Remembering Aric's first homecoming and looking forward to his fourth homecoming in August 2011
Dear Mrs. Teemant and Students,
I am the mother of Staff Sergeant Aric Zern of “Baker Company” of the “1-506,” which is a combat unit out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. This is a famous combat unit that many people might recognize from the HBO miniseries A Band of Brothers.
They are presently serving in Southeast Afghanistan on the Pakistan/Afghan border. It’s a combat unit, which means that they are actively searching for and engaging “bad guys” (bomb makers, gun runners, terrorists, and drug dealers.) The soldiers go on patrol in the mountains of Afghanistan for weeks at a time.
When the soldiers are on patrol they go without clean clothes, showers, or hot food, which means that when they come back to base and find packages, like the ones you sent, it makes them feel absolutely wonderful.
Your gifts help remind them who they are fighting for, and that person is you and Afghan children like you.
Your packages let the soldiers know that they haven’t been forgotten.
As the mother of a soldier, who is far away and fighting in a very dangerous place, your gifts make me and my family feel wonderful and grateful. It helps me know that the sacrifices our combat soldiers make are all worth it, because you are the kind of Americans who don’t just think about helping others. You are the kind of Americans who actually get up and do good things for others—just like soldiers.
Thank you so much.
For security reasons SSG Zern can’t tell me very much about where he is or what he is doing, but he has shared a few things you might find interesting about Afghanistan. There is only one major paved highway in the entire country (making mail difficult to deliver); the average life expectancy is forty-seven years old; in the four months he’s been deployed he has seen three Afghan women; many of the people are descended from Genghis Khan’s Mongolian invaders; and most of the population cannot read or write.
Finally, SSG Zern would like for you to know that of all the people in the world, who wish for peace, pray for peace, and long for peace on earth, no one desires it more completely than the American combat soldier. But until that time, please know, SSG Zern and his men will be standing guard in the night so that you and your family can sleep safely in your beds.
Thank you again.
Linda L. Zern (Proud Mother of an American Soldier)