Number one in a series of letters from SGT Daniel Nuoffer
Dear Mr. Lewis
We talked on the phone last night. I have not talked to you since I got into country and started doing my job. It was good to hear your voice even if it is through the crackle of an AT&T pay phone. Thank you for having the time to listen to me. Sometimes it's all a soldier can ask for.
Some things have changed here. And some will always be the same. We have better computers, phones, and dining halls. To make it feel more like home Tents are still the same hot and stuffy. I live in a tent with 5 other soldiers. So when one doesn't wash their feet we all know about it and then we let them know about it. But we know that we are all brothers here. And each other is all we have. The other day one of our gun truck crews took a soft hit on the TC or (Passenger) as you would say. And they sent out a distress call from there BFT (Blue force tracker) that they were hit and needed help. All of that soldier mistakes forgotten. His fault cast to the wind. And almost in 5 minutes 10 Gun trucks where mounted and set to roll to bring home our fallen brothers. The order was to stand down as the report came up that the crew was fine. And the truck could be pulled in by another in their convoy. We have to stay together when the shit hits the fan. As I thought about all that had happen that day something came to mind. I am no scholar mind you. No real degree just a young soldier calling it as I see it. But as I thought about that day my faith and background as a christen came to mind. And I thought about home. And all the things that we hold close to our hearts. And it came to me that we as Christan's have long lost that brotherly love. We hear every day that one of our brothers is down. And he needs help now more then ever. Or maybe he is just lost. And needs someone to show him the way back to the road again. And we turn our head. Cover our ears or just walk away. His faults and mistakes to be his down fall. And when he doesn't show for church the next Sunday some have already forgotten his name.
I think that maybe something should be said maybe a teacher should speak. I am a sergeant and I teach my soldiers to count on one another. They are taught it from day one in the military.
All is well here. And my soldiers are doing well. King is recovering from his brush with death after eating the local food. And Hinson is doing what he likes to do. We are all waiting for our next mission. And it will come soon enough. Keep us in your prayers. Because when all is dark, prayers are what we have to lean on.
Note: Sgt Daniel Nuoffer is on his second tour in Iraq. His duty is to command the lead gunnery vehicle that guides our troops in convoy down treacherous roads from Kuwait into Bagdad. He will be gone for 15 months. His new wife awaits his safe return as do we all. Send him your love and support. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.
(minor edits by JTO)