Friday, February 20, 2004


A "Provider" soldier from our Battalion.
The Iraqi people Pfc. Jennifer Gruselle has contact with aren't much different from the people back home.

That's part of the message the 20-year-old Green Bay Southwest High School graduate who is serving in Iraq sent to students at McAuliffe Elementary School in Bellevue.

"It's like a whole other world here," the medic with the 501st Forward Support Battalion wrote to students. "I have found the vast majority of Iraqis to be nothing but kind and caring. They're not all that different from you and me, with families and friends that they love and jobs or school they work hard in."

Gruselle sent the letter, a page of signatures, a stuffed bear and photos to students at the school, who in November sent 550 cards and about a dozen care packages to troops in Iraq.

Their message included an aerial photo of the students who lined up to form a heart and spelled out "USA" outside the school.

Tonie Mixer, a fourth-grade teacher at McAuliffe, read Gruselle's letter to her class.

"You could have heard a pin drop when I was reading the letter to my kids and passing the pictures around," she said. "They have no toilets, no running water and the Iraqi people have no shoes on their feet. "

Gruselle's parents, Gregg and Sandy, live in Allouez.

"There is a huge job to be done in Iraq, and I am honored to be part of the process of giving this country back to its people," Jennifer Gruselle wrote.

In her letter, Gruselle told the students about the oppression the people of Iraq lived under prior to their liberation last spring.

"If any of you have friends or family deployed to Iraq, it is natural to worry, but don't worry too much as we are all soldiers and we all take very good care of each other," Gruselle wrote.
Did you catch that near the end there? She is "honored to be part of the process of giving this country back to its people".

God bless you , PFC Gruselle.

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