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Public Comments - Published Writings

Home-front support means the world
Polk County Itemizer-Observer

July 6, 2005

When deployed overseas, the support of family, friends, coworkers, and an employer cannot be overstated. Just knowing your community remembers you carries significance hard to describe to the uninitiated. I will never forget what people on the home front did for us. Never.

This is a public "THANK YOU" for everyone that sent an encouraging word, a card or letter, and "care packages" while I was deployed in Iraq. I am especially grateful for the numerous act of kindness -- the extra efforts made by people -- for my troops.
Keith Moes, Bob Birman, and Medina Schwab scrambled to find unanticipated items needed to help boost morale for our Ops Section; their extra effort brought a lot of smiles to some tired folks.

Don Homuth, Dave Sherman, Wayne Mosher, Jim and Betty Schunk, Joe Trealeven, Peter Ronai, Vera and Howard Bearg, Ken Pingel, Dennis Martin, Rex Kehler, and Jeff Zurschmiede sent homemade jams, smoked salmon, and an assortment of Oregon treats. "Operation Oregon Treats" introduced my entire unit to Oregon Hospitality.

Eve Young, Michael Dwyer, and the "reunion" friends from Virginia "adopted" individual airmen that hadn't received any mail. Their unexpected generosity made a lasting impression; they helped some lonely folks remember that they weren't alone.

Finally, I want to thank Butch and Julie Evans, Paul, Loretta, and Grace Pogorzelski, Robert Matthews, Stan and Cheryl Peterson. And mostly, Joan and Katie -- you especially made the past months bearable.

Paul Evans, a former mayor of Monmouth, is a major in the U.S. Air National Guard and served with the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron in Iraq. In all, he was deployed to the Middle East four times. For more about how happy he is to be home, see his web site, www.paulevans.org.




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