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in veneratio, in ludus.

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Dear Catherine;
 
First off let me say that I received the carepackage that you sent and my first impression was "WOW".  My name is SGT David **** and I am currently deployed to Bagram Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. When i received the box today i took it to my shop so the soldiers that i work with could open it and see that the people of America believe in the what we are doing over here and that the sacrifices that we make as soldiers do not go unappreciated. It is so wonderful that people like yourself take the time to show support for us and the job that we have chosen to do with out lives. Although we may not know each other and may never get the chance to meet, it is a great honor to be brought together because we all believe in the great country that we live in. Let me also say thank you for the pictures that you and the other actors sent as well as the letters that were from your friends and family. If I could ask one thing of you i would ask if it is possible, some of the soldiers in my shop were wondering if you would be so kind as to send some more autographed pictures of yourself as well as any fellow actresses and actors, we like to post them on the shop wall to let others now of the people back home that we are being supported by. I hope it is not to much to ask for.
 
Again let me say thank you and God bless you and your friends and family.
 
David

follow up:
Dear Catherine:
 
Again I would like to thank you for the box and the pictures of your fellow actors and actresses. I have posted them in my shop that i work in and will take a picture of the wall and send it to you in the near future. The support that is being shown by all back home is overwhelming to say the least and I hope that you and everyone that you work with and love understand how much it means to those of us in this deployment to know that you are back there showing the love and support for what we truly believe in.  In this email i will include a picture of the squad of soldiers that you are supporting and hope that we don't look to depressed. Just kidding.
 
Again thank you for the support and carepackages.
 
David
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Cat,
 I just wanted to send my deepest thanks to you and your friends for the great box of games you sent. They are really great!  We run a small Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) trailer in our living area that has computers, phones, and a couple of gaming systems and TVs. We have about 9000 visitors each month from several different units. The games you sent are a HUGE addition to what we had in there.  What you guys are doing for the soldiers is fantastic! Every bit of home that is sent improves morale more than I can tell you. Your games are real hits. We get lots of packages filled with treats and candy, everyone loves them, but the games are something that can be used over and over by many.
Thanks again for everything you do and be sure to pass our appreciation on to your friends, family, and everyone who is helping you with this program.
Sincerely,
Mike
Captain, US Army

follow up:
I received An American Flag from Mike and his unit - The Flag had been flown on a Mission with Mike and Task Force Odin on Memorial day.  How awesome is that?????!!!!!!




























"No arsenal is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women." -Ronald Reagan

"Never tell me the odds." -Han Solo
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GFS RESPONSES - "FROM OUR SOLDIERS"
Thinking about donating....these may help your decision....



Cat,
   You are very welcome!  I got a chance to take a couple of flags with
me on a mission on memorial day and wanted to send them to the people
who have contributed the most to make our lives nicer here.  Your games
will be around long after I am gone so they are the gift that keeps on
giving.  I don't know if the others you have sent games to put them in
the MWR, but these are staying here.  You are doing a fantastic job so
keep it up.

Mike



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Dear Catherine,

Thank you very much for the package of games, and letters. The games will come in handy during those times when we are not busy with our tasks at hand. Yesterday was my first day off in two weeks, and I spent the day reading magazines, and thinking of my cute little wife and two children. The PSP game will get quite a bit of use on my next day off. I am sure it will take up most of the day.

Like you, both of my Grandfathers served in the Second World War. My grandfather served in the Army, and was trapped of in the Battle of the Bulge. I am thankful for your Father and Grandfathers courage, and duty to our country. I appreciated the kind letters enclosed in the package you sent to us. Please tell your families thank you very much, and they are welcome to contact us at anytime.

Thank you

Tim

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My name is Ryan *****, and I just received one of your packages of games.  They are awesome.  I have put them in our games room and two were already playing as I am writing you now.  Keep up the great work helping others, it goes a long way.
Take care.
 And thank you again.
 Ryan
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Catherine,
 
You know It is not every day that I write a Hollywood actress, so I just wanted to say I am impressed with your quick response to my e-mail. I am sure you have a lot on your plate of things to do.  As far as games systems go some of my guys do have PS2s and a couple of them have an XBOX 360. I put computer games on my profile because pretty much everyone brings their laptop out here, so it is a safer bet. The Star Wars games sound great. I am sure they won’t go to waste out here.  Also, there are a few sports buffs over here that would appreciate any sports games you might come across too, but, honestly, we just appreciate the thought more than anything else. I know when we opened your box our eyes were wide open like kids at Christmas , it’s not every day you get a box full of computer games, but it amazes me more that people like you want to support us over here. Thanks!  Oh yeah, the address is the same, but here it is just in case: *********
 
Thanks again,
 
Benjamin

follow up - In true American Hero form, Benjamin was thinking about his fellow soldiers and asked if I might be able to get some PSP games for the guys who were on the front line and always on the move......

A few of the games I held back because I have some Soldiers on a mission at another Forward Operating Base (FOB) right now. I wanted to give them a chance to find something they might want. I also had an idea I thought maybe you could help with. A buddy of mine, an LT I went to training with, is a platoon leader in a combat arms unit over here in Baghdad. His guys are constantly on patrol in some of the bad neighborhoods over here, coming in contact with the enemy on a regular basis. They get to stop by my neck of the woods every so often and I just wanted to do something more to support them because they don’t get as many breaks as we Signal guys do. My buddy was telling me that a lot of his guys have PSPs, the portable Playstations, because they are obviously easier to carry around. I don’t know if you can get any PSP games, but I definitely know some frontline Soldiers who could use them if you did. Anyways, that was just a thought I had. I am also attaching a photo I took of one of my Soldiers climbing one of the smaller towers over here to do some work. As a former photojournalist I prefer to be behind the camera instead of in front of it. Thanks again,
 
Benjamin

thanks to some quick donations I was able to get the psp games over to him...

Cat,

Just wanted to let you know I got the games and I sent them to my buddy,
LT *********. He is in a Cav unit that patrols a sector of Baghdad. 
Things have been pretty quiet around here, and that is usually due to the good work of my buddy LT ******* and his unit patrolling the streets.  You can see why I want them to partake in the support and appreciation from people like you. Thanks again.
Benjamin

and then.....

Hello,
My name is 1LT Samuel ******. My friend 1LT Benjamin ****** sent me some PSP games for my guys on the line. MY GUYS LOVED THEM! They were very thankful! We spend a lot of time on the streets of Baghdad and doing a lot of patrols and don't have a lot of time to sit and relax. Since we are on the go so much, most of us all have PSPs.  The games were perfect. I just wanted to write and say thankyou.  It was a blessing! I attached a picture of my platoon. I am **** Alumni, I majored in Film and Video Studies as well as History, hence the flag. Thanks again! GOD BLESS!

1LT Samuel ********
 IRAQ

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Cat,
 
I just returned from mid-tour leave and found your box of games waiting for me. Thank you so very much for your incredible thoughtfulness and generosity. Several of the guys were wondering why I was also receiving autographed headshots of hot chicks. I let them wonder. Please forward this message to all of your co-conspirators. War sucks, but you guys rock!
 The coffee shop will be finished within a month and these games will make a great addition to the entertainment corner. Pictures and other stuff to follow. Hey, I have some things to send to you. Is the address on the mailing label a good one to use?
 
Take care,
 
Jonathan

JONATHAN sent me a Flag flown over Afghanistan on the Anniversary of 9-11. 







Catherine,
 
You are absolutely welcome. Like you, 9-11 was a turning point on my life. One that would
ultimately take me from NYC to Iraq and Afghanistan. I will never forget what I witnessed that day nor the feelings that welled up inside of me.
 
Thank you for what you do. It makes a huge difference to all of us here.
 
I'll send you a new name and mailing address once the new guys start rolling in.
 
Happy Holidays.
 
Regards,
 
Jonathan

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Thank you so much for the package!!!!!! This by far was the coolest
package I've received. Some of the guys in my office LOVED the pictures
more than the games, lol. My co-worker SGT Silveira is hooked on the
Star Wars games and I am sure to be hooked on Thrillville( I haven't
loaded it on my computer...yet). He just told me he's almost done with
the first game because he plays it for like 12hrs a day(joking, I
hope,lol) The letters were nice as well, so many vets. Receiving a
letter from someone whose been where I am is a blessing, because for one
you know they made it though and they support us to help us make it
though it.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to send us this
wonderful gift, May God continue to shower you with many blessing. 

Very Grateful

SGT Virgia *******
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 Catherine,
               THANKS YOU VERY MUCH for the games you sent me for Soldiers in my unit.  Also I am sorry for taking so long in e-mailing back; my unit was in the process of changing locations during the holidays.  Of course now they wondering could send more games for these game systems PSP, DS, WII, Playstation, and E-Box.  Whatever you send would be greatly appreciated.  I am attaching my address:

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Cat,

Thank you so much for your support.  The box of PS3 and computer games
that you sent have been put to good use right away.  Due to your
generosity I was able to share the games around to other soldiers and
spread some enjoyment.  Thank you again for your generosity and support.
very respectfully,
Ben

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I sent most of the games out to the outer outpost over here in
Afghanistan. Thank you very much!!! We want to send you pictures of all
of us down here in Afghanistan Jalalabad Airfield. Also, can you let
your staff members know that we appreciate everything that you and your
staff are doing to support the troops that are downrange. Hopefully, we
will be back soon to join all of you guys back in the United States.
Once again Thanks and Have  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Staff Sergeant J.

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Hello Catherine,

I recieved your box yesterday, thank you very much. I let the soldiers know that I have some games for them about 10 mins after I opened the box and they were all gone before dinner. LOL. We are in the process of making a common area for the soldiers to come and watch TV, play video games, pool, ping pong, and card games. It's becoming one of my tasks out here and it seems to be coming along pretty good. And your boxes of games will be put to good use.
. Thank you very much,
Tyler

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hello and thanks again! feel free to send more games if you want! there are plenty of us here, we will use them.. If you want, our supply section lives on a FOB they have some PSPs, PS3s and WIIs. Anything you give is apprciated. The PX's are often very limited in the shipments of games they get, their selection sometimes is about 4 games. I got to play one of the games you sent today. I was thankful, i had not had a chance to play my PSP in a while. well, anyway. I hope you have a blessed day, GOD BLESS!

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another soldier thinking of others:

I found some guys that really need some entertainment, these guys are near Khogyani, these guys have nothing, I don't even think mail reaches them all the time, so we have to hand deliver stuff to them. They have nothing. Of course I have been asking around since I got back, and the liason officer here mentioned it to me, and here we are I am sending this email. These guys are really in need of distraction for sure. If you can still send that out to me that would really be great for these guys.

David G.

they received a  donated GameCube and games. (:

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AND ONE OF MY FAVORITES!!!  (wonder why!)


Hello Catherine,
 
       My name is SGT Mark **** and I am with A Troop, XXXX CAV in Afghanistan. So I walk into my MWR today and I see a huge stack of comics on the table, and autographed photos of you. Gotta tell ya', after not showering for days and running missions, that made my day as well as some of the other guys. Just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate things like that, means the world to us that people such as yourself go out of your way to show us you think about us and appreciate our efforts. Thanks a bunch, especially since I am a comic and Star Wars nerd!
 
And as I always quote Han Solo when we go on a new mission,

"it's a good bet the Empire knows we're here."

                     


Respectfully,
 
                Mark ****