Easter Card drive MISSION COMPLETE!!

Thank you to the many wonderful individuals who sent in donations. Also a HUGE heartfelt thank you to the gang at Taco Bell HQ Team in Irvine, CA. We delivered over 18 shipping boxes of goodies, 600+ pairs of socks and over 250 cards for the USMC Dark Horse 3/5 Batalion. I am happy to say the Dark Horse 3/5 are arriving back to Camp Pendleton throughout the month of April. This group of courageous heroes were hit hard while on deployment in Afghanistan. We welcome them home with heavy hearts for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. No words can express our true appreciation for all you do and for all of the United States Military!

What: Cards, notes, letters of support/thanks CANDY

For: 3rd Battalion 5th Regiment “Darkhorse”

Here is some information on who the batalion is where they have recently been serving. They have lost so many and many wounded. We are collecting any cards, letters, notes of support/thanks and candy to be delivered to them in Afganistan by Easter!

Mail to:
American Soldier Network
24000 Alicia Parkway Suite 17-244
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Where they are fighting for us!

3rd Battalion has been serving in Southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battalion was deployed in 2003 for the push to Baghdad to oust Saddam Hussein. The Battalion was again deployed in 2004 to capture the city of Fallujah from insurgent’s control. In November 2004, the Battalion, along with several other units, participated in Operation Phantom Fury and was part of one of the biggest battles in Iraq thus far.

3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, because of its pride and professionalism in combat, has accumulated seventy-seven decorations; which solidify its battle tested colors. 3rd Battalion continually trains to maintain combat readiness in the event their nation requires their combat services.

A Letter from their Commander

(Copied from their web site)

Dear Family and Friends of the Darkhorse,

Greetings from Afghanistan! I know that you have been awaiting an update, and hope that you enjoyed the October Newsletter that was recently sent out. After a very difficult first two weeks in Sangin, the Marines and Sailors of the Battalion have learned some hard lessons and adapted to a challenging operational environment. Marines are patrolling daily and moving out into areas of the Sangin District that the Taliban have used as their sanctuaries for years.

Some areas of the District have never had any central government authority and have been under tribal authority for centuries before the Taliban came. So, our mission of clearing out the Taliban and protecting the people from their oppression and violence is a challenging one. Nevertheless, your Marine or Sailor is bravely mounting up and operating every day in these areas with confidence in his buddies, his equipment, and his training—and he is making a difference.

Already we are noticing that we are able to go farther into the rural and urban areas than last week and that resistance has waned in the areas we are aggressively patrolling. It helps that every time the enemy tries to resist us he loses, and we are getting more and more efficient at finding and destroying his IEDs. And while the enemy has sent reinforcements into the area to shore up his losses, there is a definite sense amongst the people that the Taliban’s dominance is waning where there are Marines and they are more willing to talk to us and provide us information about their activities. Make no mistake this will be many months of hard work, but there is a positive shift in momentum that is palpable and the Marines’ confidence grows daily.

On some more interesting notes, we are starting to get lots of mail and packages, and the amount of good snack food and reading material around the area has increased dramatically. I hope to get the SPAWAR internet café type services up and running in the I Co and K Co bases in the next couple of days, so Marines when they are not out putting a hurt on the bad guys can share their news with you via phone or email on a more regular basis. Also, there are a number of community support organizations that have asked us if we would like prayers, candy, clothing—you name it—and we are truly blessed by their generosity and patriotism.

We are currently living on MREs and UGRs (tray-rats), so anything that can help break the monotony would be warmly welcomed. I think the Halloween candy will send everyone to the dentist when we get back but for now the sugar is being devoured without a care in the world. Keep it coming! The weather here continues to cool, with lows in the low 40s and highs in the mid 60s. I believe the rain will likely start in the next few weeks, and then our camps will probably turn into mud and turn everything the same shade of brown. Once the rainy season sets in, it is likely that the rivers will rise and the wadis, which have been used for movement during the dry season will become impassable. Fortunately we have plenty of cold and wet-weather gear to keep up dry and warm, so don’t worry about us not having enough. Time is moving quickly, and the days are long, but the weeks fly by. Before we know it the holidays will be upon us and it will be 2011.

God Bless you and the members of the Darkhorse who are crushing the Taliban and demonstrating to the Afghans how to kick some tail. Don’t forget about MotoMail, and sending an extra pair of socks, some good ground coffee, and some good dried fruit and chocolate when you get a chance. We all appreciate your continued support. Get Some!

Lt. Col. Morris
Commanding Officer
3rd Battalion, 5th Marines