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July 4, 2003
Oroville Mercury March 1945 and July 4, 2003

A number of Oroville boys have written home about the things the Red Cross has done to make life at the front and in the hospitals more endurable. Lt. Tom Corkin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Corkin of American Farms, a German prisoner, not only wrote about it but sent $10 as his donation to our Red Cross drive. He said the men in the prison camps consider the Red Cross "next to heaven". Floyd Kittley is another local boy who is a prisoner of war in Germany. Letters to his mother bring the news that he is receiving a box from the Red Cross each week. It contains cigarettes, food and clothing. He also advises her to get in touch with them for information and adds "They are doing a lot for us boys." Alex Fogerty wrote to the local chapter, addressing his letter to "someone who made a large turtle neck sweater." He expressed the thanks of the boys in the barracks for painstaking work done on garments that would keep them warm in the high altitude desert of the Nevada camp and added "You will be glad to know, I'm sure, they fit." From Iwo Jima, Roger Van Duzer wrote of his Marine outfit being the first to land on an island in the south Pacific. The Seebees soon followed and built a hut that with in three days was occupied by the Red Cross with their hot food, coffee and doughnuts, and amusement facilities. Valentine Van Duzer, now at the German front, told his mother that when he was at Manchester, England, the only heated building he had been in was the Red Cross Dormitory. In that country the organization gives the boys something to do with their time off. He told of the good food and amusements always to be found at the "Dorm". They conduct tours to points of interest.

Wow, how many mixed feelings you get when a son or daughter is in a war zone. Finally, after nearly two months we get four phone calls in one day. When she was in Kuwait she loaned her cell phone to her buddies, not knowing the bill would be close to $900. Oh well, when they see the bill I'm sure they will pay her. In Iraq the cell phones don't work. We sent her a phone card, for 400 minutes in America you receive 20 international minutes. It works out to $1 per minute. She has received our two care boxes. It took about 3 weeks to get there. She put in a list for many things that we will sent, first was bug spray and Benadryl for the bug bites. Then she asked for compressed air, an electric camp light, a 50 foot extension cord, a 12 volt plug charger to plug into a cigarette lighter, Bra's, I'll let Lynn handle this one. Her Unit is in a pretty secure area, but will soon move to who knows where. They go on missions quite often to get supplies from Kuwait and drive them to somewhere near Baghdad. The convoys are heavily armed. A comrade named Parker is on Debbie's truck. They have been fired on but no serious injury in their group. Her Commander's wife has kept in touch with us. I think that is very nice. It is so hot Debbie sleeps in the back of an open trailer when in the secure area. She has a 220-volt fan that runs slow on 110 volts.
They're a many dust storms, as she calls them. It's hard to say goodbye as the phone goes dead at any moment. Then she calls back. But they will soon lose their phone to another group. Her Discover Card has put her interest and monthly payments on hold for the duration. I thought that was nice. She enjoyed her front-page story in the Mercury a while back, she would have hung it in her truck but it would have blown away. Debbie is a good soldier and will do he job well.
God Bless, We Love You Debbie.