LTC Marc Hutson
It is May and each day we get closer to all of you. Things are going well and all of your loved ones continue to do a great job. They are responsible for a great deal of success and progress in our battalion area of operations, I could not be more proud of them each and everyday. I thank God every day for the privilege and honor to serve with your soldiers. I also thank God each and every day for all of you and the tremendous sacrifice you are making in your tireless support of all of us. You can not imagine how much your efforts mean to us and to me personally. I know that it is not easy and it does not get easier as time goes on- only harder, but we are getting closer with each day to a wonderful reunion. Many have had the opportunity to take leave and we should complete the mid tour leaves in late June. I hope that all of you enjoyed the leave or will soon. All who come back seem well rested and rejuvenated.
As many of you know, we have added two names to the list of our fallen:XXXXX, Delta Co, and XXXXXXXX,from HHC. I want all of you to know that the ultimate sacrifice they made was not in vain. We honored both of our Brothers in Arms during memorial ceremonies here on FOB McHenry. The ceremonies were fitting and dignified and most certainly fit for warriors such as these men. We continue to honor them each day in our hearts and in the missions we accomplish. I would ask all of you to remember them and their families in your thoughts and prayers. I know that loss is very hard on all of you and I thank you for your strength and courage. I must ask all of you to keep the faith and stay the fight. Your support is what keeps us going and we must Honor all of our Fallen by completing our mission here, we can not do that without your support. All of you are our greatest source of strength and courage. You are our most powerful weapon and without you we are lost. You all have endured so much for us and I will never be able to thank you enough.
I want to brag about your loved ones as this is one of my favorite things to do. First, your loved ones have captured or sent to paradise more bad men than any unit in the Brigade. They have also trained more Iraqi security forces than any unit in the brigade. Your loved ones and the job they are doing have been recognized by visitors like the Secretary of the Army, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (4 star general), the Multi National Forces Iraq Commander (4 star general), and many others. All of these people have visited us here on FOB McHenry because your loved ones are doing such an incredible job. This, of course, has its fallbacks in terms of the old ‘Dog and Pony show’ saying. We have also had some great entertainment like Montgomery and Gentry. We also had a couple of losers named Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Ben Affleck visit us. I have no idea what was so special about these guys….. HA just kidding. We make the best with our situation and our little FOB. We have had some great entertainment and the reason they come to our little FOB is because your loved ones earned it and the people who schedule these trips know that. Most of their shows are on the Big FOBs where there are thousands of troops. We have had several reporters who have come here and done a pretty good job telling stories about our soldiers and what they do and have done. I hope you all have had a chance to see some of them.
We have had some other excitement as well….. it came in the form of a fire that burned our PX. Despite the heat and overwhelming flames and smoke, we were able to put the fire out and save the re-enlistment computer and 2 cans of Copenhagen – the rest was a total loss. We have plans to rebuild and will hopefully start in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we have re-opened our PX although in a reduced package in one of the unoccupied CHU’s. Unfortunately, our plans for a Super Walmart were not approved. So we will have to make do with our new one when it is built.
I want to personally thank all of the FRG leaders, co leaders and POCs for all you do. Again I am very proud of all of you and all that you do and have sacrificed for us. I will say it again –
Your job taking care of things at home is much more difficult then the one we have.
God Bless all of you and your families