Yesterday I noted that CPT Bourland was back from Iraq. I first encountered him last year when he registered with AnySoldier.com. His posts were full of humor and heart-tugging writing.
One of the best entries CPT B wrote on AnySoldier was the following, from January of this year. Though it was a specific response to supporters of him and his men who were living in very primitive conditions at the time, it's a great reminder of the impact supporters can have through their letters and care packages. I've quoted it in its entirety below (click here and scroll down for details on how to find it in original form).
Because of you, our supporters!If you haven't been actively supporting the troops, get to it! Check out Soldiers' Angels, Anysoldier.com, or one of the many other troop support organizations directing letters or packages to our deployed warfighters.
Because of you we are able to take showers with body wash, use shampoo and have deodorant and enjoy the basic necessities of life. Because of you we are able to have late night snacks and plenty of coffee to keep us alert and to help us wake up. Because of you, we enjoy current publications and magazines and continue to educate ourselves with current books. We are able to slip away for a few seconds to listen to a CD, DVD or write a letter. Because of you we have made acquaintances, pen pals, supporters and most importantly, friends. We were shown how our country supports us through thick and thin, how selfless actions of mothers, fathers single moms and churches send care packages easily worth $50-$60 and then pay another $40 for shipping. Because of you we have "junkies" [as regular AnySoldier supporters label themselves] asking us what do you need and although we don't ask for much we receive what we ask for without hesitation with extras thrown in.
Because of you Lance Corporal Smith does his 50th patrol but does it with hand warmers in his pockets and is able to concentrate on the enemy instead of the cold. We have something to add to the water in the 130 degree temperatures so that we actually drink water instead of getting dehydrated. Because of you we have the 7 ton truck driver who although is advised by his mother not to dip had his Copenhagen dip and although he is on a crappie road in a crappie place is at least happy for a little while. Because of you many many Marines have enjoyed a nice cigar and wound down and built cohesion in a time that others may have fell apart. Because of you, we have the simple words of "Thank you", "Stay Tuff" and "We support you" sent to us. So few words, however words that carry a big punch.
Because of you we won't let some terrorist come to our country and tell our children what to do or threaten their way of life. Because of you WE will protect life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Every single one of you who have supported a service member and sent them a letter or package while they were in the fight against terrorism either in Afghanistan or in Iraq have made a difference. Your Marines continue to take the fight to the insurgents. Young Marines, women Marines, continue to excel beyond the expectations of their leaders and stand tall against terrorism and simply say "NO" you're not doing that while we are here. Because of you we can do that. Thank you all for making a difference to your service members.
Simply put, because of you, we are winning!