraq with the 81st HBCT from WA State.Recently we received a care package from Helping Our Troops; your business card was enclosed in an envelope within the box. I want to thank you and your organization for supporting the Soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. It means a great deal to me and my soldiers receiving care packages; it’s much welcome and appreciated!
When not “playing soldier”, I’m a Washington State Trooper; aside from leading troops in combat, being a Trooper is the next best thing. From one law enforcement officer to another, thank you again for your support!
Jeffery J H.
Mosul Mayor Cell S-6
John Feb 16 2006
Thank you very much for the care package you sent us. The soldiers here at the JIDC are blessed to have people like you back in the states supporting us.I hope you know that your generosity does not go unnoticed.
SPC Jennifer MacMillem
JIDC Chaplin Assistant
Hello Wendy, 09/03/2008
Thank you for the package. I just wanted to let you know that I am leaving soon so you don't have to send anything else. I appreciate everything you have sent.
I'll be back over here in about 2 years so if your still sending packages I will send you an email.
I have to applaud you and your family again. We received 5 boxes in the last 2 days. The soldiers are ecstatic for the food. Thanks for the Guitar magazine. The food is great for work. The girls were happy with the health products and the sponges. You and all your donators are outstanding.
SSG Warren B BOOTLEGGERS
09/04/2008 Hi - Frank received the box. He was excited...and did not know who it was from. He loved the gummy bears! We finally explained the connection. It was nice to know a recipient of Operation American Soldier.
I asked him to get the address of a soldier in need of cheer should he come across one as he is the closest med base in Kuwait to Iraq.
I'm so glad I ran across you at the Fair on the Square many years ago!
Thank you for all you do.
09/05/2008 John and Wendy, sorry it took a while to e-mail you to say thank you again for your support. The soldiers were thrill to receive your packages. I know that they cannot return the favor but in their hearts they say thanks. And from me thank you for again supporting the men and women in uniform.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Rocca, 08/21/2008
I have to date received three care packages from you and your organization. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond. But, with moving and leave, I've put it on the backburner always forgetting to return. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you. Getting one of your packages is almost like getting one from family because everything has been packed with care and practicality. Unlike some packages where it's just candy, you always send me stuff I can use. It's been a really hard deployment and its almost over *4 months to go.* I'm happy to say that getting the packages from you has been one of the many things that has helped me get through it. So, thank you so much for all that YOU and the people who work with you do. You've made one soldier happy in the very least.
I hope that you have a wonderful day.
Tiffany Wills (formerly Tiffany Chase...just got married out here!!)
John & WendyAug 13 2008
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sending the packages.You brought smiles to many faces.Yesterday was a young female SPC’s birthday, and didn’t receive anything, It made her so happy to receive one of your packages.Because of the contract I signed, I am not allowed to give out their contact info, but I do encourage the people to write you all back to say thank you.What you are doing is truly amazing. You are the reason we do this.I am proud to act as a Santa Claus of sorts & deliver the packages to my fellow soldiers.Thank you again for allowing me to do so.
From: "Jillian Schofield" To: "Wendy Rocca" Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2008 10:13 AM Subject: package Next time you talk to Tony...have him pull up his e-mail, i'd really like for you and John to read it as well.
Thank you so much for everything you sent! It was all perfect!! I am curious about the Teddy, though. I never saw you send something like that in any of the other packages to other soldiers. It's just so me and I am curious about how you knew. Can't help but smile every time I walk into my room and see it on my rack. Can't even come close to falling asleep w/out it in my arms now. lol. :) Just opened your letter a couple of minutes ago. I'll write you back tonight and send it out tomorrow.
John & Wendy 30 July 08
Thank you for the gift of the cigars and cutters. Myself & my staff thoroughly appreciate being able to relax for a time with a good cigar and enjoying each other’s company.The cutters are now a fine memento to remind them of the more pleasant times here.Once again, thank you for the gifts & also thank you & your family for your service to our nation.
Sincerely John G
08/03/2008 Dear John and Wendy, my name is Master Sergeant K, My unit is currently in Afganistan and would deeply appreciate the support that you are giving the soldiers while deployed. I currently have 5 females and 8 male soldiers in my section. It would be an honor to boost the morale of my soldiers to receive any gifts you can supply to them.
MSG William K
God Bless you and the Misses
THANKS for your Support"
Dear Wendy & John, 08/03/2008
My name is SPC Sharon D and my unit is deployed to Afghanistan. I just wanted to thank you for sending my squad care packages. It was so touching to see all of the boxes being delivered to us since some of us have not received any mail at all as of yet. I love the poems that you wrote. I write poetry myself. We really needed all of the items that you enclosed in your packages. The Dunkin Donuts coffee was an extra treat since we are not able to get it.
Please know that we are very grateful for your generosity and an official thank you from all of us is enroute.
God bless you and "Operation American Soldier"!
Very respectfully, Sharon D. SPC, USA
Thanks. I am the units representative for support agencies. I have been signing the soldiers up for support since we got here. This is my second deployment. What the soldiers love most is letters and treats. They also like hand held games, magazines, personal Hygiene items, t-shirts, movies and music. I personally like to read, write and draw. It is great that there are so many agencies out there with so many volunteers that support the soldiers. I know that you do a great thing by being there for us. It makes it easier being a soldier knowing that we are supported. OThanks again.
Hi John and Wendy! 07/29/2008
Wow! I think you've outdone yourselves this time! As always, everything is greatly appreciated (the books, snacks, toiletries, cards, movies, CDs). The birthday box was a great addition and hit just as were celebrating birthdays for the month of July. I passed it along to one of our sections to give to a young Soldier. Three additional things stood out: The cigars/cigar cutters (you'll be receiving a personal email from the recipient who really needed the morale boost), the specialty coffee (which made my day), and the pictures from Alexandra and Conner (which everyone enjoyed). Thank you so much for your continued generosity. You've got a special place in our hearts. May God bless you both!
Hello John ad Wendy
Ok, I know that your Red Sox had a no hitter against the Royals but, did you have to send the hat? :o) That was very nice of you but, I have to come up with a plan to give it away. I will come up with something. Now you have basketball and baseball champions and got close in football. Not fair. I do like Jim Rice. he is from my home state. South Carolina. I took a picture so you guys can see we proudly displayed your gift. Thank again for everything that you do.
ISG Richard Flowers
Dear John and Wendy,
First, I would like to apologize for taking so long to respond. I'm sincerely grateful for the care package I got from you in the mail. Most of all, I really appreciate your support to American Military men and women who are overseas. I definitely do not take that for granted. There are a lot of people who say they support the men and women of the military, however, there are those few who actually take the time out of their own life to do something about it to show their support. You are one of those few, and I feel honored to receive your support. I get many "Thank You"'s from random people at the airport and in the street when I'm in uniform. So this time, I'll take this opportunity to thank you. Thank you for your support to America's troops.
I read the letter in the package which included some information about you guys. It is only fair that I tell you a little bit about myself.
My name is Dennis Co. I joined the U.S. Army Reserves in 2005. Before then, I had been going to school at Rutgers University, New Jersey. I had been studying Economics and Psychology. I reside in New Jersey (when I'm not over here in Iraq). I'm the only child to my parents, so they were not exactly thrilled that I was deploying here. I'm currently deployed with a company (detached) of 404 Civil Affairs Battalion out of Fort Dix, New Jersey. Eversince I arrived in Iraq, things have been hectic for me; we do a lot of moving around, thus delaying my response to you.
Attached to this email is probably the most current picture of myself, taken on 18 June 2008. Background information on the picture: It was taken while on a mission to assess a school in Baghdad, one of the many jobs performed by a Civil Affairs Specialist.
Once again, I really appreciate your support. Thank you for supporting us when so many do not.
Sincerely and regards,
Specialist Dennis Co
Operation Iraqi Freedom
John and Wendy, May 31 2008
I am very sorry it has taken me a long time to write to you. Things have b een a little busy around here. I wanted to say thank you very much for everything that you have sent. your packages bring relief and smiles. Lately packages around here have been very scarce, but we always look forward to getting one the next day. I do appreciate everything you send. When I get more time I will sit and write more. Hope to keep in touch..
SSG Angela Cruise
Thank you for your note. We will be shipping again quite soon. Is there anyone in your group that could use some cheer? Anyone celebrating a birthday soon?
No birthdays yet, but if it is possible we would love some easy to make foods and singles to go for our water. Our favorites are the lemonade, grape and pink lemonade. We drink a tremendous amount of water out here and its great to have a little bit of flavor.
John and Wendy 3 May 2008
Thanks again for the great care package! It was a great piece of mail to receive after nearly a week of no mail at all. The sand storms have really started to get bad out here as is starts to heat up. I guess a temporary hold up is not too bad then the weather gets rough.
All is still going well over here for us. It is still very busy out here, but it all makes the time go by quicker. As I mentioned before, the Marines loved getting a package from a familiar sender. We thank you for you continued support and hope to hear from you again soon!
Very Respectfully 1Lt. Dan
Thank you for the Support. I'm a single parent and although my child would love to send me some of the things I need, she can't, she is only 8.yrs old. You all are a great help, May God bless you all. This is the first box I have received in months. You're Great for doing what you do, to Support us Soldiers.
John,Wendy Rocca 18 March 08
We loved the package! All the food and candy quickly went into the common area, everyone will love the food and candy. I wish you only new the smiles across our faces as we see our favorite things from back home. I haven't seen the wax bottles with juice in years.WOW The pictures from the children where beautiful. Please pass on my thank you !
Take care Crystal W.
John and Wendy Rocca, and all the Patriotic Friends 03/26/2008
On behalf of all the Marines and Sailors of Combat Logistics Battalion 6 here in Iraq, I would like to thank you for the uplifting and motivating care package. The items like the books, magazines, DVD's and the cigars definitely made our day. Those cigar punches were a huge hit and we will be smoking to you all tonight!
I can speak for all of us here when I say that it is because of great Americans like yourselves that make what we do all worthwhile.
Once again, I thank you , we the Marines thank you, for your continued support. We hope to be in contact with you for the rest of our deployment. Thank You
Very Respectfully LT. Dan N.
Thank you all for everything that you have sent to us over the last 10 months. Everything was greatly appreciated and put to good use.
We are now packing up to go home and will be out of here by the end of May. Please take us off of your mailing list and send your packages to other deserving soldiers.
We appreciate all your kind words and your support while we were over here.
We wish we could say more.
Cynthia L. Pe
CYNTHIA L. P
4-2d ID (SBCT)FOB Warhorse,
Hello Mr. & Mrs. Rocca,
I am writing to let you know that your package was greatly appreciated by my Soliders and me. We really enjoy reading the personal notes that gives us encouragement, as the one you wrote for us. People like you give Soldiers confirmation that our efforts are not in vain. Once again, We thank you for taking time to send us a package of love. The items you sent were needed. Please keeps us in your prayers, and I am going to add you to my prayer list. May God Bless you, your family, and friends.
Burnett, T CPT, LG Tusker 4
Never Accept Defeat........ Phil 4; 13
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Rocca, 3/19/2008 Thank you for your support and consideration. We greatly appreciate your generosity and concern for our well-being out here in Iraq. We also appreciate the beautifull poem you included with the goodies. We truly could not do what we do without the encouragement and support that patriotic people like yourselves provide.
SSG Will Reed
Dear Mr. Mrs Rocca, Tony and family, Dec 2007 Thank you for the care package you guys sent me! The Soldiers and I really enjoyed them. All is well out here in Iraq, I've been keeping busy helping the Iraqi Police and Security Forces, keeping the streets clean and safe. We're doing a really good job over here and the conditions are improving tremendously. Hope to come up and see you guys when my deployment is over in May. Hope you guys have a great Holiday season.
NOV.2007 Thank you again for all of your support, I really appreciate the care package. It is always nice to recieve mail from home to break up the monotony here. Things are still busy as ever, working hard and long hours preparing for the winter. Still hoping things will slow down a little but is not looking like it. It is definitely cooled up here in the 80s during the day and really cold at night. It is hard to believe we have completed a third of our tour as we have been here over 5 months now with less that 10 to go. This is my first tour so it seems like it is taking forever, while others who have deployed before feel like it is going fast. I just try to keep busy with my work and spend free time talking to my family and staying in shape. I have also been trying to keep up with all the current stories in the news back home and the football games. I hope all is well with you and I will try to keep in touch. Thank you again for all of your support and taking time to think of me and my fellow Soldiers.
Mr & Mrs Rocca Nov. 22 2007
I want to say thank you for all of your support. The Soldiers that I work with enjoy hearing from people that care. I pass around all of the letters and care packages. Please continue you thoughts.
Thank You Lt. Wick
Dear John & Wendy Oct. 2007
I like to say thank you for the boxes that you sent me & the other Soldiers. I think that what you are doing is great, because, mail is one of the things that the Soldiers look forward to. It's a disappointment when you don't receive mail. So again thank you so much and God Bless.
A few things we like to receive Body wash. Slim Jims Microwavable hamburger helper kool aid singles Nissin chow mein microwavable noodles.
Always, Spc. T.W.
Hi John & Wendy Oct. 2007
Thank you so much for the box, The Soldiers are going to enjoy it. I haven't dispersed any of it yet because we are in process of moving out of tents, and into cans. Well that's the military terminology of it. Its just a better living place with walls and a door the locks. it's not as hot over here. it's been drizzling a little. We're getting ready to go into the rainy season here. That's going to be a mess. We have lots of dirt and it's only going to turn to mud. I can;'t wait to get that over with. You ask if there is any here that could use some cheer. Everyone here can. It's getting closer to the holiday season and it's only going to get worse. Can you send holiday decorations; white socks above the ankles and biblical literature is always good. I have been trying to get some Daily Breads. Well I gotta go, Thanks for everything.
Dear John & Wendy Sept 2007 Thank you for your prayers and support. It is much appreciated. My Soldiers enjoy the contents of the package. We can't thank you enough. You have put smiles on our faces. Since you have given me a brief history, I will give you a brief summary of my life. I am from MS. I've been in the military 13 yrs. My husband is also in the military. This is my second tour over here and my husbands third. We're both in the 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart ,GA. We have two girls ages 12 and 10. Each time I leave it gets harder and harder for me. Although the Army has been good to me, I don't think I will be able to do this for a third time. Well, I have to go. I work night shift and my shift is about to start. Once again thanks for your support.
John & Wendy 26 July 2007
Thank you so much for the great care package. Recieving a package from home really made my day. All of us appreciate the hard work you do to put together such nice pacakges. Please accept the enclosed certificates.
SSG Christina J.
John & Wendy, 28 July 2008
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the support & caring your box provides, My name is Major Terri O.. I am a reservist with the 399thCombat Support Hospital. We have been away from home since June 08,2006. Soon we will be replaced (Sept/Oct) and will be able to come home to our families. It touches my heart to find literal strangers so willing to give time & effort to show you care. For that I am thankful.
God Bless Terri
John & Wendy 27 July 2007
Thank you so very much for the very generous care package. My soldiers and I are on a Convoy Escort Team which puts us out on the road several days a week to include overnight trips. The contents of the package will be greatly appreciated on these missions. We are two months in to our fifteen month deployment here in Iraq. It really does make a big difference in the soldiers lives over here to know that there are families and organizations back home that are thinking about us and trying to provide us with the things that we need to make it through these long deployments.
Kera A. 2LT,
19 July 2007
Mr. and Mrs. Rocca,
On behalf of C, Company 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion, we would like to say thank you for the care package that you sent, and for taking the time to send us such kind words. We received your package July 19th, and all of the soldiers quickly indulged all of the items which were sent.
First and foremost, we never criticize the items which are sent to us, so please don’t ever think that what you send is not enough. Since the care packages we receive are out of generosity, we don’t ask for specific items to be sent. Some of the soldiers here are first-term soldiers so they can go a little overboard at times.
My father is retired Air Force and my grandmother is retired Army Reserve. I have a brother that did 4 years with the Navy, but he couldn’t hold out. I’m currently in my 9th year of active duty, all with the Army and I just reenlisted for six more. My intentions were not to make this a career, but your heart won’t let you quit something you love. Not to mention the benefits for me and my family are great. J I haven’t been to too many places throughout my career. I’ve been at Fort Hood since 1998 and PCS’d to Korea once. This is my second tour in Iraq. They say once you get to Fort Hood, you never leave; I’m beginning to believe the myth. I’ll be returning there after this deployment.
My blessing are with you and your family. Thanks again for your contribution and God bless you!
SSG Danielle P.
C Co, 163rd MI BN
Dear Mrs. Rocca, I am sorry I took so long to reply. We've been so busy over here and I haven't had much time for anything. My battle buddies and I are doing good. The MWR just recently started a softball league. Being in the situation that we're in, its kind of difficult to acquire softball gear. Theres 24 of us, but we only have 2 bats, 5 gloves, and 2 balls that were left here by the previous unit and they're not in very good condition. We would be very thankful if you could help us out in any way. Thank You for everything you and your family are doing for us.
After a few calls, and a little gentle persuasion: 3 new aluminum bats, 3 new baseball bases, a case of new soft balls(24), a new catcher mask and a new catchers mitt. 2 new left handed first basemen mitts, 2 new right handed first basemen mitts. 6 new right handed fielders gloves and 3 new left handed fielders gloves where donated by The Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, Cambridge Local 30. VFW Post 8818 and Operation American Soldier. Items where shipped on 3/12/2007
Hello Wendy and John Rocca. 2/05/2007 Thank you so much for the package you sent me. There really is nothing like getting a package from home. I give you both a great deal of respect and admiration. I have read your article in the Watertown Tab many times and never would have imagined receiving a package of my own. You both have sacrificed a lot to this country already, and to think of the troops and their needs at a time like this goes well above the call of duty.. You both are true American Patriots.
My assignment here in Guantanamo Bay Cuba is not too bad. At least no one is shooting at us, yet. The moral is high and everyone here knows we are doing an important mission. Communications home to my wife and 2 daughters iare real good too. It's also not hard duty living in the Caribbean in the winter time. I have about 4 more months to go in this deployment and should be home in time to enjoy the summer with my family. Thank you again and keep up the good work. If there is ever anything I can do for you or your family, please don't hesitate to contact me. God Bless America..
Petty Officer R. M.
Port Security Unit 301
Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay
"I can't get some of my best friends from back home to email me, but total strangers spend their own time and money to support us. Its truly awesome." SPC Scott
Dear John and Wendy, 2/4/2007
I am writing to you on behalf of myself and my section. We are very gratful for what you have sent us. The packages helped us out alot. It definetly meant alot to us. I am glad that there are people im the USA that care and appreciate what we are doing for them and understand the sacrafices that we go through on a deployment. Even though we have it easy compared to what you went through in Vietnam sir, it is still rough mentally and physically. I for one am recently married to my beutiful wife of one year, I had to deploy 10 days after my one year anniversary. I miss her alot. And for the majority of my fellow soldiers this is also their first time deployment as well, it is rough on all of us.
If you guys could, I would like to say thanks to all the business that are supporting your wonderful program. It says in your letter that if there are any soldiers that are not recieving any mail from home to let you guys know. I do have 1 soldier that is not recieving any mail, and I would like to ask you to stop sending packages to me and start sending them to him. I feel that he would enjoy the care products more than I would. His name is PV2 Klier, William. His mailing address is the same as mine. Well I'm sorry I dont have much more to talk about right now, if you have any questions for me feel free to email me at any time.
Sincerely, SPC Matthew Reeser US ARMY
P.S. We would all like to say once again that we are truly thankful for what you are doing. It's a very selfless, patriotic, and truly HONORABLE program you are running. We salute you.
Read there letters of encouragement and thanks from our men and women serving in harms way.
Dear Mr. and Mrs Rocca 2Feb07
First. I wish to take a brief moment to express my appreciation for the wonderful care package you sent to me and my Marines. I received your package on Jan 30th. My Marines and I are thankful for the gifts and treats. In particular we are happy to see the sweets, and the nonperishable food. Our hearts are full of joy because you have taken the time to think of us. Second, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. I am Maj. J.R.M. the Operations Officer for a Marine unit based out of Jacksonville N.C. My job is to insure that day to day operations of the unit and the aviation squadrons we support are properly managed and coordinated. As a unit, we coordinate the aviation maintain for numerous units in theater.
This is my second deployment to Iraq. My Marines and I are scheduled to be in location for approximately one year. It will be challenging, and I am proud to be with people I know and love to work with. My Marines' ages range from 18-52 (I have more younger ones than older). For many this is the first time exposed to combat, while for others this is their third. We depend heavily on each other to accomplish our mission. Often we can look at each other without words, understand what needs to be said. My Marines are well trained and prepared to do what is asked form them. They work longs hours, day and night, and are motivated to do so. And, we admittedly apply the philosophy that the busier we are the faster our time here will pass. With that said, we wake up each day 1) glad to accomplish the jobs we are trained to do, and 2) thankful for the support individuals, such as you, provide us- it truly makes our day. Mr.and Mrs Rocca, my Marines and I are here because this is our job. We do it because it is our calling to do so. Thus, we are happy to receive your care package and to know you are behind us.
Sincerely Major J.R.M.
Dear John & Wendy, 02/01/2007 Much to my surprise I received one of your Operation American Soldier care packages yesterday. I wanted to thank both of you for all that you are doing, the package definitely made my month. Out of all the packages I have received this was the best single box package, you definitely have a recipe for success.
I'm getting ready to head back home but before I go I'll pass on your site to the supervisors and leaders of the 207th RCAG. Please remove me from your list because I have 13 days until we head back to Kabul for out processing (woo-hoo).
Enclosed are a few photographs that I have taken since arriving here please feel free to use them on your website if you'd like.
Thanks again for all your doing,
TSgt G. N. G-3 NCOIC/LNO 207 RCAG, Herat DSN 237-6312
Dear Mr. Rocca 01/29/2007 I am writing to say Thank You very much for the care package you sent. It was really nice of you. Thank you and your family for all the support and all the great things you are doing for us. We greatly appreciate it!
John & Wendy 10/24/2006
I am a member of the 172nd Stryker Brigade home station in Fort Wainwright, Alaska. We deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom in August 2005. We where extended in July 2006 by the president. We packed all of our equipment in Mosul, Iraq and moved to Baghdad for 120 additional days.
However we are finally beginning to redeploy after 16 continuous months in combat.
When we first arrived in Baghdad in August we where receiving very little mail. However , during “mail call” my name was called. I wasn’t expecting any packages. This is when I received your wonderful box of goodies. After reading your letter I decided to share them with my guys. I wanted you to know the impact you are making and how a lot of harden combat Soldiers happy through the gift of giving. I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for making a difference in our life while we serve our country.
SPC W Hodges
Medical Platoon Sergeant
"Soldiers are entertained for hours by Yo-yos and checkers and rubber darts with targets. Trust me, when there is nothing to do, it really doesn't take much to entertain us."
Hello John & Wendy 3 October 2006
I wanted to start off by saying thank you for taking the time to write this email. It made my day the day I receive it to know that a complete stranger is taking time from their busy day to write me a few words of encouragement. I also apologize for not answering your email sooner. But things around here are very busy and sometimes you just get caught up in a mission or at the office. I am currently in the Balkan region supporting a peace keeping mission. This place is amazing the people love the American soldiers and the country is very beautiful, a lot of the country side is kind of like where you live. Most of the country is surrounded by mountain so you can imagine how beautiful the sunrise and sunsets are here. As for my job I work in the finance office I am in charge of the disbursing are so I deal with money all day long. It is similar to a bank. As far as back home, I am single, Y have 4 sisters and 1 brother. I am an industrial engineer, I work for a bottling company. I have only been out of college 2 years. And I am looking forward to going home and seeing my loved ones.
Again thank you for what you do. One of the most amazing things that has happened to me here is that I have gotten a chance to get to know the word of God and I thank God everyday for people like you back home that take the time to write a few words to soldiers like me who are so far away from home.
Few words like this keep a soldier inspired to do what we do.
P.S. Thanks for the packages, I was able to share with other soldiers, they all say thanks as well. Everything was useful.
"Mail call is the most anticipated part of our day, and because of your generosity, more and more soldiers are coming away with a smile...touched by words from home."
Thank you so much for everything you do for all the soldiers you support. Please thank everyone in your town and don't think we are not grateful. We have shared your gifts with other soldiers that don't receive many treats & packages like we have, and its great to see the smiles on their faces.
The Taji Branch office. (CID) Camp Taji,Iraq
" Please rememember, our soldiers need things that are small & useful; Like Cookies:)"
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Rocca, Hello my name is Anthony, and im currently serving in Afghanistan. I would like to personally take the time to thank you guys for what you are doing. One of the biggest things around here is recieving mail from home and knowing that people are behind you. There is definatley people that do not receive anything and one of my friends here was fortunate enough to recieve one of your care packages, which i have to admit that i enjoyed as well. A little about myself, im a communcations guy with special operations here, my unit is 7th special forces and i love it. The hardest part is being away from the ones who love which im sure that you are well aware of what its like and what it feels like to know that people back home are there for you. Its an awsome feeling and i think what you guys are doing is awsome. Thank you!!!!
p.s. i know a few people that would definatley benefit from a good care package!!!
"That is a true check of morale of the soldiers when you see the gleam in their eyes upon receiving a letter or a package at mail call" Command Sergeant Major G.R.
" I thought that balloons and squirt guns, will never catch on, Lord was I wrong. It looks like the Poseidon Adventure around here." MSG J.C.
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."