Thank You Notes from Freedom Pen Recipients

April 8th, 2011

Hello. And thank you from the 909th FST. I really wanted to send you this thank you, I was really feeling down on this day as i don’t have much family to send me gifts, and being medical i see the sadder side of war. When my Major got and distributed the pens you hand made. I really felt good. I choose a pen that was an alternation of light and dark wood.
I really just want you to know, that your hand made gift, has lifted my spirits, and made me feel good that people back home still love and support the troops.
Thank you for your thoughtfulness,
SGT Brandon Ford

I am stationed in Iraq, and I write a letter to my wife every day. I have already written over 150 letters to her during this tour. The pen is awesome, and it will continue to assist ‘written word is true love’ effort that I have been doing during my last three deployments.
Thank you,
LTC Kevin Casey, 3-7 STT

I received one of your pens today and I just want to Thank you! The care and commitment put into your work shows and is appreciated by all who received your pen here at the Task Force Med/Intensive Care Ward at Bagram AF Afghanistan.
Thank you for your support!
MSgt Gwendolyn L. Gaines ICW Afghan

I am currently deployed on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.We have been gone for three months now and have several more to go. My squadron just received a shipment of your pens today and I wanted to thank you very much for your kind gesture.We love the pens!
Very Respectfully.
LTJG Stephanie Lins

Thank you SO much for your gift, we received the pens and are distributing. I cannot tell you how touched I was to find out that you do this just for our troops. A friend of mine has a business & he works with wood, he taught me how to make pens & it took me forever and a day to make one pen haha, and by the time I was done, I felt I just had finished my workout because I was tired. So I understand the amount of time & effort that takes to make each one of these unique & beautiful pens. Your gift to us is precious & invaluable, you could be doing things for yourself, and here you are giving your time, talent & resources to us. We truly appreciate it. 
God bless you
Janet Kargar, 1LT, MI HHC/109th

Greetings from Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan!
My name is Lieutenant Elkins. I am a psychologist working at the Combat Stress Clinic here, serving the men and women of the US armed forces. Upon arriving here and entering my new office at the clinic I found a very nice ball point pen with a letter attached to it lying on my desk. It seems that this pen was made by a fine American citizen named James O’Donnell under the sponsorship of a Mr. Burnt. The letterhead read "Davisville Middle School," and so I am writing to you, the principal of Davisville Middle School.
First and foremost, please forward my deepest gratitude to James O’Donnell and Mr. Burnt for the gift. It’s a beautiful pen, and writes wonderfully! The gesture was heartwarming, and the words of affirmation are encouraging. Such support goes a long ways here. Second, please let James and Mr. Burnt know that I will place this pen in the reception area of our clinic. Whenever a service member comes into our clinic for the first time, we have him or her fill out a form.To fill out the form, the service members will be handed James’ pen. Please know that the hands this pen will pass through may very well have come to us directly from the battle field. Typically their hands look tired, crusty, and lifeless. Their hands will likely have just touched the realities of war-wiping sweat off their sunburned faces, grabbing a wounded soldier to carry him to safety, and rubbing away tears.What their hands have not touched for a long time may be the soft hand of a girlfriend, the floppy ears of a pet dog, cool grass while playing a game of football, the gentle skin of a baby born just before they deployed, or the grip of a steering wheel while driving to the drive-thru with their buddies. When they hold James’ pen in their hands covered with the dusty dirt of the desert, they will be feeling these sentiments-these are the feelings of freedom and of home.
As a former high school English teacher, I want to thank you, and your staff for taking on the most challenging career in the world-working in education!
Very Respectfuly,
David Elkins, PhD, LT MSC USN
Clinical Psychologist, Combat Stress Clinic

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