Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A letter to the families from the Commanding Officer

Dear Friends and Families of 1/6 “HARD”,

It is with great pride I write this letter to you all today to let you know what a great job these Marines and Sailors are doing here. Day in and day out they are tireless in their commitment to make this a better place. Everyday I witness the heroic efforts of these brave men and I feel their sense of pride, honor and courage. They are committed. You too should be proud of them and what they have accomplished in the time they have been here. We are continuing to make a difference. Change takes time, but slowly, everyday, I see a difference.

Because of the efforts of the Marines and Sailors:

  • Four new security stations have been opened in the city, including one Iraqi Police station 100% manned and operated by local cops who are motivated and enthusiastic.
  • Over $250k in newly initiated construction and emergency response projects are working as of now in the city, and counting.
  • Partnership with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), including the army and police, has never been better. The effectiveness of the ISF is measurably improved as they take over more and more responsibilities incrementally.
  • 6,000 pounds of food was delivered to a local mosque when it was found the residents of the area were in need. Marines assisted the Iraqi Army and Police in delivering the food and greeting the Imam.
  • Key tribal and civilian leaders are supporting the ISF and government more than ever before. The people’s trust and confidence in their ISF and government continues to improve.
  • Tons of medical supplies were delivered to the Ramadi General Hospital and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital through the combined efforts with the ISF.
  • Previously destroyed vehicle hulks strewn about the city are now being removed by local workers, Iraqi flags fly down the main roads now… And schools that have been closed for years are opening for the children to attend class.
These are but a sample of the progress being made everyday… I know you do not hear a great deal about the positives from our media – but you need to know your Marines and Sailors are making a difference.

Not all of these victories would have been possible if we would have had to shift our focus and deal with issues at home. With that said, please know that I appreciate what each of you are doing back home so that your loved one can stay focused on the mission at hand. You are vital to our success. Your job isn’t easy but I ask that you continue to stay strong over the next few months. Your sacrifices are greatly appreciated.

I know not everyone hears from their Marine or Sailor as much as they would like to. Know they have a job to do here and must remain focused. I ask that you please don’t send phones to your loved ones. It makes it too easy for the enemy to gather information. I appreciate you respecting this request. If we can assist in any way with questions or concerns, please contact our Family Readiness SNCO, SSgt Martins. He is located at our 1/6 Headquarters in Camp Lejeune and can be reached at (910) 451-2407.

Thanks for your continued support to all the Marines and Sailors of this battalion. Keep the letters and packages coming. It certainly helps to keep us motivated. Thanks too for those of you who contributed to the success of Operation 1/6 Holiday! The stockings are rolling in and our storage space is busting at the seams with these boxes. They will be a great reminder on Christmas Day of how much you all support each of us here.

During the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, I ask that you pause and find the time to be mindful of the freedoms we have that others don’t. I ask that you remember our fallen Marines who have given the ultimate sacrifice; I ask that you pray for their families and for our wounded; I ask that you continue to keep us all in your thoughts and prayers while we are away accomplishing our mission. And lastly, I ask that you continue to serve our country by all that you do while we are away defending this great nation.

In your service,

W. M. Jurney
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion 6th Marines

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