Merry Christmas,
We may be 10,000 miles away from home, but at least we have a “White Christmas” here in Kabul, Afghanistan, it’s been snowing now for 24 hours, and everything is covered in snow. I know many Americans want the troops to all be home, but we are here in the pursuit of peace, and have much more work to do. Although it’s hard missing the holidays with family, I chose to stay here for Christmas so the younger Soldiers could go home. I opened presents over the phone with my wife and kids last night (today will be too crazy for a focused phone call), and have opened presents from the rest of my family this morning. Even Santa found me, hanging a bag of goodies on the door to my CONNEX room that I found this morning. I think this whole experience is going to make our next Christmas sweet in a way that civilians can only imagine in childhood dreams.

The spirit of Christmas is alive and well at our camp. Thanks to the employees of a Starbuck’s in Foley, AL, the dining facility will be brewing 6 lbs of Christmas Blend today. For the record, Starbuck’s stores and employees in Jacksonville, FL; Foley, AL; and Texarkana, TX have donated almost 40 lbs to us here at Camp ALAMO. I have about 20 coffee drinkers coming through my office each morning enjoying and appreciating this and the donations that come from family and friends. We also received a Christmas donation of 400 cigars from Swisher International, based in Jacksonville. Over 2,000 cookies have come in from you, and I’ve delivered them to both our US forces and our British, Canadian, and Security Force Soldiers who rarely receive packages or sweets. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, packages, donations, babysitting and everything.

Last night, by the campfire, I enjoyed the best cigar of my deployment, a Cuban Cohiba, that arrived from “Santa.” I’m listening to a Christmas CD that a friend sent, drinking Christmas coffee, and wishing you all a great Christmas.