My Heroes Are People I Have Never Met.

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I became a volunteer/supporter with Adopt A Platoon several years ago. By exchanging letters, e-mails and photos, I have had the opportunity to get to know some of the men and women who serve our country. I will probably never meet them face to face.

Their serve our country because of their profound patriotism and love for what we cherish in America - our Freedom. They don’t consider themselves Heroes, but they are all Heroes to me. I always ask my adopted Soldiers if there is anything that they need. If they do ask for something (which is extremely rare) it is often for someone else, or for the people of the country where they are stationed. In fact, they often ask if there is something that they can do for me!

My first match through Adopt A Platoon was LCPL Jason Casarez, a young Marine. Having served his country, he is returning to college. We stay in contact through e-mails. He calls me “Auntie Linda”. To me, he will always be “my nephew, Jason”.

Then there was SFC John Dubiel, AKA “The Caboose”. His letters were full of adventures and jokes, none of which can be printed here! He even remembered my birthday and sent me a present from Iraq that year.

More recently, I have been supporting the troops through Chaplain ( and his assistant Brandi Sims. Brandi not only helps the Soldiers on the base, but also strives makes life easier for the K-9 units. They are serving us, too.

CPO Mark Hamilton, with a Naval joint task force in Afghanistan, answered one of my “To Any Soldier” letters that I send to the troops. Part of his mission involves humanitarian aid.

Soon after I received my first e-mail from Mark, I received one from LTC Tom Kurlick, who also answered a “To Any Soldier” letter. He was working with an Army reconstruction team in Iraq and is now home in Tennessee. He is originally from my home state and we had a lot to write about.

These are just a few of my Heroes. I will continue to support those who have been matched to me as well as others I can support through the chaplains. Many circumstances can prevent a Solider from being able to respond. I write and send care packages because supporting those who are making such personal sacrifices for us is an honor. Receiving a response is a bonus. Thank you, my Heroes!

Linda Freedman