21 May 2009

Letters from Iraq, Part 8

The following letters appeared in my mailbox on 4/17. Right around the Virginia Tech massacre. It originally appeared on my old blog on 5/10/2007

Hi Ryan, How are things going by you?. Mailed you a box of stuff this afternoon, so keep your eyes open for it. Tom ——- called me last night and told me you had a pretty interesting time a few days ago. What happened?. Haven’t seen much in the papers the last few days. I heard from the father of Keith —— 1-227th ARB, who was killed a few months ago. We had a nice exchange of e.mails. He said that Keith was being put in for the MOH. Not much else new here. Jan and I and Emmett and Sharon are going to the Virginia International Tattoo in Norfolk this weekend. That is always a very impressive military affair, with military bands from all the services and allied nations taking place. We had a lot of rain here this weekend but they had a lot more up by Grandma and Grandpa. They have gotten water in their basement as had Gary and Sue. Lots of flooding up that way. Let us know how things are going and don’t forget to give me some names and companies of the guys you want us to send packages to. Be safe pal
Love Dad and Jan

Dad,
All is well here. I cannot believe what happened at VA Tech yesterday, truly a sad day for Virginia and our nation. As far as the extension is concerned, we haven’t had much time to think about it. We are too busy over here and we will be home when the mission is complete. If we have to stay a little longer so our fellow soldiers can have 12 months home before coming back over here then that is fine with us. Our nation’s future is at stake and we fight terrorist over here so that we won’t have to fight them on our own homeland. Regarding my interesting flight the other day, basically a patrol base had been hit with a vehicle IED, completely destroying the small house/command center. Guys were trapped in the rubble and the enemies had advanced dangerously close and were trying to take the patrol base. Long story short, we stopped the enemy advance and worked all the relief efforts. It was a sad day, but I hate to think about what would have happened if we weren’t there. I’ll have to tell you more about it when I get home. I’m still flying a lot, over 350 combat hours and with the extension it looks like I might get close to 1000 combat hours. I hope Keith gets the MOH. I’ll let you know if I hear anything over here. I just listened to a song by Chris Kristopherson titled “Sky King.” I had no idea he was helicopter pilot in the Army. I remember him from the movie Tad that we were in a few years back. I just received the letters you mailed about Rusty, Gen Schoomaker’s letter, and the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War letter. Thanks for keeping me up to date. Enjoy your visit to Norfolk for the Virginia International Tattoo. Talk to you soon.
Love Your Son,
Ryan

Hi bud, Thanks for the message. Yes it is a pretty sad thing. I think the fellow who did the shooting was a South Korean. My guess is he had military training of some sort as most young Korean men do. One of the boys killed was from Dumont New Jersey one town over from Bergenfield where grandpa was born and where we lived before we moved to Virginia. Regarding your mission that day, you were sure in the right place at the right time for those troopers on the ground. Bet they were glad to have you. Chris K was indeed a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. I think he rose to the rank of Major and you know he is also a Rhode Scholar. Just came across a picture of him and I last week. We are looking forward to the program in Norfolk this weekend. I will stand proudly at attention for you and I with Major Greenleaf as they play the Army song. Always brings a tear to my eyes. Stay safe pal.

Love
Dad and Jan

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