Soldiers thrilled to get gifts from CES

By Staff
Clif Knight/Hartselle Enquirer
Two of the 70 soldiers in Iraq who received Christmas gift packages and copies of letters and essays from Crestline Elementary School students responded by writing letters of appreciation. The letters were read aloud for Ellen Hodgen's fifth graders on Thursday and were read aloud by Joe Walters, principal, over the intercom system for all students on the last day of school before Christmas break. The letters are printed in full as follows:
To the Crestline fifth grade class,
I am one of the lucky soldiers serving here in Iraq who received a package from your class. I can tell you how proud and happy it made me to receive such a package in the mail. It makes me even more proud to be an American serving you and your families, protecting your future. Your package of goodies brought a little happiness to this place, and a huge smile to my face. The rest of the soldiers in my unit were also stricken with pride, to know that we are still being thought of and not forgotten. I am currently serving with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 506 Infantry Regiment, Air Assault, We are best know as the famous Currahees (pronounced Curr Ahees) which is an Indian word for "Stands Alone." We are located west of Baghdad about 70 miles at a town called Al Habbaniyah, which is in between the two cities of Ar Ramadi and Al Fallujah. The surrounding area is not like most of the country. We have sparse vegetation, which consists of palm trees and wild brush. It's always nice to see a little green when you are surrounded by desert. The weather was hot for awhile mostly in the upper100's then quickly cooled down to about 70 degrees during the day. Surprisingly, we also did get a little rain as well. Anyway, I can't thank you all enough for what you have done. I am so proud of you all and so proud to be serving you. You are true patriots in my book. I hope you all get want you want this Christmas because you all deserve it. Happy holidays to you and have a happy New Year.
From your friend in Iraq,
Sergeant Michael Tally
Currahee Stands Alone!
To Crestline students,
I was really touched by the letters and essays you sent to me. I couldn't have asked for anything better from anyone. It is really nice to know people think of us over here. It makes everything we do a lot easier. You've done a lot more than you'll ever know. As you know my name is Robert. I am 20 years old. I am from a small town in Tennessee named Gainesboro. I am a huge sports fan and I know all of you are, too. My favorite college football team is the University of Tennessee. I know all of you are Auburn fans. That stinks because Auburn has beaten Tennessee twice this year. But we'll get you next year. Anyway, I am stationed at Camp Hubania, Iraq. It is located in a city called Faluja. I am in the infantry. My job is to look for the bad guys and make sure they don't bother any of the good people that live in Iraq. Most Iraqi people are nice. The only ones that don't like us don't know we're here to help them. Iraq isn't what most people picture it to be. It is very hot most of the year. It is only cold for three months. Those months are November, December and January. Also, it isn't just sand and desert land like you would think. There is a lot of grassland here. Anyway, I hope I answered any questions you might have had. Thank you again.
Your friend,
Robert Sprague

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