December 16, 2004
A lance corporal's eye-view of leadershipBy Lance Corporal Jessica Kane, USMC
Dear Mom and Dad,
I, as most would of thought, was expecting a very homesick Thanksgiving.�Although I wish I could have been home, my Thanksgiving� was filled with�motivation and inspiration.
To start off, the unit� got together and the CO�said a couple of words to the unit.� He complemented us for our hard work,�and was extremely impressed with the plans we have for the future.�
We then had lunch with some MRE crackers, popcorn, and SPAM. Afterwards, like we do�most days, we prepared for the convoy into the city. It was a good convoy�and all went well.� While we were in the city, we were asked to get together�because the General wanted to talk to us — the General, being General Casey,�a four star General in the rmy who is in charge of all Coalition Forces in�Iraq.�
He again complemented us on the good work and sacrifices we are�making.�He told us that our hard work had paid off and there is no longer a�safe haven for insurgents in Iraq.� He then said something that would�inspire the weakest of heart.� He said, "The enemy was willing to die for�there cause, and you gave them their wish".� He told us that next year when�we are home for Thanksgiving we will be truly grateful for all the gifts in�our life.� We can look back at this Thanksgiving and be proud of what we are�doing.
Filled with juice and energy, we convoyed back to Camp Fallujah. As�we came to the first gate to the camp, I was in shock because a Marine�Corps Major was standing at the post.� Along with the Major was a 1stSgt.�I�reported to the Major what convoy we were and how many packs we were�carrying. He told me to proceed and have a Happy Thanksgiving.�
As we came�to the second gate, a Marine Capt and a SgtMaj were standing the post.�There was not a PFC or LCpl to be found.� None of the posts had young�Marines at them;�officers and Staff NCOs manned them all.�
The command decided that the young�Marines were going to have the night off to get some good chow.�
It was�unbelievable, and a wonderful sight.�The leadership took charge and took�care of the younger Marines.�
This filled me with a pride indescribable with�words.�I am so honored to be apart of an organization like this. Marines�taking care of Marines with such unselfishness.
As I went to Thanksgiving�chow with my brothers and sisters, the IMEF Commanding General LtGen Saddler�and the IMEF SgtMaj, SgtMaj Kent� were serving chow.�The amazing part was�that they were so enthusiastic about it. Everyone was in a great mood, and�ready to take on anything.� It makes you think that if a 3 star general in�the United States Marine Corps can serve turkey to a bunch of 18—20 year old Lance Corporals, then you can suck up whatever you have to do and stop�complaining.�
So, as I went to bed, I felt very Thankful and indeed blessed�for a great life.�Tomorrow, I am sure will be full of fighting and disaster, along with the added stress of little sleep and cold days and even�colder nights. But for tonight it's Thanksgiving and everything is okay.
One Motivated LCpl,
�LCpl Jessica Kane
�Dulce et decorum est Pro Patria mori
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