I wanted to begin by saying I'm sorry that this letter has taken so long to get to you. As you can imagine, we are very busy here but this is something that I needed to do no matter how long it took me.
My Marines and I here in Afghanistan greatly appreciated your support and cannot say thank you enough. The letters and cards you all sent for Valentine's Day were great and were very much enjoyed. My Marines and I were ecstatic to read the letters and cards from kids, the look on their faces was something you cannot imagine and is not often seen in this environment, but the true value you bring is in the thought that we are still appreciated. I have seen public opinion and support over the years diminish, but we the troops still remain vigilant in our mission to restore peace to a torn region. The Nation calls and we respond as necessary without question or fear. God, Country, and Honor is the foundation that keeps us going and the belief that what we are doing is for the greatest of good.
Being deployed this time of year has been hard for all of us. We knew it was Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Valentines Day, but in a Combat Zone you do not have time to let your guard down so getting in the holiday spirit was a tough challenge. The spirit you all brought to us by your letters and cards and just your thoughts is more valuable than you can imagine. It is a great break from reality to just laugh and joke and to share in some simple reminders of our homes. It is a great reminder of why we are here and why we wear the uniforms.
Please relay our thank you to all that were involved. Please let them know that we appreciate the support and that we will always stand ready to protect the nation and those who cannot protect themselves.
Here is a recent photo of the Marines whom you have touched:
Thank you so much and God bless you all.
Master Sergeant John
Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan