EDITOR’S NOTE: This soldier ask that we not use his last name or give
his exact location in Iraq. He was interviewed via e-mail.
While many of us were huddled together around the tree this Christmas
morning, how much thought was given to our troops that have chosen to
serve the United States of America and spend their holiday keeping
Americans safe and free?
Thomas, 29, of Oklahoma City, is a specialist with the United States
Army. He represents our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands,
wives and friends that have spent their holidays away from home – in
While families throughout the High Plains region spent hours
preparing meals, opening gifts and spending time with loved ones, our
troops on the other side of the globe were working hard and standing
According to Thomas, who is stationed in northern Iraq, Christmas Day
is really just another day.
“Some units are taking the day off and eating together,” Thomas said.
“For me and the people I work with, yes, it will be like any other
day. We will be working our normal jobs and hours.”
Thomas, along with the rest of our troops overseas have Christmas
memories and traditions that they have had to set aside in order to
keep focused on their tasks at hand.
“Having Christmas breakfast with my family before we opened gifts,”
is a memory Thomas recalled. “The only tradtions I can see are there
are some Christmas trees up, and one person has lights hanging.”
Most likely, for our troops away from home, Christmas slides by
without much notice simply due to the fact that their loved ones are
going about those cherished traditions without them.
“It’s kind of depressing,” Thomas said. “But, its not too bad as long
as you have something to keep you busy.”
Thomas joined the Army Reserves 10 years ago and spent the last five
years in active duty. He felt it would offer him funds to acquire a
college education. However, he said, the life experience serving in
the military would give him would compare to none other. He was
deployed to Iraq the day before Thanksgiving, and will be away from
his loved ones for at least another year.
This time of year, due to the respect and support the American people
give those like Thomas, they are able to wipe away a tear with a
smile and get back to work regardless of how much they miss their
families and homes.
“The support we get from the American people makes being over here a
lot easier,” Thomas said with a pride only a soldier can know. “Thank
you all for the support you give.”