Family, friends, and sometimes even troops themselves send I-Report salutes nearly every day to U.S. military serving their country away from home. Take a look below as family and friends share stories of the troops they love.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
'Hard work and sacrifice'
A holiday greeting for Corporal Jason Fox. Serving with the US Marines 1st tank bn c co. in Camp Fallujah, Iraq.
Merry Christmas Jason! We love you and miss you. We're very proud of all your hard work and sacrifice. Stay safe - we love you. From all the Foxes
-- Brian Fox of Trumbull, Connecticut
Wishing a 'blessed and happy New Year'
I would like to salute my husband Spc Carvel Barnett, who is currently serving in Iraq with the 3ID. Wishing you a merry christmas and a wonderful, blessed and happy new year. Be safe we love and missed you sheraine and cavel.
-- Sheraine Barnett of Fort Stewart, Georgia
Happy 36th birthday!
I would like to salute and tell my husband Tsgt Mark A. Daniel. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy 36th Birthday. I love You and Miss You....He is currently serving his 3rd tour in Qatar. He stationed at Dyess AFB, Abilene TX
-- Marcy Daniel of Clyde, Texas
Proud of his service
I would like to wish my husband SSG Henry Johnson [right] a Merry Christmas. It is hard for him being away from his 18 month old daughter at Christmas but we are proud of his service to this country. We love and miss him very much!
-- Susan Johnson of Windham, Maine
The simple things
Happy Holiday to all at Camp Speicher, Tikrit Iraq. Especially to TSgt Tory Miller of McChord AFB, Wa. Nonnie, Robin, Ryan, Tory, Keara, Victoria, Vince and Susan all want to wish you the Very Merriest Christmas. We all Love you and Miss you and hope you come home soon.
-- Robin Miller of Spanaway, Washington
'In our thoughts and prayers'
I would like to salute my husband, LTC Tony Chisolm who is currently deployed to Afghanastan for the next 12 months. We love you and miss you more than you will ever know. You are in our thoughts and prayers everyday!! BRC AMC ALC IAC
-- Mandi Chisholm of Columbus, Georgia
Celebrating Christmas with lots of cheer -- and food
Soldiers enjoy holiday eats at U.S. Army Camp Striker in Baghdad, Iraq. The dining facility anticipated serving as many as 24,000 Christmas meals, including 10,000 portions of turkey, 10,000 helpings of roast beef and 8,000 servings of ham. The meals also include cornbread stuffing, turnip greens, pumpkin pie and other traditional fare.
Photos: Ken Tillis/CNN
-- Compiled from a report by CNN's Alphonso Van Marsh
Merry X-Mas tank
This is a tank the guys decorated and wrote all over "Merry Christmas"
I want to salute my cousin Craig Garcia [far left] who is on his second of deployment to Iraq. He served his first two years ago and suffered slight trauma when his convoy was put to a stop when his vehicle was blown up after running over an I.E.D. He is back serving and defending our country!!
Editor's note: The tank in the picture is out of commission and became a prop used by the soldiers to display their Christmas cheer.
-- Shasta Shoun of Long Beach, California
Sunday, December 23, 2007
COB Speicher RPAT Team
The Airmen in the photo are serving in Iraq as part of an Army "In-Lieu-Of" tasking at COB Speicher, Iraq. Everyone is in good spirits and want to wish everyone "Season's Greetings!"
-- Laura Ramos of Byron, Georgia, currently at COB Speicher, Iraq
Water bottle Christmas tree
I would like to salute my husband, Captain Jeffrey Cashion, who is serving with the US Air Force in Qatar - Jeff is a KC 135R Pilot. We have a 16 month old son, Joshua, who he also has to be away from for the second holiday season in a row. Jeff - Congratulations for becoming a Major (January 1)! We really miss him and can't wait for his return in February!
In this photo, he and members of the RAMCC built a Christmas tree using 1,000 recycled water bottles. Seems that it has become a bit of a base landmark -- others go to have their picture in front of it!
-- Elana Cashion of Gig Harbor, Washington
Shawn Ramey in Iraq
My husband Shawn Ramey serves in the U.S. Army and recently deployed to Iraq with 4th Brigade 10th Mountain. This is his second deployment and first Christmas away from home. Shawn is from Mentor, Ohio. His family & friends are proud of him. We love you Shawn and hope you have a safe holiday!!
-- Valerie Ramey of Fort Polk, Louisiana
'The early morning he left for Iraq. And all smiles.'
I just wanted to tell my boyfriend, Spc Matt Huntwork Merry Christmas and Happy 24th Birthday. Its on December 28. I love and miss him so much. He's currently serving his second tour in Iraq. And is station in Fort Riley, KS.
-- Sara Shufflebarger of Manhattan, Kansas
Devoted ASU fans in Afghanistan
My son is stationed at Afghanistan. Here he is [third from left] with his group the 1st Battalion, 158th infanty Regimen. The troop is part of the Arizona Army National Guard and so you can see how proud they are of the Arizona State University (ASU) football. Go Sun Devils. I have a step-son # 81 who plays for ASU. This is my second Christmas without my son and I miss him so. We do communicate often online but that still does not replace my son. To my son, I love you and am extremely proud of what you are doing. Get home soon. love Mom
-- Patricia Padilla-Thompson of Laveen, Arizona
PFC Eric Palmer
My husband is PFC Eric Palmer currently serving in Balad, Iraq and has been gone since June 07 and I wanted to wish him a very Merry Christmas and a Happy NewYear and we want him to know that the boys and I love him very much and we will see him soon.
-- Katie Palmer of Winfield, Iowa
PFC Latham in Iraq
I want to say Merry Christmas to my husband who is in Kuwait waiting to come home. I love you and I cant wait to hug you. Love your waiting Wife.
-- Nichole Latham of Copperas Cove, Texas
My three children and I want to wish my husband, Paul, a Merry Christmas. The kids and I think of him every day!!! He is a Jet Engine Mechanic serving his third tour in Balad, Iraq. Paul is from Dunoon, Scotland and is the son of Tom and Marjorie. We miss his Christmas spirit this year…Christmas won’t be the same without him!! We count our blessings that he will be home with us this time next year safe and sound!! We would also like to wish all those who are serving their country and are away from their loved ones a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS too!!! God Bless!!
-- Sara Massey of Middleburg, Florida
Sgt. Campion & his best friend K9 Hexa
Wanted to send our holiday wishes to Sgt Campion USMC K-9 in Iraq From Michelle & Sara Marie.
-- Michelle Campion of Cape Coral, Florida
Saturday, December 22, 2007
'Always looking for the fun in things'
My nephew, Dan Ardrey, is serving in the US Air Force in Qatar. He is a fighter jet mechanic, and drives co-workers by bus to work each day. Daniel is from Zanesville, OH, the son of Jay and Patty Ardrey. He is always looking for the fun in things.
-- Nancy Rutledge of Zanesville, Ohio
Friday, December 21, 2007
Christmas in Iraq
The Marines of Charlie Company of the 3rd LAR Battalion decorated one of the LAVs with Chirstmas lights and a small Christmas tree to express their holiday spirit.
I would like to salute my husband Capt. Mark Brown and the Marines of Charlie Company of the 3rd LAR Battalion currently stationed in Iraq.
-- Deborah Brown of Yucca Valley, California
'I am so proud of him'
I want to wish my husband, SFC Luke Marvel, a Merry Christmas! He is serving in Al Kasik, Iraq. All I can think about this year is how blessed I am to have him and how happy we will all be next year when he's home safe. I am so proud of him. Thanks to all the troops . . . God bless!
-- Nisha Marvel of Lynnwood, Washington
'Our first Christmas apart'
This is a picture of my husband taken while he was out on patrol somewhere in Afghanistan.
I would just like to wish my husband a very very MERRY CHRISTMAS! He is currently serving in Afghanistan and this is our first Christmas apart. Love so much, your wife :-)
-- Sarah Graves of Coolidge, Arizona
Merry Christmas Kenneth
Merry Christmas YN1 Kenneth E. Norris We love you!!!! Love, Your Wife & son Deployed since 10-1-06
-- Adrienne and Danny Norris of Port Orchard, Washington
Jeff in Kuwait
My husband on his current deployment in Kuwait.
To my loving husband, Thousands of miles may separate us this holiday season, but not our hearts. The girls and I think of you everyday. Christmas won't be the same without you. Be safe, we love you and miss you!!! XOXOXOXO
-- Nicole Wojcik of Chicopee, Massachusetts
Four-year-old's salute to father
Jacob Sparks of Papillion, Nebraska, salutes his father, Maj. Alan Sparks, and cousin, Chris Angell.
'I love you, Uncle Terry'
Jaiden Gray, 3, of Indianapolis, Indiana, sends a salute to his uncle, Army Sgt. Terry Johnson, in Baghdad.
USO Celebrity Tour Iraq
Here is a photo from the USO tour December 20th, 2007. It was a whirlwind visit with Robin Williams, Lance Armstrong, Miss USA, Kid rock, and Lewis Black. Photo was taken in Balad Iraq, also known as Life Support Area Anaconda.
-- Jason Crowe of Camp Anaconda, Iraq
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Soldier salutes from Iraq
'A simple way to salute the troops'
A Christmas tree decorated in a simple way to salute the troops. I wish all of us in USA do something like that.
Hello Robin, My family and I trying to salute/appreciate the troops our way by decorating our Christmas tree the way you see it in the pictures. We would like to tell our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan through your program that we thank all of them for protecting us and we know that they are wining. Also, we wish them all a safe return and a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
-- Moheb Iskander of Kenner, Louisiana
I would like to salute SSG DAVID DIXON of Task Force Anaconda, 3/144th Infantry, Sniper Section who is deployed in Iraq. This was the Christmas Card that he sent to everyone.
-- Steven Bellew of Garland, Texas
Merry Christmas from Iraq
This is 3rd Platoon, Bravo Co. 3rd Brigade Support Battalion operating out of Camp Ramadi, Iraq. This is our tree, made of nets and welded metal scrap. These men and women have done an incredible job each day, working tirelessly to ensure units in al Anbar province have the supplies they need.
-- Second Lieutenant Erik Anthes, Platoon Leader
'Put his uniform on again'
I am an active duty Navy Nurse Practitioner, my husband is a Physician who retired from the Navy after 20 years. On Pearl Harbor day he put his uniform on again (and got a hair cut!) to swear me in as I was promoted to Commander. It was wonderful to have my husband be my promoting officer. I dedicated the ceremony to the Navy Nurses that were at Pearl Harbor. They showed more courage and dedication in those hours than many people will ever do in a lifetime.
-- Terry McGuirk of Chesapeake, Virginia
'Your babies miss you'
I'd like to salute my husband Jeff who is serving in Baghdad, Iraq for the first time. We love you and you are always in our thoughts. Your babies miss you and can't wait to have you home safe and secure. Christmas this year just won't be the same without you! Love your family!
-- Robin Phillips of Hill AFB, Utah
'We wish you could be with us'
This is my Husband half asleep in his truck. He is a MP with the 401st MP CO from Ft Hood, TX.
My sweet husband is currently in Iraq on a 15 month deployment. Our daughter and I would like to wish him a very Merry X-mas. We wish you could be here with us. We Love and miss you sooo much! A good 8 more months to go sweetie! Your sweetheart and little rugrat.
-- Silvia Detinne of Copperas Cove, Texas
'Merry Christmas baby'
I would like to tell my husband Merry Christmas! This will be his first Christmas away from me in 10 years, I lost grandmother over the summer, him being away is going to be especially difficult this year for me and our 2 kids. He was deployed June 3rd, 2007 to Iraq and is expected to return July 2008.
-- Amber Allen of Nacogdoches, Texas
'Hurry home safely'
My son Gavin, who is 22, has been in Iraq since September 2007. This is a picture of some of the guys in the Navy Riverine Squadron Two. My son is the one on the left, second from the top. I just want to say, we are so proud of him and miss him very much. Hurry home safely everyone and Merry Christmas.
-- Linda Mitchell of West Richland, Washington
Three generations of service
This picture was taken last Christmas. On the left is my brother-in-law Cpt. William Muraski holding his son Jax. Wil is currently serving his third tour in Iraq and hopefully will be home in Jan. Center is my grandfather Vernon Henrichs who served in WWII and has since spent decades helping veterans through the American Legion. On the right is my wonderful husband Spc. Jody Blevins, who will be spending the holidays with me at Ft. Bragg.
-- Jill Blevins of Fayetteville, North Carolina
A holiday wave
Our new puppy, Tuku, of two days is waiving to Robin. Please send to the troops in Iraq, waiving to them in support for all they do and wish them a Merry Christmas and hope for a safe and speedy return to their loved ones. My husband served 3 tours in Vietnam and we both appreciate all the military does so we can stay free and send e-mails.
-- Chris Kinion of Olathe, Colorado
Picture of Al and Sherry Wiggins. Parents of Cpl Alan Wiggins, USMC Taken in Pleasanton California, on December 8th 2007
We wish all our troops a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year. Thank you for all you are doing. We hope you will be home soon with your family and friends. Al and Sherry Pleasanton, CA
-- Sherry Wiggins of Pleasanton, California
This is my son PFC Johnathon Jones getting promoted from Pv2 to PFC... We are so very proud of him...
just wanted to tell my son Merry Christmas and that we all love him and how very proud his whole family is of him... It takes a really big man do be where he is..This is going to be his very first Christmas away from his family.. Son keep your head up and please keep yourself safe.... We Love you so very much...Love you, Mom, dad and the whole Alsobrooks and Jones Clan... As soon as you come home we are having Thanksgiving and Christmas all over again just for you!!
-- Janet Alsobrooks of Houston, Texas
Greetings from Guantanamo
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Troops salute for the holiday
Soldier greetings from Iraq
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
'Making this world a better place'
We have a yearly Christmas party for friends and neighbors at the home of Mary and Paul Bailey in Sag Harbor, NY. This year we asked everyone to pose with a sign in front of the tree to say thank you to our troops. All of us at the party want the troops to know that we know how lucky we are to have men and women willing to sacrifice for the good of our country. We have no doubt that they are making this world a better place for our children and grandchildren. We want all of them to know that we know how lucky we are and think of them often.
-- Mary, Paul & Kelly Bailey in Sag Harbor, New York
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
'Gives our family peace of mind'
Pictured is PO2 Kevin Fagundes in front of a Christmas tree & handmade ornaments sent from his family & friends. Although PO2 Fagundes will be spending the holiday season in Iraq (away from friends and family) he promises not to let it turn him into a Grinch! This photo portrays his good nature and holiday spirit! It also gives our family peace of mind and the strength to carry on, knowing he is safe and happy this holiday season.
Kevin, we love you, we miss you, we're PROUD of you and we support you! You are a hero and we're so proud to have you in our family. Thank you to all our troops-- WE ARE PROUD OF EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU & PRAY FOR YOUR SAFE RETURN! Love always, Shannah Fagundes, the Snowden Family, the Fagundes Family & ALL your other family members & friends back home!
-- Shannah Fagundes of Oak Harbor, Washington
Happy birthday from the whole family
I would like to wish happy birthday to my husband, James Gainey, who is currently in Iraq. His birthday is Dec. 8th. This will be our first time apart on his birthday and the holidays. We have five kids together. Courtney, Parish, Domonquie, Jada, and Ja'Nia all say happy birthday and that they love and miss him. Mommy loves him too.
-- Tonia Gainey of Ft. Benning, Georgia
Thursday, December 6, 2007
My son Nicholas was recently home on a brief leave from his deployment in Iraq and he stopped by his former grade school, Fields Memorial, in Bozrah, CT, to thank 8th grade students of his sister's class for their support in collecting items, which were sent to Nick's troop in Iraq for Christmas. Nick talked with the class and teachers, sharing some of his experiences in Iraq since he was deployed. He will not be home again until December 2008.
-- Cynthia Stoddard of Bozrah, Connecticut
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
'Can't wait to see you'
I want to say that I miss my husband Chris very much. He is serving in Iraq as a cpl in the Marines. We just got married on August 4 and he was shipped out on August 14. We miss him very much. Our baby son is growing and will have his first birthday on December 4th. We are so proud of Chris. Can't wait to see you. Be safe. We love you.
-- Melissa McBryar of Carthage, Texas
On CNN TVEvery weekday morning on Headline News' Morning Express, anchor Robin Meade and her team do a shout-out to U.S. troops by showing off photos and videos sent in by their loved ones. Tune in every hour between 6 and 10 a.m. to see the salutes on air, or click through the archives on this page.
Send your own saluteDo you have a friend or family member serving abroad in the U.S. military? Please share your story on iReport.com!