Letters from 2009

December 19, 2009

Click here to see Christmas card from Dr. Burnett


Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 12:25 AM

Dear Ms. Newmeyer: Thank you very much for the mini pillows filled with balsam. The fragrance is most appealing as it reminds everybody of home, which is where we will all be heading shortly after being away for one year. There are a lot of noxious smells and dust here in Afghanistan, so anything that helps you breathe more easily is a good thing here. Thanks again.
MSG RANDOLPH E. M.
286 CSSB

 

 

Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 10:40 AM
Subject: Thank you from a soldier's dad

  I just wanted to thank you for all you Maine folks do on behalf of our troops. My son came through Bangor yesterday on his way to Iraq and was warmly welcomed by your group. It meant a lot to him that you took the time to go to the airport to greet the troops and wish them well. As a father, I, too, was touched by your kind gesture and enjoyed seeing the photo of my son. It is patriots like you who make me proud to be an American. Thank you so much for your support of our troops.

Steve E.
Father of CPT Timothy E., USA

 

 

November, 2009

Dear Troop Greeters,

Thank you and God bless you for what you do. Our son, Matthew, is a Sr. Airman in the Air Force. He spent 4 months over Afghanistan and Iraq this past summer. He arrived back in the U.S. on 9/11/09 and came through Bangor, ME. He told us about the warm welcome he received in Maine and it warmed our hearts. We live in CA and could not be there to welcome him back.

I thought is was so special that there was a group at the airport to welcome his team back. This was before I heard of the special PBS film made about the group. Imagine our surprise when I saw an article in the paper about the Troop Greeters on POV on PBS. My husband and I watched the show tonight and it brought tears or our eyes.

Thank you all for your dedication and sacrifice to the troops.

Blessings to you all!
Kathleen and Ken V


Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 8:41 PM Subject: pics

Thank you, thank you, thank you! What a treat to get to see a picture of my husband and his buddies right before they left the country. Thank you for your dedication to such a great idea, and many thanks from me and both of my boys for being able to see those pictures today.

Hilary R.

Wickenburg, AZ
wife of Sgt. Dominic R, 2-285th Aviation Battalion

 

 

24 Nov 09

To all the Maine Troop Greeters,

I passed through Bangor back in October and was overwhelmed by tremendous reception we received. Your enthusiastic show of support was greatly appreciated by me and my fellow soldiers.

I also wanted to thank you for your past service to our nation. I can only hope that you were fortunate enough to have the same level of support you demonstrated to us.

As the holiday season rolls around, knowing that there are folks back home such as yourselves pulling for the troops makes serving all the more easier. I wish you and your families a happy Thanksgiving and a joyous and blessed Christmas. Please know that you are in my prayers.

Thanks again and may God continue to bless you, our Solders, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines and the United States of America.

Regards,

Brandon M.
CPT, USA


11/23/09

Joan Gaudet, Bill Knight, Jerry Mundy.

Dear folks,

The three of you and all other volunteers doing what you do deserve a medal. We were so surprised to see the film "The Way We Get By" on Public TV from Bangor.
My husband and I are from Bangor. George graduated from Bangor High in '46 and I graduated from John Bapst in '49. My name is Terea Keegan Easler.
We are so proud of you people. You must be a glorious sight for the men and women that you greet day and night. The look on all their faces tells the story and tears at the heart strings.
The 3 of you have so many health problems and we are amazed to see you unselfishly going and going - we hope and pray you are all doing OK.
Just wanted to let you know what an impact you made on us. We are very appreciative.
Thank you so much for your kindness and caring.

Warmest regards,
Teresa and George E.


Nov. 23, 209

Dear Mrs. Czarnecki,

Honored, privileged to have seen the television documentary about your group - Maine (Bangor) Troop Greeters featuring Jerry, Joan & Bill.What caring, giving, special people- our troops and ya'll.

Have wondered about the "featured three"and hope they are all well. Truly touched me. Thinking of you all.

Sincerely - a friend in SC!
Mrs. Clagwell W.


Nov. 21, 2009

God Bless all of you!

I saw on Public Television how involved the community of Bangor, Maine was towards our service people. Tears filled my eyes and I don't have any family or persons I know that are active in the service. I just couldn't believe how much heart and soul was put in to make sure that our troops knew they were appreciated. Maybe I was so taken back as my husband was a Vietnam Vet and how he was scorned on his return trip home. That was a big mistake that will never be forgotten. So I applaud you all for all your efforts and thank God for your ability to do so, especially Joan, Jerry and Bill.
Thank you so much for all you do.

Sincerely,
June R.


November 21, 2009
Click here to see Thank you card from Edmond, OK

Nov. 21, 2009

Dear Troop Greeters,

We admire your generosity of spirit and thankful for you all
God Bless you.

Sincerely,
Donna A. and Jim A.


Nov. 19, 2009

Bangor Troop Greeters,

Thank you all for making our field trip a memorable one. You have left a lasting impression on all of us, teachers included!

We look forward to seeing you again.

Sincerely,
Natalie B. Tim B., Peter V. (You are such an inspiration!)
Westbrook High School
Westbrook, ME



Sent: Sunday, November 15, 2009 6:39 PM

Subject: Thanks
Hi, just a note to say thanks for what you do, I never heard of you, our friend Corey Moore was talking to us on the phone and told us you were taking his pic. and where to find it online. What a great idea, it made us smile to see his pic, knowing how happy he is to be back in country. Take care, and keep up the great work! God bless you and our wonderful servicepeople.
Diane G., Iron Mountain, MI


November 15, 2009
Dear Folks,
Surely you have heard from many people who saw you on Channel 2. You folks are doing some wonderful things greeting the troops. I wish I could be with you.
I so admired all of you: The nice lady who keeps you informed about the times that the troops are coming and going so you can be there for them no matter the time; I admired the gentleman (Mr. Knight?) who put on his uniform for a Memorial Day parade and I didn't miss that armful of stripes!
I will not forget the other nice gentleman greeter who had to put down his dog, Flanagan. I am so sorry. I love dogs too.
I was very proud to see that lovely young lady who took off in a helicopter.
It was so good to see you all. Makes me proud to be an American.
Jeane L.

November 12, 2009

I just watched the PBS Special on the Maine Troop Greeters! What a fantastic documentary! I was a Woman Marine during the Viet Nam era and remember getting spit at at the airport when I came home in my dress blues for an uncle's funeral. What a HUGE difference the Maine Troop Greeters have made in the lives of those they have all touched. Keep up the good work! You are blessed!


November 12, 2009

Click here to see letter from the Secretary of the Army


November 11, 2009

God bless you ALL! No better "job" you all could do. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Never ever thought I would say this but now I wish I did live in Maine, just to meet you all.

I am so moved by your story on NPR. Long life and health to you and your group. I love this story this is what America is about. Keep up the good work.

Just heard the story about you on NPR. I have tears in my eyes just listening. I wish I was close by so I could help out. My sister is in the Army and I am happy to know that there are wonderful people like you guys there to meet them. God Bless you all.


11/11/ 2009
Dear Maine Troop Greeters,
I just finished watching your documentary on my local PBS station and feel compelled to write to you. It's amazing to think about a simple thank you and farewell can circle around and make someone like me here on the "left coast" so grateful to you for doing what I'm not able to do. I think that we all have friends and family that have served, but it is wonderful to think that you may have wished my uncle Tony well the two times he shipped out to Iraq, and the twice he came back safe, and my friends from high school that have done much the same, some of whom are there now. And, we don't nearly get the snow you folks get! Thank you for the countless hours you have given to America's sons and daughters. So, here's hoping that my thank you to you circles to the troops and through all our hopes and thoughts through America.
THANK YOU!
Sincerely,
Thea D.
Age 28
Astoria, Oregon


11/11/09


Hello Ma'am,

I was one of the thousands of troops your group greats at the Bangor Airport and after seeing the story today about the movie made about your group, I felt I needed to write to you. I did not know your group was a "group". I had no idea that you were an organization or I would have written sooner.

I served in Iraq with the 492nd Civil Affairs Battalion and we came through there in March of 2008 at about 2am after days of delays, reroutes and other fun flying stuff. We were exhausted. We felt like we were never going to get home. Yet when we deplaned we were amazed!! No matter how tired we were, there before us were dozens of Veterans of other wars, ready with a hand-shake, pat on the back and a warm "Welcome Home". One lady hugged me. I cannot tell you how humbled we were by your group's presence.

In spite of the fact we were just coming out of a year of the worst combat seen in Iraq, we all were keenly aware that the honorable men and women standing in front of us, in the middle of the night, had all seen much worse in their wars. These same men and women had disrupted their sleep to make sure we were welcomed home.

I personally will never be able to exp ress how I felt that night or how deeply their presence at Bangor affected me. Their wonderful presence will never be erased from my mind. Please pass on my thanks and warmest gratitude to your members!

Respectfully,
YN2 Lauren F., USN


Sent: Sunday, October 25, 2009 11:07 PM

Subject: THANKS...................!

Would like to thank you folks so very much for what you do. It obviously means so much to our military men and women, headed into or coming from, harm's way. And especially for those who are doing it for the first time. I just spotted my son on your website, and I'm grateful. He's done three deployments to Iraq, and they weren't as worrisom as this one in Afghanistan. I'm anxious as heck, but knowing that all of our folks have such wonderful grass roots support makes it a bit easier. Thanks, and the Lord bless every one of you.

Very respectfully,
Donn M. C.
CDR, U.S. Navy (Ret)

 

 

Tribute to Our Soldiers: a poem

 

 

October 11, 2009

"Richard, Thanks for taking care of our Troops when they Pass your way. I have a nephew in Iraq now and maybe he will come your way when they deploy back...GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS AND KEEP THEM SAFE.

To the Troops, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO,

Dan

 

 

26 September 2009

To the Men & Women of "Troop Support ",

I want to take this opportunity to THANK EACH of the members of your group. I am a member of the 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry, 48th Brigade of Georgia Army National Guard. When we left the States back in May (09), our flight stopped in Bangor for about one hour.

I was welcomed when I got off the plane by members of your group and fellow VFW members. It was very humbling and the soldiers from my unit were very impressed. We know that you all took time away from your day to make us feel appreciated and give us one more good memory about our Country and our Mission.

I will always remember the friendly reception that I received in Bangor on my way to the combat zone.
Thank you, all.

Sincerely,
R.E. T.
VFW Post 2872 Athens, Georgia


September 17, 2009

Subject: Hello!

I just wanted to say Thank You for the photos. My son is in the army, and "stopped" in Maine on his way oversees on Sept 12th. While I do not see his beautiful face in the photos, I did get to see many other's. It brought a smile ( and a tear) to my eyes. I wasn't aware that you did this for the families, but it is wonderful for thinking of us as we wonder how our sons and daughters are on thier trip. Seeing the phots is so reassuring!


September 15, 2009

Thank you for what you are doing. I cried when I saw your group welcoming the soldiers. That is so awesome. I didn't see my son but I was happy for the support you are showing our boys.

Thanks again!
Olive M.


September 11, 2009

Dear Maine Troop Greeters,

A few months ago I flew out of Bangor Airport en-route to Kuwait and on to
Iraq. I am currently still in Iraq and recently some fellow soldiers and I were discussing the many forms of thanks we get from back home ranging from care packages to cards. It was a unanimous agreement that having the Maine Troop Greeters see us off was by far the most heartfelt and meaningful token of appreciation we have received. It was stunning to see so many people there at Bangor Airport in the middle of a cold January night standing in that terminal for hours, simply to shake our hands before we left American soil. It had been a long flight from Ft. Hood, TX to Maine. We were all tired and apprehensive about what the coming months would hold. But seeing all of you there was an experience I will never forget, especially shaking the hands of all the veterans who "have been there and done that" before. I guess what makes this so meaningful is that there are no cameras or crowds, its not a publicity event, but rather ordinary people who took the time to come greet us when the rest of the country has largely forgotten about the war(s) except for the occasional statistic.

Thank you again,

LT. M.
IN, 1-8 CAV, 1CD


Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 2:27 PM

My son came through your airport in July, I must tell you that he was overwhelmed. He told me that it was one of the most memorable moments in his life, he will always carry the memory with him. My father (is no longer living) but he was a Viet Nam vet, I like to think that he is there with you as you welcome these brave men and women. There simply aren't the words to thank you for being there for my son on his way to Afghanistan.

From one Proud Army Mom,

Lee G.


Sent: Monday, September 07, 2009 6:04 PM

We are parents on one of the soldiers you greeted in Maine. We wanted to say Thank you for your time, love and support of our troops. It is wonderful to see the pictures and know the men and women are being greeted and shown the appreciation they so deserve as they come back into the US. We are so touched that you take the time to be there for the troops.

Thank you again for welcoming our son and his troops home.

Linda and Henry M.


September 3, 2009

This is the third time I have gotten the call, "Hi Mom, I'm in Bangor." Those words are music to my ears and I start contacting all of our relatives to let them know that Elsa is safely out of Iraq or Afghanistan. My daughter returned the other day from her latest and last deployment, and I thought I should write to thank you for your efforts to let these soldiers know that someone truly cares. Elsa raves about how genuinely welcome they feel when they touch down and see those smiling faces waiting for them. She loves chatting with the veterans and marvels at their personal war stories.

CPT Elsa Kanner feels exceptionally at home because she was accepted into the Air Force Academy from Maine, where she grew up. Thanks so much for caring. Let's just hope that your job ends sooner rather than later.

Barbara and Brian K.
Pound Ridge, New York,
formerly of Kennebunkport, Maine


Subject:

Thank you so much for your reply Cathy. I have checked out the website and I just want to tell you thank you for all the Maine troop greeters do. This is all new to me & I am finding it quite difficult to see my son go as he is my one & only and this is his first deployment. There will be alot of prayers for his safe return.

Thank you again, Candace

 

 

August 15, 2009

I truly appreciated all that you are doing. It was great to see my son's face again before he left country for Iraq. Again, keep up the great work for the families and the soldier's morale...it is very much appreciated, possibly more then you will ever know!

God Bless you all!

Tamie M.


August 12, 2009

Subject: THANK YOU

To the members of the Maine Troop Greeters...

I am currently stationed in Guantanamo Bay Cuba as a Department of Defense civilian employee. I've been a part of the military community for over 30 years as a soldier, military spouse, DOD civilian and "Army Mom". Yesterday morning I received an email from my son "I Am Home" as the subject. He had just arrived home from Iraq and wanted to let me know he had made it. The second or third line had to do with what happened at the airport in Bangor Maine. I felt his emotion through the email. We talked last night and he could not contain his appreciation for the men and women who were at the airport to welcome him home. Without saying too much about his previous tragic tour in Afghanistan, this homecoming was quite different. We had never heard of your organization or mission. Now that we have so will those we know. I have waited for my own returning troops for decades and have the faded yellow ribbons to prove it. But, the thought of a little elderly lady sitting and talking to my son for thirty minutes in an airport in Bangor, Maine on his return trip home is almost more emotional than I can give words to. This simple kindness will not be forgotten. Jewells for her crown.

May you all reap what you have sewn.

Stephanie N.
CYP Training & Curriculum Specialist
USNB Guantanamo Bay, Cuba


August 3, 2009

Subject:

Cathy,

Thank you so much for all of your help with making it possible for my sister, Colleen, and sister-in-law, Linda to greet my son, Mark G. as he returned from his first deployment in Iraq! From the get-go, you made them feel comfortable with the planning process of being a part of his homecoming. I had called the readiness officer in 29 Palms, and she said it was impossible to allow family at the arrival. I guess she didn't know how we Mainers are! Especially about family! :-)

I am a Navy wife of an active duty 32 year-career officer, and I have to tell you, you helped to trigger a military pride in my siblings that they have never been exposed to...they are already planning the next homecoming of our son-in-law, in December!

I loved the pictures of you and Mark. He has grown up so much, since I last saw him.

I commend you and the Maine Troop Greeters for all that you do, and the difference you make in so many military lives!

Thank you, again!
From the bottom of my heart!

Martha G.
St. Paul, TX

 

 

August 2, 2009

Army Material Command Headquarters Sermon

 

 

July 29, 2009

Maine Troop Greeters,

As a mother of two Army sons (one full-time, one full time with DE National Guard), I want to thank you for being there for them. My son, Eric, was deployed with the DE National Guard in 2003...and you were there for him. My other son, Darren, was deployed to Iraq in 2008...and you were there for him. Both arrived at the Bangor Airport around 3:00am and were surprised and appreciative of the Maine Troop Greeters. It helped them (and me) to know that people care about our service members...at all hours...even though they don't know them personally. When they called home from Kuwait, the first thing they mentioned was about the greeting in Maine.

Just wanted you to know that your efforts are very much appreciated. Keep it up!! You are loved.

Gratefully,

Rosemary


July, 2009

Sir, i wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the wonderful send off in April 2009. I am a Maine Native, my unit is out of Mass (USCG PSU 301). All the way in to the airport everyone was ribbing me about Maine being rural, trailers, outhouses, no electricity, etc.. etc... I love this Great State and took the ribbing with a grain of salt. Once we got off the plane all they could do was kid me on the size of the airport compared to Logan...however once they were greeted by your people..the attitude changed!!! they were all surprised to be received so warmly!!! Thank you all......

Thank you,

Chris C.
USCG PSU 301
Camp Patriot
APO AE 09337


July, 2009
Mr. Kohl, Mr. Gallupe, Mr. Dodge and Ms. Czarnecki

I just wanted to say thank you. I can't tell you how much it meant to me to be greeted by you and the many veterans and volunteers at the Bangor International Airport on my way home from the desert. I actually returned home and landed in Bangor in January of 2005, but I have always held a special place in my heart for you all since that day. I just learned that you all are still there, day and night, to greet soldiers and I had to write to say thank you. My husband has also arrived in Bangor- he has actually been there 3 or 4 times, maybe more, we've lost count. We are both so grateful for your sense of American spirit and dedication to making each soldier feel like what they are doing really does still matter to the American people. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about how important you made me feel that day.

I wanted to tell you that I nominated you for the "Persons of the Week" that they have on Fridays of the ABC nightly news. I hope you get selected if you haven't already! But even if ABC doesn't pick you, I wanted you to know that all the volunteers at the Bangor International Airport really do make a huge impact on returning service members- that was the absolute best way to be greeted after spending a few months away from home...I will never forget it.

Sincerely,

A very grateful (former) member of the United States Air Force

Camp Patriot

 

 

Sent: Saturday, July 11, 2009 7:19 PM
Subject: Thanks!

I just wanted to thank you for getting us photos of our soldiers from 3-17 yesterday! It was really nice to see my husband and it is really nice to know that people care enough to do that for the families.

Thank you guys for what you do!

Debra


Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2009 5:47 PM
Subject: Photos

I just received an email from my sister directing me to your site. After looking at the pictures taken July 3rd - 11pm, I can barely speak.... All that comes to mind is THANK YOU! Thank you for seeing our loved ones off. Thank you for caring enough about these brave men and women to do this. Thank you for taking your time to not only be there for them, but then to post the photos for those who couldn't be there. Thank you for giving us one more look at their beautiful faces.

This is my sister's 2nd son to be deployed. Her oldest spent a year in Iraq so we have been through this before... it doesn't get any easier! Tighe will turn 21 in Afghanastan at the end of this month. To see the picture of his beautiful smile means more than you can know. That is the picture I will hold in my mind for the next 12 months. As a family, we said our goodbyes in May... unable to get to Washingston before he deployed. Seeing the 3 pictures of him mean so much to us.

I just needed you to know that what you do is truly special! And it is greatly appreciated.....

May God reward each of you and keep you all in his loving care.

With much thanks,

Regina


Sent: Tuesday, July 07, 2009 1:18 PM

Subject: troop pictures

Thanks for taking our pictures and showing up at the airport to meet us!

God bless you all for all you do.

John


Sent: Saturday, July 04, 2009 6:53 PMSubject:

My name is Barbara Jackson. I am writing to thank you for all your time and effort in obtaining the photos of the soldiers coming through the airport in Maine. My husband was one of the soldiers that came through on July 3, 2009. I can't begin to tell you how nice it was to see his face one last time before departing the US.

I just want you to know that your efforts are not going unnoticed or unappreciated. What you are doing is very much appreciated by those of us who love these soldiers. Thanks again for your efforts and your dedication to the men and women of the US Armed Forces. I know they and their families appreciate you!

Barb & Imari


Date: Monday, June 22, 2009, 7:18 AM

Hi Sir,

I just wanted to thank you for your organization's unwavering support of our troops. My husband is currently in the Bangor Maine Airport, waiting to fly out to Germany enroute to Mosul Iraq. He's with A Battery, 2nd 114th Strike Unit of the Mississippi Army National Guard 155th Armored Brigade. This is his 2nd trip over. He spent all of 2005 in Iraq. He's got 23 years in and the selfish part of me wishes he had already retired, but the patriotic part of me is very proud.


5/19/2009 2:51:02 PM

Please tell all of your group how much we (my family and our entire unit) appreciate them for taking the time out of their lives to show appreciation to our soldiers.

God Bless Ya'll!

Tammy


MANY THANKS !!!!!!

Subject:

I just wanted to thank everyone involved in Maine Troop Greeters group for all their time, energy, money, thoughfulness etc. that y'all do for our military and their families. I've been monitoring your website today hoping maybe I'll see my son coming home. He should be arriving sometime today from Kuwait (hopefully). He is Charles Gougenheim with the 2-149 Aviation group out of Texas.

I just felt the need to say thank you !!

Lynne

"Blue Star Mom"


Please click here to see a nice note from a soldier in Iraq



Thursday, April 23, 2009 6:57 PM

Sent:Subject:

Your group did for me more than anyone could ever ask. My son was given a very special hug from his mother - to welcome him back home, and I could not Thank Your Group enough for what you did. His words to me when he called from there was - Mom I love you and I got your message, what more could I ask for.

Thank you for all the wonderful work you do, you may never really understand how much you help the families by letting the loved ones make that last call home and taking pictures - When he was deployed the picture you all took on Sept 19, 2008 helped me get though this as I had it to look at everyday knowing that was the last one in the US.

God Bless You All!

Milene


Sirs/M'am's....I certainly hope this is reaching the right people...... I have been looking for someone to thank for over 4 years now and finally ran across some email addresses in the right city.
On December 24, 2004 at 2 a.m., my army aviation unit (185th Aviation Brigade Headquarters) totaling 99 soldiers from Jackson, Mississippi, flew out of Kuwait city after a 12 month tour up in Iraq's famed Sunni Triangle about 40 miles north of Baghdad. We had flown for 6 hours up to Frankfurt, Germany, refueled and got a new flight crew, flew 8.5 more hours across the Atlantic (most of us had never seen the Atlantic Ocean)....we had been awake for over 2 days being debriefed and going through US Customs scans and security in Kuwait.....when we entered US airspace just northeast of Maine, the pilot had given us a countdown to being HOME.....we all cheered and jumped up and down......we knew if we bought it then, we would die at home......
It was cold, icy, and early on Christmas Eve morning in 2004 around 7:30 am when we touched down in Bangor, Maine to refuel again.....and we received the biggest surprise of our tour.......there was a "Welcoming group" there applauding, hugging necks, shaking hands, and thanking us for our patriotic service......they handed us each a cell phone and told us to call anywhere in the United States we wanted and talk as long as we wanted.....UNREAL....women, children, young and old......it was like an old fashioned family reunion right there in your airport terminal............AMAZING.........when we left Bangor, we flew another 4 hours down to Jackson, Mississippi......we had a good combat tour, and a super welcome home, thanks to the Americans in Bangor, Maine......
I can personally tell y'all that the people of Bangor, Maine made 99 friends that day in 2004......and as the old saying goes, "if y'all call, we'll start walking"........our hats are eternally off to the town and people of Bangor, Maine who came out very early on a cold icy Christmas Eve morning in 2004 to make 99 tired, dirty, sleepy, and thankful soldiers feel at home..........
T H A N K Y O U , B A N G O R , M A I N E ........for being an All American City........
David
185th Aviation Brigade HQ



Please click here to see another nice letter from March, 2009



Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for a warm greeting and open arms when we arrive at the airport. The cell phone use and friendly conversations were much needed by all that landed. I personally look forward to one day returning under different circumstances for a visit.
Thank you,
PO1 Harry T. USNR
MNSTC-I ITT (NIIA)


January, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
First Email from Kerry!
I have a few moments (and 15 minutes of Internet use that I just bought!) to write. I am unable to navigate the international phones so I will try at our next stop. I knew it was going to be tough on Katie. I was good until she started crying. Then it hit me. Then we were all crying. However, I told the kids that it is fine to be sad and show emotion. Of course, Ben and Emily are stoic!
Bangor, Maine was really neat. We arrived at around midnight and I was surprised by the reception. There were about 30 people lined up to meet us once we entered the airport. This group was made up of retires, spouses of active duty military, and normal citizens of the area. They had set up a reception area with free food and drinks and free cell phone use for service members. It was really nice and refreshing. I spoke to an older gentleman named Gaynor who has been doing this since 2005. He informed me that over 800,000 service members heading to or returning from both Iraq and Afghanistan have cycled through that airport since 2003, and his group has been there from the beginning to thank them and make them feel welcome. It was a unique and reciprocal experience. These people, a cross section of our country, were there to thank us for our sacrifices and service. We in turn were reminded vividly of who we are defending and why we do what we do. I talked to Gaynor for almost an hour and we discussed the wildlife and beauty of Maine (he had spent his entire life except for three years in that area), as well as life in general. The conversation did not dwell on politics or ideologies, and was just a friendly and genuine conversation of two strangers brought together by a deployment. I hope to see him in a few months when I return for mid-tour and then upon my re-deployment.
Oops...I just got the warning that my time is expiring. I love you and will talk to you soon. You are my Goddess! Tell the kids I love them and will talk to all of you soon.
Love, Me


Please click here to see another nice note


Letters from 2008 Thank you Thank you!

APO AE 09337

USCG PSU 301
Camp Patriot
APO AE 09337
My son and Mainetroopgreeters... Proud mother of a Marine

Thanks again,
Donna M., son of PV H.