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Letters to the Editor 12-16-2003

Pilot in Iraq sends season's greetings

Dear Editor:

Hello and season's greetings from Mosul, Iraq. My name is Joshua Gunter and I am a UH-60 Blackhawk Pilot with the premiere Air Assault Division in the world, the 101st. I have been in Mosul since the end of May as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I wanted to take a little time to wish my friends in family back in South Alabama a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Many people might remember several years ago I wrote a similar letter to the paper when I was deployed to Kosovo. This time it is much the same situation. I am deployed to a foreign land and will not be able to share the joys of the holidays with my family. I still feel quite fortunate to be able to write a letter, some families across the U.S. aren't as fortunate. I have personally lost two friends in this conflict, one a fellow pilot and the other a crew chief. I ask everyone in Andalusia and the rest of South Alabama be much in prayer for these families and the other 450 +

soldier's families who have paid the ultimate price for freedom.

I can only imagine what this first Christmas without their loved ones will be like. I also ask everyone remember the soldiers over here. I know many times the media shows all the bad things happening here, but understand everyone is doing a great job here and many positive things are happening for the Iraqi people that the media does not show.

Let me close by sending out personal Holiday greetings to my family and friends, bear with me it is a long list. Merry Christmas Mom, Dad, Carrie, Jay, Claudia, Mamma Teen, Granny, Aunt Judy, Uncle Mark, Aunt Cindy, Jason, Stephen,

Dan, Ronnie's bunch, Randy's bunch, Aunt Pluma, Aunt Opal, Uncle Bertram's bunch, Uncle Harold's bunch, Lamar, Ian, Billy's vunch, The Ledbetters, Sledges, Morrows, Bullocks, my extended River Falls Baptist Church family, The

Harps , Lees, Worleys, Stokeleys, Matt, Darryl, Chris, Bradley, Horse, Floo, Beaver, Mr. and Mrs. Carter "Turkey," Jennifer Lee, Hollie Worley, Summer, Ben, Eric Florence, Jay Leslie, Smurf, Foo Darrell McClain, Chris Lewis.

I will end the list there, if I missed anyone I am sorry do know that I am thinking about everyone during these holidays.

I would also like to thank everyone for the care packages and cards that have been sent, they have been such a morale booster. I will close for now and tell everyone I am doing just fine and just counting the days till I get to come home. I know it won't be long before I will be sitting at Mamma Teen's dinner table laughing and joking and even telling old "War Stories." Take care everyone and I love all of y'all.

Sincerely,

WO1 Joshua M. Gunter (A.K.A

Son, Husband, Brother, Grandson, Josh, and Yosh if you're really old school!!:-)

Bravo Company 9-101ST AVN RGT

U.S. Army