Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas Troops

With all the joy of the season, I want to share the hope of this celebration with you

The good news of salvation and forgiveness. God's grace come to  us.

I am not the only one to send holiday wishes to our soldiers.

Those calls have been coming earlier and more emphatically lately. The daily mail pickup by Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, a National Guard unit from Carlisle, Ky., easily fills the bed of a Chevy Silverado, sometimes twice.

And it not just for Christmas either.

Sgt. Andrea Kaichi of Lexington got a Christmas package of Moon Pies and candy-dispensing penguin toys. She got Hanukkah packages, too. Kaichi isn't Jewish, but a support group somewhere thinks she is; it keeps sending menorahs and candles.

They get presents too.

There are Gummi Bears and chewing gum from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sunscreen from cheerleaders in Bowling Green, and packages from a hospital in Glasgow, a church in New Hope and a school in Owingsville. Cases of Ale-8-One ginger ale come from the plant in Winchester. The Department of Corrections sent each soldier a denim bag stuffed with a University of Kentucky calendar and a job recruitment flyer. The soldiers hope never to need the quantities of antifungal nail cream they've received or the ACE bandages, Band-Aids and bags and bags of lip balm. Mattingly likes to dig for the peppermint kind, the same flavor his 4-year-old daughter likes.

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