It's been a long 14 years, man has time flown by. I was thrilled when I made contact with you, wasn't sure that I would be able to. I know that the question of why after all these years am I looking you up? Well the biggest reason is to tell you Thank You. During my 9 months spent in the gulf war, I was actively writing to you and to over 40 different people whom I have never met from all over the U.S.. After the war was over and I returned back to the states I had put the war letters in a box and sealed them up. Over the years I have always kept you and the other folks on my mind, wondering what everyone was doing, where are they now, do they have families, etc? Some of those people were 10 yrs old at the time and now are grown adults.
After 9/11 happened and when the U.S. went again back to Iraq, memories and feelings from when I was in the war had come back. I kept thinking about everything that happened while I was there. So a couple months ago I took out the box of war letters, which had been sealed closed for the past 14 years, and began to re-read the letters. I read about 250 letters from you and everybody else. Yes I have every letter you sent me. When I finished reading the letters I realized just how much you and the rest of America truly were behind us being in the war. But more personal to me was the fact that so many people like you Nancy were supporting me. You kept me in your heart, thoughts, and prayers while I was there. You helped to keep me motivated and keep focused on doing my job so that I could come home safely. It's a feeling that I can't explain, I guess you must have to be in battle to understand. Now that I have grown older over the years I have learned to appreciate things more. What everyone and you did for me really did mean something to me during the war and you did make a difference out there. Nancy I will always hold a place in my heart and memories for you and the others who cared and supported me while I was at war, until my dying breath. And for all that you did, from the bottom my heart I THANK YOU!! You meant a lot to me. Sorry it took 14 years to tell you. I should of told you when the war was over.
So what does this have to do with being a packrat? Well, it just so happens that somewhere in my attic is a rubbermaid container with most, if not all, of the letters that Pat wrote to me from the war, and some pictures he sent. Now that he has a wife, daughter, and step-daughter, I'm sure he'll want to share those memories and thoughts with them. I suggested he could use them to put together a journal of his war experience.
I know they are there because just last year I was digging through them to find and send a picture of a soldier to another wonderful family.
Why did I keep all these things for so long? Maybe God had a plan....