Around the world this holiday season, families will gather in the usual way, to celebrate the same traditions as in years past. But this year, thousands of families will have an empty seat at the table for a son or daughter, husband or wife, brother or sister who will spend the holidays in harm's way.
If you would like to send a holiday message to the peacekeepers in the former Yugoslavia, send e-mail to email@example.com. These letters will appear below, so please include your name and hometown if you would like for them to appear with your letter.
Dear Fellow Soldiers:
Many years ago, I spent five years in Nazi concentration camps and was near death. An American tank battalion came upon Dachau only three days before World War II ended on May 8, 1945, and saved me from certain death. I later served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War. I am telling you this because the work that you are doing and the risks that you are taking will save many lives. You will be glad later in life when you recall these stories to your children. May God bless you and keep you safe until you return home.
Name: Harold Gordon
We hope and pray you are safe and warm. We are grateful for all you are doing. We hope you will be home soon. Stay safe and we know you will keep the peace.
Name:Lin, Tim and Julie
Springville, New York
Living in Germany as I do, I understand the situation in Bosnia and Croatia a little bit better than most high school students in America would. As a matter of fact, even though my father is not on the front lines with you all, he works extremely hard every day to make it easier on you. I also realize that even though some or most people might not agree with the reasons for a Bosnian occupation that it is out of your and my control. Anyway, thanks a million for believing in your superiors and trusting in America. Good luck and God bless you all.
Name:Chris Childress from Stuttgart
To all the soldiers:
Thank you for going and doing such a fine job. We support you for your efforts to make the peace happen. I am sure that the world will be a better place because of your efforts.
Name: Grace Grady
To all the soldiers in Bosnia:
Happy New Year and hope your Christmas was as merry as can be. We appreciate all that you are going through, and hope that this situation is resolved as soon as possible. I'm sure that nothing I've ever experienced can match up to what you are all putting up with now. From myself and all the students of Patch American High School -- HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Name: Ian Welton
Senior, Patch HS Stuttgart, Germany
To all the peacekeeping troops in Bosnia
Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Best wishes for a healthy and safe year, including our fondest hopes that you will all be getting ready to return to U.S.A. for the next Christmas and New Year's celebrations. Bless you all.
Name:The Blauer Family
Camarillo, California, USA.
You are our heroes on a noble mission of peace to Bosnia. We support you and pray for your safe return. You are there for a moral cause without any material interest.
Name: Tahir Rizvi
Keep up the good work, guys and gals. We're all behind you, and don't ever forget it. Be careful, be safe, stay alert, and stay alive. God speed all of you home.
To all our friends and soldiers in Bosnia.
At this time of year the Rogoff family wants to send you our love and deep respect for what you are doing in Bosnia. Our support for our beloved president and his and your commitment for peace has never been stronger. We hope and pray that this mission will prove successful and hope peace will return to Bosnia and the entire former Yugoslavia.
The Rogoff Family
Passaic Park, New Jersey
Happy Holidays and a safe mission to all of you!!!!
I am a past peacekeeper with the Canadian Army. As a peacekeeper I spent a total of three holiday seasons in foreign countries doing what you are doing now: risking your lives for the sake of humanity. You will never regret what you are doing and be assured that although people may not congratulate you for your efforts or remember your service or actions in the future, you will always know in your heart and soul that you made a difference or at least tried to! My hat is off to all UN peacekeepers serving in Bosnia and in all missions around the world at this time of year. Please be safe and thank you for your efforts to establish and maintain peace in our lifetimes!!!!! Thank you!
Being from the home town of Westover A.F.R.B., home to the C5-A Patriot Wing, and having family and friends in the reserves, my family and friends are always thinking of the men and women in uniform and we are proud of your call to service. We hope that you may be rewarded by the faces and lives that you will touch protecting the peace of the area. May God be with you and God bless you all
Chicopee, Massachusetts, U.S.A
I send my very best wishes to all peacekeepers in Bosnia. It warms my heart to think of all of you sacrificing your own safety and comfort for this noble cause. In the way of your mission there is still hope for our world's dignity.
Name: Stefan Fiedler
Though we wish you could be home with your families, we are proud of what you are doing. May you stay warm in the short run and safe in the long run.
Name: Bruce and Linda Breiby and Family
Your country has called and you have answered! The American soldier's devotion to duty is second to no other in the world! Your sacrifice and dedication embodies the spirit that makes this country the greatest of all. Our hats are off to you and our hearts go out to you. Be well, be safe, and the world will be a better place because of you. Peace, love and happiness to you and all yours for the holidays and during the times to come.
Name: Robert Figueroa Sr.
Long Island, New York
Hello from home!
We want you to know that we are all thinking of you during this dangerous mission! This letter represents two families -- in which there are veterans of just about every war and military action America has taken part in during this century, (including some on active duty right now). And we are very proud you during this cold and tough mission on which you are now embarked. We know that your difficult jobs ultimately ensure the freedom we enjoy here at home, as well as others' throughout the world. History tells us the tale of local conflicts allowed to escalate -- ultimately resulting in world wars. Indeed, history will also uphold the brave peacekeeping measures you take today as lessons well-learned.
You are making a difference ... and our thoughts and prayers are with you!!
Name: The Mosbachs and Montgomerys
Hi! My name is Sarah Knox and I'm a student in Stuutgart, Germany. My father is also over in Bosnia. So if any of you see Chaplain Mark Knox tell him "Hi" for me!! I think that the timing of this couldn't have been worse, but I trust God that he will bring you all back safely to us. Good luck in the mission of peace! My prayers will be with you!!! God bless!
Name: Sarah Knox
To our troops in Bosnia:
The country is behind you. You are doing God's work. God bless you all for your sacrifice in leaving behind your families and friends at this time of year. Peace on Earth, Good will to all mankind. Blessed are the peacemakers!
Name: Bill Ryan
Lake Oswego, Oregon
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