BOOKS FOR TROOPS

                                     LETTERS FROM TROOPS

Below is a recent list of letters and commendations Books for Troops have received from our deployed troops and veterans. Books for Troops is making a difference in their lives and you are helping us make it happen.

                   "A Care Package Makes Being Away from Home a Little Easier"

" Thank you and the Books for Troops volunteers for their generous donations of books that the deployed can enjoy in our down time. For many of our sailors and Marines with the USS Theodore Roosevelt Strike Team who do not for some reason ever receive mail or care packages your packages of books boosted their morale and sense of being remembered by someone back home. I, who am fortunate enough to have caring people who send me packages, was also encouraged to receive a care package from someone I did not know. It tells all of us that that there are still people who support the military and the arduous job we perform. Many people do not realize the hardships of those who serve this great nation endure from the stress of working twelve to fourteen hour days in unforgiving environments to the stress of being away from our families for extended periods of time. Something as little as receiving a care package makes that time pass by faster and makes being away from home a little bit easier. I encourage you at Books for Troops to continue the great work you are doing because it has such a huge impact in the lives of those who receive them." Sincerely, Brian B

                                             Two Deployments -2  Years Apart

Jan. 13, 2013 "Thank you again. I am currently waiting transportation back to the US. It has been a long year. I have read at least 20 books during this time and I have you and your organization to thank for the mind breaks. I may deploy one more time so I will keep your e-mail and let you know if I need any more books. Rick H.

May 21, 2015  "I hope you are well and Books for Troops is still sending books. I wrote to you a few years ago as I was leaving Afghanistan and told you that if I ever returned, I would contact you if I needed more books. Well, I'm back  and am currently at the NATO base in Kabul. I have found that the MWR is not as well stocked as I hoped, so I hope you are still providing books for  the troops. If you are, could you provide me with some. My favorite, as before is Clive Cussler. Your books will make the year go by faster. Thank you.  Rick H.

                                               "MIGHT NEED A REFILL!"

"Just wanted to let you know that the books arrived last week and we had fun going through them all, picking some for ourselves and recommending some to others. When we are finished with them we will be donating them to the USO so even more people can enjoy them. Since we will be here until January, we might need a refill so I certainly know who to contact. Doreen

                                                     "Art Imitates Life"

 "Last night I started to read :Marshaling the Faithful" that you sent. It is about the Marines' first year in Viet Nam. I know and have served with several of the guys written about. When the Corps, Vol.1 appeared back in the 80's, I immediately bought a copy of it in Okinawa. It is an amazing coincidental of "Art Imitates Life." In the character of Captain Ed Banning , it lists his background and it fits me to a T. I was at that time the S-2 Officer of the 3th marine Regt. and a career Marine officer since graduating from the Citadel. I was astounded! Thank you Ma-am, for offering me this look at myself.  God bless you. Semper Fidelis, Wally

                                    Like a Kid on Christmas Morning

"Yesterday I received three boxes of books that you so kindly sent. THANK YOU very much for all of them!  I have opened two of the boxes already and will open the third tomorrow. I love to read and feel like a kid on Christmas morning opening goody boxes. You sure nailed it sending so many books by my favorite authors and I don't think we will ever lack for crossword puzzles. Thanks for the dictionaries to help us out. Wherever did you get those two companion books of Marine Corps lore, "Green/Brown side out:? They are classics. Again I thank you from the bottom of my heart." Walter Mc

                                   "Books help us to take a Break from our lives here"

I found a copy of Jane Eyre on a shelf here in Kabul. I was so excited. It was the only book by the Bronte sisters that I have ever read and I loved it. I saw your bookmark in it and I had to write to you to thank you for the hours of escape that it gave me. The Soldiers and civilians here are always reading, so your books are truly appreciated. Thanks so much for your great taste in books. Kelly B.

         " I have many books provided by Books for Troops! Thanks so much!"

Clive Cussler has become my favorite author and so many of his books have come from Books for Troops. They helped me spend time in lands other than this one. Thank you for your great program. Richard H.

          Former Army Recruiter in Clifton Park, NY, home of Books for Troops

 " I just received the box of books that both you and Books for Troops sent to my Delta Troop. Just as soon as I opened the box, the books were taken by the troops. Thank you for all the escape and enjoyment these books will provide my troops. All the work Books for Troops do for us is very much appreciated." Christopher F. 

                                             "Being away from home is not easy."

To all at Books for Troops who have been so generous of their time and effort, thank you so much for the books. They offer such support during the rough times. Being away from home is never easy, but we love our job and wouldn't trade it for the world. Anything you do for us reminds us that we are being remembered by those back at home. That is a real morale booster. It is very hot here and we are living in tents. Books help us forget our discomfort. One day when I am home, I will be doing the same thing as you guys, helping fellow troops by sending care packages because I know what a difference they can make. It is amazing what you guys do to make us feel comfortable. It truly doesn't go unrecognized. Again thank you so much." Angelina E.

 These letters were sent to Alex Gerage, our volunteer in Indiana who has offered to collect comics from 3 comic stores in his area, as well as from his own personal collection and send them to the troops. While we have never met, he is one our most valued volunteer for all the smiles he has put on the deployed troops and those in the VA hospitals.

"You have my deepest gratitude for your support and donations of comics. For a deployed person anything that can help ground us after the daily grind is an extreme help. Thank you for all you do. " LTJG David C.

"Alex, Are you kidding me? This last shipment of comics is simply beyond description in how incredibly amazing it is. I have just been doing some Wound Warrior work and come home to 2 wonderful boxes . You, my friend have absolutely sent home a GRAND SLAM1 I will get these into the hands of the troops first thing on Monday. I have one unit that has to have their connexes packed by the end of the week They are going to have lots of great reading to do, thanks to you guys. You are the best. Give yourself and your team and donors a great big pat on the back." Rob  (Rob was deployed 2 years ago in Afghanistan and Books for Troops sent him several boxes of comics. He was thrilled. We heard from him quite often and because of his enthusiasm we began to offer comics to the troops. That is when Alex came on board hearing about us on Facebook. Rob has been honorably discharged and now is paying it forward by providing comics that Alex sends him to the Wounded Warriors. He actually contacted me when he came stateside to thank me again for the comics that not only made his stay in Afghanistan a little easier, but he said drew together a very despondent team that he was working with. Thanks, Rob for your service and for remembering the troops as you were remembered. We are proud of you.)

"Alex, I'd love to shake your hand and thank you personally one day. You have no idea how much a comic in a soldier's hand can mean after a rough day on patrol or duty. You would not believe the smiles that appeared when Thor or the Walking Dead or Jonah Hex came out of one of your magnificent boxes of well-chosen comics. Keep doing what you are doing. I promise you, you are making a huge difference. Chris F.

Chief Master Sergeant Manuel A. Martinez from the Special Operations Joint Forces in Afghanistan thanks Books for Troops for the books his squadron received in a very special way.

" On behalf of the men and women, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component....thank you for your selfless generosity and genuine care of our Air Commandos. We will read and re-read the many books and comics sent to us from your loving hearts and minds. Your contributions will bring delight in moments of distress, calm in times of chaos and diversion during periods of downtime. We salute you. " MANUEL MARTINEZ, CMSgt. USAF Senior Enlisted Leader, 701 Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron.

Enclosed with this letter was an American flag proudly flown on an AC-130U 'Spooky' Spooky Gunship on a combat mission in Afghanistan on Feb. 28, 2015 in honor of Ellen Keegan and Books for Troops. A certificate of Authenticity signed by Christopher Penn, Capt and Aircraft commander was also included. 

From the US Air Force Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component-Afghanistan

A certificate of appreciation for BOOKS FOR TROOPS "In recognition of your selfless dedication and humble care for the morale and welfare of our Air Commandos...We salute you."Christopher Ireland, Colonel USAF

    Thank you from a Veteran!

"I am a homeless Army veteran. I contacted Books for Troops to try to get some books and wow have I received books for me and my fellow vets. II feel so blessed to receive all these books. When I start putting books out of the boxes, I was more amazed at the different titles included. They got better and better." Heather Sweeten

From Lindsay Mc Gee and airmen!

"I wanted to say thank you for all the great work your organization, Books for Troops is doing for the troops! I want to say what a wonderful group of dedicated people you have volunteering their time and efforts to make us feel at home.We've received several boxes of books already. Whenever a box arrives, I'm so excited to open the box to see what's been donated...its kind of like Christmas! The guys and gals I work with love to see the boxes of books arrive as the books give them an outlet from the daily stress of deployment. Books for Troops have sent some excellent reading material which definitely helps morale and definitely shows that they care. I thank you again for what you do. The troops love you guys! SrA Lindsey McGee, USAF

 From Waylon Mars

Thank you so much for the shipment of books. It was like opening a Sci-Fi lovers' treasure chest. There are more than enough great books to keep us busy in the mind for a long time. I read that you could also send comic books. We'd be more than delighted if you could arrange to send some. We want to thank all of you at Books for Troops for what you do for our troops. Know that you put a smile on someone's face everyday. You help educate and enlighten us all in our time of need. Thanks for all you do." Waylon Mars

From 1st Lt. Stephen Mauney

" Just received your two boxes of books that you sent! All I can say us "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Almost all the guys found something they liked and were thrilled to hear there was one more box on the way. I personally was happy to see some David McCullough in the box-I've been excited about starting "1778." Can't help feeling patriotic while we're over here with all the troops together. Aldo, quick to go were the Bob Woodward books and the David Guterson ones. The guys couldn't beleive that they requested something and it just showed up! Please tell everyone that works for Books for Troops that we cannot thank you enough to show grateful we really are. Yours is an absolutely wonderful organization and you guys are truly making an impact in the daily lives of some true American warriors.! Stephen Mauney 

Jeannette DeJesus

Our unit would like to thank you for the boxes of books you have sent. We have spent many wonderful hours living in the world of fiction, escaping the reality of life in Afghanistan. To me personally the books have given me something to fill the time until I can put my arms around my 3 year old son. He has been the biggest sacrifice of all. It is gifts from organizations like yours that remind us why we are here and what we are protecting. To me, of course, it is a blue-eyed little person that I want to live in freedom and safety in the United States I grew up in and all the other people who make the US the great country that it is.I will give your cards to other soldiers so that they will have access to books through you, as well."

Tharp, Seven, PACAM

I want to thank you for the contribution of paperbacks for our US. Service Members in Korea. We deliver your books to patients at the Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital in Yongsan, Korea in conjunction with our hospital visit. We also stock the reading shelves in the US Army Garrison Library giving them access to any army personnel who wants them. Thank you for your unselfish service and efforts to bring part of home to our U.S.Service Members serving here in Korea."

Scial, Benjamin- 2nd Sustainment Brigade

"Just wanted to express my gratitude for your efforts to provide books to the troops in Afghanistan. Thanks for the few hours of "brain candy" to alleviate the stress, boredom and fears."

From author Molly Manning-When Books Went to War

"What an incredible job you are doing! I am so impressed with the Books for Troops Program. I have heard from those deployed in Afghanistan  and all have told me how important books are to them. Even more than movies, they prefer books since they can lose themselves better in books. Books provide the very needed alone time and time for introspection so lacking in a place where people always surround you. Books also provide the ultimate escape from fears, loneliness, despair, homesickness, and loneliness that movies don't sustain. Plus books are so portable that they provide distraction wherever it is needed. Your program is an invaluable gift to our deployed and a definite reminder that people care."

                       GREETINGS TO YOU FROM OUR ENTIRE SQUADRON!

"We are very grateful for your hand of love and care towards us with your boxes of books. They were well received and came at just the right time when morale was very low. Thank you so much. Presently our mission is still chasing the bad guys; we are able to do this because of your prayers and care packages telling us that you wish us well in our travels sailing deep waters and doing our jobs as we know best to keep the waters safe for our homeland. To all the staff at Books for Troops, thank you and God bless you. AM3 Andrew

                                From a small post in Grafenwohr, Germany

" On behalf of the Soldiers of the 7th ILE Detachment, I would like to thank you and your volunteers of Books for Troops for the books you sent us. Our unit is located on a small town in Germany. Throughout the year we support different units and individual Soldiers performing various missions here on Camp Normandy. I am sure that our Soldiers will find your books an excellent source of entertainment and escape during their stay in our barracks. For all you do to support our unit, our Soldiers across the and our various personnel, I cannot say how much we greatly appreciate." Staff Sergent H.

       HELP US KEEP THE BOOKS MOVING TO THESE SO APPRECIATIVE TROOPS!

                      PLEASE HELP US KEEP OUR BOOKS MOVING TO OUR SO APPRECIATIVE TROOPS! 

When I received my first thank you note from a soldier who had received a box of books from Books for Troops, I wrote back to him and said that he had it backwards. I was trying to thank him for all the sacrifices he was making to keep us safe and free. Then the letters, e-mails, and cards kept coming and I learned the true meaning of the word gratitude and the true importance of books to men/women starving for an escape and  for reminders of home. These books not only provided entertainment and release, but told the troops that people back home truly remember them and care. Six years later we are still sending books and are still hearing from the troops. However, we continue to need your help to keep this going. Despite several fundraisers and many generous donations, the money goes quickly with each mailing. So many are generously donating books, but they stay in Clifton Park until we have the money to send them. It costs about $12.50-$15.00, depending on weight to send a box of 35-40 paperback books. 95% of each donation goes for postage; the rest for office supplies. Please consider donating. Tour donation is tax deductible. To donate make out a check to Books for Troops and send to: Books for Troops, 152 Oak Brook Commons, Clifton Park, NY 12065. This is a nice way to remind the troops you remember them. God bless our troops! Ellen Keegan, director

COLLECTION SITES:

HALF-MOON TOWN HALL INSIDE LOBBY-TWO HALF-MOON PLAZA, 111 RT. 236, HALF-MOON, MON.-FRI, 8-4PM 

PRINT & GRAPHICS GROUP-12 FIRE RD. CLIFTON PARK, NY (NEAR USA GAS STATION) DROP IN ROUND RUBBERMAID CONTAINER OUTSIDE OF BUILDING

CLIFTON PARK TOWN HALL INSIDE LOBBY- 9-5 MON.-FRI, CORNER OF CLIFTON PARK CENTER & VISCHER FERRY RD.

PLEASE NO HARD-COVERED BOOKS, HARLEQUIN ROMANCES, OR BOOKS IN BAD CONDITION.