Reynolds and his fellow Marines in Iraq love Summit County’s generosity | SummitDaily.com
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Reynolds and his fellow Marines in Iraq love Summit County’s generosity

Sgt. Nathan J. ReynoldsU.S. Marine CorpsIraq/Silverthorne

I am a Marine who served in Kuwait and Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II.During that time, Summit County citizens have provided an incredible amount of supplies for myself and the Marines with whom I serve.I wanted to take the time to thank you.One of the most memorable moments I’ve had in Iraq was near the small town of Rawah. My platoon drove into our camp late one night and looked at what we had to look forward to for the next month.There was one tent that was used as the command post and one other tent used as the BAS (field hospital). For the rest of the camp, there was an enormous abundance of sleeping quarters, on the ground in about 6 inches of moon dust. The dust was so fine and powdery that we call Marines who live in these conditions “sugar cookies.”It was one of the most remote and least developed camps I’ve experience.We had no way to shower and we had no shade from the heat. Everyday we ate field rations (MRE’s) and carried out our missions. Even in this environment the mail came and along with it were seven boxes from a Summit County couple who wished to express their support and prayers for myself and my fellow Marines.In one moment, the prospect of having to eat another MRE was forgotten as the food from the boxes was passed out to all the Marines there. Every time I receive a box, I’m asked the same question, “Who is sending you all this stuff?” I tell them it’s the citizens of Summit County of Colorado. The Marines are continually shocked by the amount of generosity and supplies that are sent out to me from Summit County. The Marines are also extremely grateful. The Marines I’m stationed with received a box of under armor shirts that help keep you cool when you’re patrolling or training outside in the heat. Again the Marines were surprised and pleased to receive such an unexpected and generous outpouring of gratitude and thanks from the people back home. There are Marines from all over the United States with me out here, but there is only one Summit County that has sent boxes upon boxes of supplies.When it seems like we are slowly being forgotten by those back home, there is one place that has never forgotten us or wavered in their outpouring of thanks, support and love. In this war, the Marines have traveled halfway around the world to help a culture that is vastly different from our own. It is a difficult task dealing with people who don’t share the same social norms and sense of sacrifice you’ll find in your average Marine. We watch as an Iraqi steals from those he should be providing for.We grieve when Marines die trying to provide safety and a future to a nation that had none. We persevere through the frustrations, disappointments and the pain with the hope that someday people will remember the sacrifice made here. We hope that the blood and friends we lost here provided the foundation for a freedom known to few people as it is known by the people in the United States. “Difficult” is and understatement. The world wonders how much we can bear. How long until it’s too much for the indomitable military of the United States to handle? What the world doesn’t see is the foundation and support that sustains the will and spirit of your Marines.The world doesn’t read the letter that this Marine reads under a flashlight out in the middle of the desert. It doesn’t see the smile on the Marines’ faces as we open a box two days before the Fourth of July full of barbecue sauce for those chickens we bought from the Iraqis and are going onto the grill.The Associated Press doesn’t announce that there are Marines laughing and having fun throwing a game of horseshoes that someone has thought to mail to the other side of the world. There’s no breaking story about the Marines who go to sleep with pillows under their head at night that arrived in a box a week before.When I have the time to enjoy the things I’ve received, the United States doesn’t seem so far away. Summit County has given more to the Marines I’m with than anyone else, and it has been possible through the extraordinary efforts of a few citizens to whom I will be eternally grateful.Your friends stand by you through the difficult times. Summit has not only stood by your Marines, you put your arm around us to support us through the trials ahead. I thank you and continue to serve with pride, knowing that the job I perform is for a county that has given so much in return.


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