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Thanks from Milford PD

The Milford Police Department would like to thank all of the people and businesses whom donated items to make our food and toy drive a great success. Dozens of families were assisted over the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays.

A special thanks goes out to:

The residents of Hearthstone Manor; Wilkins Fuel; Sharon Greenly and the members of Jazzercise; Lisa Johnson; Clean Sweep Chimney Service; Dollar Tree; Joyce Vincent and friends; Pastor Jerry Howard; Pastor Troy Lavalee; Pastor Bob Muncy; and Pastor David Shockley.

The outpouring of generosity, especially during the present economic concerns nationally, demonstrates that Milford is home to the greatest people found anywhere! To share one simple example, we were called on Dec. 23 and asked about gifts for a family which included an 11 year old boy. We were told that this family had resisted asking for help but with Christmas being two days away, they decided to contact us. We had many things for the younger children in the family but very little for the 11 year old. A few moments after this information was told to the family, a very generous individual dropped off a brand new bicycle with the tags still attached! It is a wonderful opportunity for our officers to demonstrate their compassion and caring for the community they serve.

On behalf of Chief Keith Hudson and the members of the Milford Police Department, thanks to all. May you have a wonderful and blessed 2009!

Lt. Steven Rust

Milford Police Department

Letters from Downrange, Pt. 1

Happy Holidays from Iraq! We have just celebrated our second major holiday while deployed, and the first since we arrived in country.  For many of us, this was the first Christmas we’ve ever spent away from our families, let alone halfway around the world.  Others among us have now spent two, three, or even four Holiday seasons deployed.   We all take our responsibilities here very seriously. Our Task Force is responsible for maintaining the military communications network for the entire Iraqi Theater of Operations. It can sometimes make for long, stressful days.

Rather than focus on these stressful aspects of deployment, I will spend the next few paragraphs describing the lengths to which how Multi-National Corps – Iraq has gone to make our stay here more bearable.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation, or MWR, is run by civilian contractors and provides activities for our down time ranging from Karaoke and ballroom dancing at the MWR club and from Yoga and Pilates to Aikido and Tae Kwon Do at the gym.  They have a fairly well stocked library, a DVD screening room, billiards and table tennis.  Coming up in February, a post-wide competition called “The MWR Cup” will pit units against one another in 19 sports ranging from table tennis to flag football.

United Service Organization, better known as USO, has provided entertainment to millions of Servicemembers all over the world since 1941.  Recently we had the opportunity to see free shows by country singers Aaron Tippin and Kelly Pickler and rocker/rapper Kid Rock. Other entertainment routinely provided by USO includes WWE wrestling, comedy shows and appearances by NFL and NBA cheerleaders.

There is a small Post Exchange, or what we call a “shopette,” within walking distance from where most of us stay. It provides a variety of drinks and snack foods, toiletries, and stationery supplies as well as a small selection of music CDs, DVDs and video games. We can even buy televisions and laptop computers there!  For a wider range of choices, we can take a ten-minute bus ride to Camp Liberty’s PX which stocks military and civilian clothing along with a variety of food, electronics and house wares.

 Military food has long been the target of derision, complaints and jokes about its horrible quality. Not here!  We have two top-notch dining facilities to choose from, and each serves four meals every day.  They serve everything from hamburgers and corn dogs to made-to-order stir fry and gyros. Fridays are Steak and Seafood Night, featuring baked fish filets, crab legs and fried shrimp. There are well stocked salad bars or the health conscious among us, and for sweet tooth types, dessert bars which include Baskin-Robbins ice cream. Our Holiday meal on the 25th featured prime rib, Cornish hens, boneless turkey breast and all the usual vegetables.

Lastly, for those of us who need a more personal touch now and then, several Scouting groups, schools and churches from around Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania and as far away as Palisades, California have “adopted” us and have been sending care packages containing homemade snacks, personal hygiene supplies along with letters and cards on a regular basis.

Deployment is one of the less desirable facets of any military career… but our hosts at MNC-I have done well to ensure that our morale is well preserved during our time here.

Happy holidays,

1st Lt. Michael P. Crilley