Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. It’s been a little busy around here and we’ve been short guys who were going on R and R. We did received the [(Christmas] tree and the ornaments. It was very thoughtful of you to send this to us. It meant a lot to all of us here. We were the first ones to set up a tree and I think ours is the best on the FOB.
We’ve been improving our living areas and we made a MWR rooms so I’m planning on building some book shelves for all the books you have sent. I just received another box from you with a bunch of books. … Thanks for all the wonderful things you have sent us and for thinking of us while we’re here. It means a lot and your work is greatly appreciated in the Military community! Take care and have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!"
Greetings from the soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 35th combat Aviation Brigade. We are currently deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring freedom. As the unit commander, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the care packages we recently received from you. Every time I am able to relay a care package to my soldiers, it fills me with pride at the level of support that our great nation has for our troops. Your generosity is humbling and I just want to let you know how much your support is appreciated. The items we receive get distributed to all 120 troops in my Company and are all well needed. It puts a smile on every soldier's face to receive something unexpected and your kindness goes a long way towards helping me keeping the morale of my unit high for these long, difficult deployments. Please accept this letter as a personal thank you for your support from myself and all the soldiers of HHC 35th CAB. God Bless you and God Bless America. Jacob B. Commanding Captain
" I don't know if you have any gardening books. I would love to have some gardening books, bonsai books, botany, anything about plants. I dream about gardening. It gets me through a lot.
I sent him several gardening books and a bonsai book. I remembered his request because at first I thought it was a little unusual and then I realized how much I would miss the rich soil and smells of growth and green when stuck in an ocean of sand. I really made a point of finding him the books with the nicest pictures. Ellen
August 22, 2012
What perfect timing. One day everything was normal and the next thing I knew I was a 70% disabled vet and being sent home with no job. Life is strange. The good thing is that your books arrived in time to be there when I needed them the most. I spent every waking hour looking and reading the gardening books. Next week I will be going home and I will be taking my two favorite books with me to read on the plane. Your gift made a lot of difference. When I have a garden I will send you a picture. Kindest regards. T.
I wonder how he is doing and hope some day he is able to have a garden and remembers to send me a picture of it.
I just wanted to thank you for the donated books. I was in my barracks and there was a pile of books to read. I found your card in the book and wanted to thank you personally. We are located in
From Soldier Jerry
I just finished Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley, an outstanding book that I enjoyed. Thank you so much for your efforts and those of your volunteers that make these meaningful contributions to all the soldiers, marinesm sailors, airemen and contractors who are stationed in Afganistan. It is nice to know that we are remembered."
From Medical Offficer Laura,
"We are in a small base in Western Afghainistan. I just wanted to say thanks for your time and support. Reading is one of my favorite things to do out here where there is so little to do in the down times. We now have a good selection of books to choose from because of your kindness. "
From Major Christina,
Thank you so much for your letter with the picture of the green grass and some more of your favorite books. I am very excited to see that when I get home. We are getting read to pack things up in anticipation. This has been a great experience for me both professionally and I really can't complain at all, but I do have to say that I am happy to head home and see my family. We should be back in Germany by Thanksgiving and to the US by Christmas. Things have cooled off here-anywhere between 90-105F. I know that doesn't sound cool, but compared to the usual 125 F -it certainly feels much cooler. It is much more tolerable. Thank you again for the books and your letters of support and encouragement. They meant so much. "
"I'm gad you put a bookmark in the book so that I could contact you. It was one of the many that I have enjoyed in Kabul. I wanted you to know how much we appreciate your thoughtfulness.
These books have helped passdown-time and boost morale. I've especially enjoyed the James Patterson books. It's nice to escape our very complicated existence into a world where the good guys always win and all the questions are answered by the end of the book. Thanks for making a great and positive impact on our morale!"
"On behalf of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and civilian contractors stationed in Afghanistan on Kandahar Air Field we are taking thje time to extend to you all those who support your efforts our extreme gratitude.
The efforts you have put forth SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS continues to make a difference in our mission in Afghanistan and in our quality of life while living here.
We are truly grateful for all that you have done and continue to do for all who are serving their country miles from home and loves ones. Your efforts brings us closer to them and to home.
I am an Air Force officer stationed at a fairly small FOB in Afghanistan. Most of the people that I work and serve with are US Soldiers. It has been a great experience that has changed my life and the way I look at it. With several small children and quite a few outside demands it is not often that I get much time to read at home. While here, I’ve had a chance to read multiple donated books and have been grateful for it. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to read a novel … or a book about some historical events/figures … It is a great way to effectively use my sometimes scarce free time and to maintain a connection with life in the States.
While in college, I heard a statistic that for every one letter written to a politician or to an organization, there are hundreds of others with similar sentiments who don’t write. I bring this up because quite a few Americans (military, contractors or Federal employees) are reading books that have been donated, gathered and sent by people like you. In a recent book I picked up, I saw a notice for Books for Troops; I assume that there are multiple organizations and people like yourselves carrying on similar work who would have been included on this email if I had the ability to do so. In short, I want to sincerely thank you for the work that you and others in your organization do for us; it makes a difference.
Mark D., Capt. USAF "
First off, I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support! It really means a lot. Secondly, I would like to say thank you once again for the package! The books are amazing, the treats were great, and your kind words touched my heart. We here in my unit of about 33 soldiers read letters, from our supporters, to one another. And from all of us here, we would like to say Thank You!! … Well, once again, thank you for your support – it really means a lot to me and soldiers in general.
I could never tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to make the cookies and brownies and sending me my favorite books. It all means a lot to me. The cookies and brownies were fantastic.
I have shared your info with a few of the other soldier’s who like to read. It is sometimes hard to make the time to read because we are so busy but when I do, I am very grateful for the books you sent. Thank you a million times over. Hope all is well and hope to hear from you again soon!
“Ellen and Volunteers,
Thanks for what you do for our troops. It was great to receive your boxes when it came from people I have never met. Your organization represents the best of America and is why we are over in a foreign land trying to make things better for our homeland. Keep up the good work and know that everyone who gets your books has a better day because of them. Knowing people back home are thinking about us puts a smile on our face. Tell all your volunteers that they are making a huge difference in the lives of those they support and to keep fighting the fight on the home front. You guys rock.
God bless you and your organization.
Kent W., Lt. Col., USAF, Afghanistan”
“Dear Ms. Keegan,
I am writing in response to a yellow slip of paper I found in a book I am reading. Thank you and everyone who supports Books for Troops. I found the book in a coffee shop book shelf in Kandahar, Afghanistan. I should hardly refer to it as a coffee shop – but if is in a large Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tent.
I searched the shelves and this one [book] caught my eye. Thank you; I have truly enjoyed reading Rescuing Rose by Isabel Wolff – a nice change to the many, many romance novels sent to us.
I generally read every night before going to sleep – but I have brought this one books with me during the day so I might be able to sneak a few pages in!
Once again, thank you for taking the time to care about us over here!
Sincerely, CPT Heather D.”
Hi. My name is Rob S*******. This message is for Ellen Keegan and her amazing team that put together a spectacular care package for this soldier. I am a member of the 8th Forward Surgical Team (Airborne) and currently deployed to Afghanistan. I just received the care package full of comic books and graphic novels. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate what you have done for me. You have hit the biggest home run in relation to care packages. You packed that box like you have known me for years. The collection of comics is just what the doctor ordered. If you are able to send any more like that, just know my team would be anxious to receive as much as you can send. My most heartfelt and deepest gratitude to you for making home seem not quite so far away. I am humbled by your generosity and support.
Dear Ellen Keegan,
I just wanted to say that we received your three boxes of goodies and books. Thanks so much for all the stuff you sent and all the support you show towards us. We really do appreciate everything you guys are doing back [there] for us. The food went quick and several of the guys started to read the books you sent. I started reading "Tail End Charlies' - I can't seem to set it down it's so good...I'm enclosing a picture...right before we rolled out on a mission, and another picture is of the guys I work with...take care and be safe!
I am Spc Matthew E. B*****, I had a most wonderful surprise waiting for me when I arrived at my hanger here in Afghanistan. Your package! I am very thankful for your kindness, it is a great blessing for us here to have people like you remind us we are not alone, that the reason we sacrifice is not lost in the dreams of just our families that make the sacrifice along with us. That it is a sacrifice worth endure for people like you and your volunteers.
Your books were a great blessing. The note your about the comic's has all the troops in D Co astir, we are a big comic loving group so on behalf of D Co 1-227 here at FoB Sharana would consider it a great blessing if you would send us those comic's.
I would like to share with you a little about me, since you took the time to bless me I would like to share why it is a blessing. I am 32 almost 33 years old, I am married and have four children. My wife Elizabeth is 30, Danni is 13 (I am scared) Kayley is almost 13 (yep 2 girls teens I am scared lol) Nick 11 and Princess Stinkerdoodles (Brooklynn) is 9. We are currently living at Ft Hood Tx. Elizabeth is attending collage and our children seem to be running my house in my absence.
I have been in the Army for 6 yrs and this is my second deployment, I am a Knight in the Order of the Spur (Calvery Order), my hobbies include (in order of funess) my children, forgotten realms books, books, comic books, warcraft and ...i will admit only to you… watching Ghost Hunters with my wife heheh.
I would like to again say thank you for your kindness attached is something you can print off, it is a gift from D CO 1-7 to you.
Spc. Matthew E. B*****
“Books For Troops,
My name is Terence D. I am currently stationed in Afghanistan. Our FOB has a little library that has quite a few of your books. I have grabbed several books … and have already read 3. Thank you very much for sending books; it is a great way to pass what free time we have.
Thanks again, we really appreciate your support!
" Books are the refuge from the vulgarities of the real world." Walter Pater