Page 2 of 2   <      

Gifts of Thanks for the Troops

Vincent Mondonedo, a specialist serving in Iraq, presents a flag to Glenelg Country School in Ellicott City in January. Students there sent gifts and letters to the troops.
Vincent Mondonedo, a specialist serving in Iraq, presents a flag to Glenelg Country School in Ellicott City in January. Students there sent gifts and letters to the troops. (By Katherine Frey -- The Washington Post)

Members of our coalition partners' armed forces congregated in the hallway looking at the posters with wonder. They asked passersby, "American children send these to you? They are so beautiful!" Some shook their heads and confessed that they were stunned at the support we enjoy from our people back home.

Contrast this with a September statement by Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt, chief of the general staff of the British army: "In America, the appreciation for the armed forces is outstanding, and, frankly, I would like to be able to mirror some of that here. In the States, many companies offer military discounts for serving soldiers, sports teams give out free tickets, people in the street shake the hand of men in uniform."

We have come a long way from the dark days during Vietnam, when people would spit on our men and women in uniform. Those of us serving today have great faith in the American people, and apparently the feeling is mutual. It is comforting that today's veterans will return to civilian life remembering the warmth and support of Americans living comfortably back home while they served in difficult circumstances overseas.

So thank you from us future veterans. Thanks for saying thanks.

Elizabeth L. Robbins, an Army major, deployed in May in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The views expressed here are her own.

* * *

To send messages to U.S. troops or for information on how to send care packages, visithttp://www.mnf-iraq.com,http://www.americasupportsyou.milorwww.militaryhomefront.dod.mil(click on "site map" and then "support for our troops").


<       2

© 2007 The Washington Post Company