Deployed Troops Grateful for Support of Family, Nation
(December 24, 2010)
|WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2010 – Holidays or not, it will be
business as usual this weekend for Army Sgt. Kellie Mock.|
On Christmas morning, as on every morning, she'll don her
uniform, pull on her combat boots and report for duty as the
supply noncommissioned officer in charge for Headquarters
and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, at
Forward Operating Base Sharana in Afghanistan.
Her Christmas plans, if duty allows, include a
viewing of the holiday movie classic, “It's a
Wonderful Life” and some oversized snowman and
Santa cookies snagged from her roommate's care
It's a far cry from her traditional holiday
season at home on Fort Campbell, Ky., -- packed
with tree decorating and family get-togethers --
but Mock said she's glad to make the sacrifice
for her nation.
“My mother calls me her hero,” the mother of
three said. “And it makes me proud to be here.”
Mock is one of the thousands of U.S.
servicemembers who won't be home for the
holidays this year.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Moseley
poses for a photo with some of his soldiers on Forward
Operating Base Sharana in Afghanistan, December 2010.
Moseley said the support of his family, and the nation, has
bolstered morale for his troops over the holidays. Courtesy
About 95,000 troops are deployed in Afghanistan,
48,000 in Iraq and thousands more to other
locations around the world. But while far from
home, thanks to the support of friends, family,
and the nation, they are far from forgotten.
Mock works closely with the mail clerk and has seen first-hand the bounty of
care packages that flood in for the holidays.|
“People take the time not only to pack these boxes and send them over here, but
to send cards or letters,” she said. “Children who draw pictures and send us
things they made for us, it really warms the heart and mind.”
Mock draws comfort from this display of support, as well as from the unwavering
support of her family. Her husband, Donnie, has kept in close contact and plans
to call her on Christmas her time and then again when the day begins in
She's also looking forward to watching her three children -- 10-year-old Donnie
III, 4-year-old Dayon and 2-year-old Seagurin -- enjoy their gifts.
Unfortunately, she'll miss out on her favorite moment of the holiday season:
“Seeing my kids light up on Christmas morning when they see all of the gifts
under the tree.”
Being so far from home during the holidays can take its toll on the troops but,
thanks to the nation's support, morale is “very high” among his soldiers, said
Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Moseley, platoon sergeant to the Signals Intelligence
Platoon, for the 101st Airborne Division's 4th Brigade at FOB Sharana.
Moseley said his troops have received more care packages this year than he's
ever seen. “People back home are really standing behind this troop and this
causes us great pride to serve our nation,” he said.
Moseley has enjoyed several care packages of his own throughout the month from
his wife, Pat. The couple celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas so their
holiday season kicks into high gear right after Thanksgiving.
“Whether we stay home with the boys or go and visit family somewhere, we spend
it together and try to make memories,” he said.
Moseley's “boys” are actually grown men now, and both are serving in the Army.
His older son, Army Spc. Chris Moseley, is also deployed in Afghanistan,
although to a base about three hours away from FOB Sharana. His younger son,
Jon, will deploy in the spring, while Moseley is still there as well.
Moseley won't be able to share the holiday with his older son, but is glad
they're at least in the same time zone, which will make it easier to talk. He'll
also talk to his wife and younger son online this weekend as much as his mission
demands will allow.
“My wife and I will open presents that we have sent to each other while we chat
via the Internet,” he said. “[The Internet] helps make the distance between us
dissolve to a slight degree.”
Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Armstrong, a battalion liaison officer with Headquarters
and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, also
said he's bolstered over the holidays by the support he receives from his
family, and the nation, back home.
His wife, Kari, has given her husband steadfast support despite dealing with her
own challenges this year. This will be her first Christmas without her mother,
who died in February, and she's also helping to care for her father, who has
Alzheimer's disease. While she wishes her husband “the rock of the family” was
home, she said that won't change her level of support.
“I only do for my husband what he would do for me,” she said.
In their nearly four years of marriage, they've only been together for one
holiday season, Armstrong said, due to his three deployments and training. But
he'll be home next month and they'll have a chance to catch up on their holidays
together then, he said.
Meanwhile, he's grateful for the support that's helping to make the holidays a
bit brighter in Afghanistan.
“The care packages really help my soldiers and me to keep our heads held high,”
he said. “This time of year, the Christmas cards from school kids really raise
our spirits. The support is easily seen and has kept the soldiers upbeat.”
Moseley said the flood of support has created a much-welcomed problem. “There
are so many care packages we are having trouble getting them out to the guys who
are serving at the smaller operating posts.
“But it's a good problem to have and we will get the packages to them,” he
By Elaine Wilson|
American Forces Press Service
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