Saturday, February 28, 2009

I wanted to thank you for your kindness

A letter from an Air Force officer in Kyrgyzstan, dated 28 Feb 2009:

I hope this letter reaches you in good health and great spirits; I am doing very well. I wanted to thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness through sending us a package. I distributed greeting cards to my fellow medics, our patients, and all the military members who are serving in Operation Enduring Freedom, our Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).

I am stationed at [X] Air Base which is the “Gateway to Afghanistan.” We are a small hospital treating Airmen, Soldiers, Marines, and Coalition Forces who are stationed here or passing through. We are stationed in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan by the capital of Bishkek which is north of Tajikistan, east of China, south of Kazakhstan, and west of Uzbekistan.

There are over 700,000 people that live in the city and country side of Bishkek. There are over 5 million people that live in Kyrgyzstan and their ethnic background is 65% Kyrgyz, 14% Uzbeks, 12% Russian, and 9% Asian. They are a very poor nation and their average standard of living is below the poorest of American citizens.

In addition to fighting the GWOT, we are also great American ambassadors to Kyrgyzstan. Every week we take trips to the local schools, orphanages, and remote villages to do improvement projects and help where we can. Seeing their faces in person would break your heart, but they light up every time we arrive as they run to greet us. “The Americans are here!” Tons of donations have come from our military familiies and churches in the United States.

[This] Air Base was the first base established in the GWOT. After the cowardly attacks on Sept 11, 2001, they opened this base on Nov 01 to launch the GWOT. [This base] was originally named after the New York Fire Department FIre Chief, who was killed in the Sept 11th terrorist attack. He is considered to be one of Sept 11th’s greatest heroes and his story is inspiring. The recreation center is called “Pete’s Place” in his honor. His image and story adorn the entryway; his courageous acts of self-sacrifice are relayed to all personnel who pass through this base.

It is a great honor to serve in the military to defend your freedom and protect your way of life. We are so grateful for your encouragement and appreciation. Thank you for your care package; it truly made a difference. I wish all Americans are just like you. We value your patriotism and thank you for your support Thank you for being who you are and all you do.

With sincerest appreciation and gratitude,
and the men and women of the Xth Expeditionary Medical Group

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