Here is the other letter our son sent Dec. 26. I am going to try and include a couple of pictures he had sent us. These are the first pictures we have seen of him since he left on his tour in September, which made it a great Christmas gift for us. He does not have the capability of sending mail to us at this time but is able to use the internet occasionally. I hope we are not using too much space on the site but I thought these letters may be enjoyed by all. These guys are truly missed by their loved ones!
Bob and Sharon Ombres.
Below is Robert's letter and hopefully a couple pictures.
Wed 12/26/07 6:52 AM
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and were able to enjoy a
break with friends and family. It is hard to think about it being
Christmas here. No decorations in the neighborhoods we patrol, no
Christmas songs heard from any of the houses, no trees and certainly
no nativity scenes.. I sit here thinking of this time last year and
miss the routines I once took for-granted. I think about all my
friends and family and their past few days and know what fun things
filled them. These thoughts for someone away from those familiar
comforts, especially for a soldier in a land not his own, will start
to make you lonely.. I realized I was simply feeling sorry for myself
and should think about where I am and why.
Yesterday, when we drove through a few towns in our sector, the kids
flocked to us as they always do. They look up to us. A lot of them
say they love America. Most of them are saying what they think we
want to hear, kind of like a kid talking to his role model trying to
impress them. I tell them Iraq is "zien" (good) and I like it. The
people here have grown up under a failed government and don't have any
self-pride and I think it is one of the biggest hinderances they have
now and are going to face while they continue to fix the broken
system. The kids here have so little and grow up fending for
themselves- they see us with our overbearing gear and large vehicles
and want to be just like us. My 15 month situation is their life. I
doubt any of the iraqi people I talk to on any given day will ever
enjoy the things I'm missing. That is the reason I am here in Iraq.
To give a small HOPE of a chance to these kids. I've been to many of
our greatest US cities and traveled through some of the poorest US
towns and not a homeless person on the streets or family living in a
shack has less than a lot of the kids and families here.
I don't write this looking for pity for myself or them. No matter how
much is donated, the world is what it is. (Though, donations are
wonderful comforts we all appreciate and thank you for; don't stop
I'm writing this so you open up your thoughts a little wider than
usual. Whether you pray over meals, before you sleep, or to
yourself.. think for a second about the many people not as fortunate.
...and please pray they continue to not shoot at me or try to blow me
up, or at least aren't so great a shot..
I miss and love you all. I hope you all had a great Christmas and I
hope to spend the next one back home with you.
I'm trying to include a few pictures..
pic "1"- a few of us before an Air Assault mission.
pic "2"- me posing for a picture in a classroom. the kids were a bit
timid about getting close here..
pic "3"- martinez (doc) posing with some neighborhood kids. you can
sort of see what the neighborhoods look like in the background. :/