An open letter to the Jamestown area community written by the commanding officer of a platoon currently deployed to Afghanistan and adopted by the Blue Star Mothers, Lake Erie NY4 Chapter:
Yesterday was probably the closest thing to Christmas in July as you could imagine. I came into our command post just as the mail was being delivered, and several members of the company were astounded by the number of packages we received. I truthfully cannot say how absolutely grateful, not just Second Platoon, but many members of A Company are for what your organization and community had put together for us.
For me as a leader, it was extremely uplifting to see such a raise in morale of so many people, especially those working with me directly. The time and effort that was taken to put such an amazing blessing together really was able to shine through on the faces of all of my men. Usually I'd try and say that it is the small things that matter most, but what all of you were able to accomplish was in no way small, and it will have a lasting impact for the guys over here.
All of the care packages were so well put together that I don't think any of us could have asked (or thought of) more. The fact that the community had put so much into helping out the Blue Star Mothers organization was also very apparent. It was heartwarming to receive all of the letters and CDs that so many people had donated their time to make. One of the platoon leaders even said he wished he and his wife could go and visit just to say thank you. Without a doubt, it is the greatest feeling knowing how much support still exists back in the states. It's something that we're not always reminded of, and sometimes unsure of, but all of your work brought new life to a lot of those misconceptions.
I struggled desperately to both find what I could possibly say to convey our deepest sense of gratitude, as well as find a working outgoing mail source to send you something handwritten from our platoon. Needless to say, I'm sure my words are barely sufficient in giving our thanks, and I'll have to further my search during our retrograde to see if we can send anything else out. But once again, thank you so much for all that you did for us in putting those packages together. Thank you to the families, the community, and your outstanding organization of Great Americans. I've attached a picture of the platoon overlooking one of the valleys nearby - hope it gives you a closer sense of all of the guys you're taking care of.
Please share our gratitude with all of those who were able to give so much to all of us.
And so once again, Jamestown area community, you have come through with selflessness and zeal. We, the Blue Star Mothers, thank you. In the words of Helen Keller, "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."
It may seem small, but together we have made the difference in one platoon.
Susan Rowley is a Frewsburg resident and president of the Blue Star Mothers, Lake Erie NY4 chapter.