In many ways, there is nothing I would rather do than spend Christmas either here at the lair with Jenny, or back down South with family. Yet, there are those who will not have that chance, having volunteered to serve and being deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere). They will not be with family on that special Day, nor able to visit family and friends during the holiday season.
Last weekend while in New York for the meetings and events with Soldier's Angels, I was introduced to H. L. DeVore of Prudent Publishing, which is the parent company of GalleryCollection.com that is supplying the cards for people to send greetings to the troops (see this post). During our conversation, the idea of my going back to Iraq for Christmas came up, and he inquired as to the cost of doing something like that. I told him my estimate for travel and insurance, and a most generous offer was put forward.
It is with great pleasure that I tell you today that in partnership with Soldier's Angels, and through the generosity of Mr. DeVore, the Blackfive Embed Program is set to return to Iraq for Christmas. Talks are ongoing with PAO offices, and the paperwork should be filed shortly.
When I floated this idea here earlier, I was amazed at the support offered. I am not able to take packages for the troops with me, for reasons of security and because I need to be able to carry all my own gear -- and I know how you all would respond and I am not able to shoulder the several tons likely to show up. So, I will simply note that Soldier's Angels is sending out a variety of care packages, including some with Dunkin Donuts coffee. So, if you want to do something for the troops, go make a donation to Soldier's Angels.; or, Adopt a Soldier; or, if you have some time (even just a little bit) volunteer. Or, if you want to help with things other than travel and insurance, you can go to my site and hit the PayPal button. The have-to-do's are covered, but there are always nice-to-do's.
I want to thank the wonderful people at Soldier's Angels for all they have done, and for making me a part of the family. I want to thank Mr. DeVore for making this possible and for all the support being shown to the troops. I also want to thank each of you, for you make this both possible and even more worthwhile through your support and encouragement. Thank you all for helping make this Christmas a very special one.