Christmas Letter from Afghanistan:
Pray for Fallen Soldiers, Families

Military liaison Pat Dodge – known as "MaMa D" to the adopted platoon in Afghanistan – emailed the platoon's contact person on Dec. 14, 2010, saying that boxes of goodies were on their way and that more would be coming.

"I am writing to tell you that I sent out 12 boxes of goodies to you all today," she wrote to Sgt. Isabel Tio. "Unfortunately, I ran out of boxes to pack stuff so I will have to send the rest of the things that I have in about a week or so." In addition to treats, she said the boxes contained basketballs, footballs, softballs, volley balls, games and cards. "I didn't have anything to pack the bats in yet so they will come in the next batch of boxes."

In quick reply, Sergeant Tio thanked the post and urged everyone to pray for fallen soldiers and their families.

"Thanks so much for your generosity and for your selflessness," Sergeant Tio wrote. "May this Christmas, God bring you joy and happiness and lots of love."

After noting how much she missed her family, Sergeant Tio said she was a little down because every day she has been seeing soldiers going home in caskets.

"I want you to join me and pray for those families that have lost their soldier and will not have a good Christmas. I think if a lot of us pray together, it will be stronger and maybe the war will end."

She added: "I see how others pay the ultimate sacrifice so I will not complain."

Sergeant Tio then expressed gratitude again for the post's "hospitality and generosity," noting:

"We love and thank you very, very much."

Her email ended with a postscript quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:

" You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. "