CHRISTMAS FOR OUR TROOPS
Dan and Carol Johnson's son, Brad
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Posted on Wed, Dec 3, 2008
Sunday, December 7th - Let's turn the dark day of the remembrance of Pearl Harbor into a joyful experience for our troops in Iraq.
Let's make this Sunday, December 7th (you can bring your items at any time to church or we can pick them up) a big day for our troops. Let's turn the dark day of the remembrance of Pearl Harbor into a joyful experience for our troops in Iraq. This shipment of needed items will be sent to the military unit of Dan and Carol Johnson's son, Brad who is deployed in Iraq. Also some personal notes of encouragement, prayer and thankfulness for their service would be wonderful. We have already sent two boxes of gifts for the troops to Brad Johnson's unit in Iraq, but want to send several more.
The following are suggested items:
Soldiers' Care Package Suggestions
(Compiled from multiple lists, but probably still not complete!)
*****indicates most frequently requested items
Canned fruit (pop-tops)
Easy Mac and Cheese
Hot chocolate mix
Kool Aid (w/sugar)
Contact lens cleaner
*****After shave lotion
Feminine hygiene products
Nail clippers Telephone calling cards
Plain black sunglasses
Nerf balls, etc.
AT&T phone cards
Envelopes and paper
Small flashlight or booklight
Zip lock bags
Food items are by far the most popular request!
Canteens hold 1 quart. If you send a 2 quart mix such as Crystal Light, send a jug, too!
No pork or pork products, alcohol or glass containers.
Don't forget plastic silverware.
Put liquids and scented items in Zip Lock bags.
Dear Mr. Minor,
My mom (Carol) forwarded your e-mail about the collection that you are gathering to be able to send to me. I just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for the things that you and your congregation are going to be sending to me and my unit. I am sure that you and the church are already doing this but the biggest thing that I personally could use is prayer. Being away from my wife and kids is hurting me at the core of my being. But thank the Lord that He is using me in the midst of the storm. I am not sure if my mom has told you this stuff or not but after I mentioned wanting to start a Bible Study several of the guys that I work with expressed interest in that as well. I have videos by Pastor Rob Bell called Nooma and they are awesome videos for non-churched people or Christians that may have fallen away from Christ. They have also designated me the COP (Combat Outpost) Chaplain because it is only a company sized element here and the Chaplain serves the battalion at the large FOB (Forward Operating Base). So I think God that He is using me to His own glory and not my own. Thank you again for all the things that you guys are sending.
Dear Brad, Pastor Bruce Minor the congregation and myself are honored to be apart of this journey with your group. You and the rest of the group have been on our prayer chain and in the bulletin since you were deployed. Our goal is to send 100lbs. so far we have shipped 36lbs. God is always coming up with surprises in our lives He is using you in ways that you would had never thought of. He is an awesome God a loving God and you are His soldier in action.
I just got an e-mail from my mom saying that you read my e-mail to your congregation. I am speechless and all I can say is WOW. I am the one that really feels honored that you and your congregation have jumped into this with both feet and have surpassed all expectations. I am so moved with joy and admiration that you guys are wanting to send so much stuff it is a great blessing to me and even though I know that I am important to my wife, kids, and parents it really makes me feel special and important that you guys are behind me with such passion and emotion. I am just curious though as to how God is using me in ways that I never could have thought of? Is that here in Iraq or back there in the church? Either way you are absolutely right about it. I dont know how much my parents have shared with you guys about me but I thought that I was doing a pretty good job of following God and being a true Christian, but God has really used this deployment to show me that I was failing miserably as a Christian, husband, father, and a son. So as difficult as it has been to be away from my wife Cynthia and our 3 kids (Brian, Cristalle, and Phillip) God has worked the lemons into lemonade as He often does with our poor performences.
In His Name,
Dear Pastor Bruce and Better,
My mom told me that you read the e-mail that I sent to her about the packages. One thing that I forgot to mention in that e-mail is that there is a private company that has been hired to man the guard towers that surrond our base as well as the entrance to our base. All of the men (with the exception of 2 managers who are U.S.) are from Uganda. I am not sure what their family situation or financial situation is but I know that I was told that they are always asking for toothbrushes and toothpaste, and there was a pack of Oral B toothbrushes in one of the packages that I received from your congregation and so I gave those toothbrushes to one of the managers so that they could distribute them to their guys that in need. So not only is your gracious giving reaching us here in Iraq, but it is also ministring to people in Uganda as well. I thought you would appreciate hearing that as well. Also one of the guys who kept saying how awesome you and the church was for sending stuff asked for your address so that he could send you a thank you letter. So I gave him the return address from one of the boxes. I am not sure if he will follow thru or not but wanted you to know how much you and your congregation are appreciated.
Sorry I ment to say Betty not Better. I am so sorry.
I am sure that you all got the news from mom by now, but yes the Stryker that I was riding in did get struck by an IED. We were driving along a dirt road trying to get to a town that we suspect has a high population of AQI (Al-Quida in Iraq) in the town. We had just crossed over a big ditch/canel, and then all of a sudden I find myself squatting down below the air guard hatch that I was standing in. Our Strykers have 2 hatches in the back for people to stand in as rear security. I was in the hatch on the right side which is the side that the IED hit our Stryker on. At first I thought that we hit the dtich really hard and that it was a little bit longer then our wheel base so that the back tires slammed down or somthing because that has happened before. But then I saw all the smoke surrounding our Stryker and I immediately knew what had happened. At that point the Stryker came to an immediate stop and our Company XO who was riding with us called out if everybody was ok, and my FSNCOIC (Fire Support Non-Commisioned Officer In Charge) yelled out that he was not ok and started sreaming in pain. He has a bi-lateral compound fracture, and another one of our guys has a fracture in his left ankle. Fortunately part of our operation involved helicopters so they immediately came down and picked up the wounded and flew them right to Balad which is the main hospital in the area. My FSNCOIC got rushed right into surgery and came out of it ok. His next trip is to Germany where he may have more surgeries, and then finally back to the States where their may be more surgeries and then rehab. He will not be coming back the unit at all. The only thing that I hurt was mainly my right knee and a little bit of my left ankle. I was checked out on the scene and was ok but they also thought I was not in as much pain because I helped carry our guy with the broken ankle away from the stryker so a medic could treat him. Then I carried that medics aid bag back to the Stryker and then carried a bunch of our bags to another Styker for transport back to our COP (Combat Out Post). I think that is the reason why my knee hurts more then it would have because I kept using since adrenaline was pumping and I could not really feel the pain. The gave me some pain meds and an anti-inflammitory and I will hobble around for a few days but then I should be ok. There was no soft tissue damage. We had joked sometimes about wanting to hit an IED so that we could get it over with and know what the experiance would be like and I can tell you know that it is definately not worth it all, and I would have been just fine going the whole deployment not knowing what it felt like. That is all for now I just woke up after sleeping for 11 hours and need to get something to eat. Please pray for the 2 guys that got hurt the worst, their names our Sgt. Moore, and SPC Kreyer their families have already been notified but could still use prayer.
An update on SGT. Moore and SPC Kreyer is that SGT. Moore is now at Walter Reed Hospital in D.C. and SPC Kreyer is back at our duty station of Fort Wainwright to have his time of recovery. My knee is still bugging me some and I don't know how long it will take for me to totally recover from it but it has been almost a week now and I would hope that it would be alot better now.
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