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THE WAR ON TERROR:LETTERS FROM TROOPS

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From: Wootten 1stSgt Michael R
Date: 11/07/05 22:04:54
To: philpresley@earthlink.com
Subject: Charlie Company Underway


Phil,

I can never thank you enough for all the prayers you sent "up" for my boys & me the last time we were in combat.

We are once again headed into harms way. No one prays for peace more than a warrior......but peace will never come if we leave evil unchallenged.

I am attaching a list of my Marines for the prayer warriors back home. Please do not publish this list in the paper or on the web...terrorists would love to have it....and we do not want their families in danger. Break up the list when you send it out.

Your prayers helped me thru the last time...I felt his presence & strength always ......more so when things were going bad.

I pray for you & your family.....thanks Phil.

<<PLT RSTRS 07 NOV.xls>>

SEMPER FI,

1STSGT M.R.WOOTTEN
22ND MEU BLT 1/2
CHARLIE COMPANY
USS AUSTIN LPD4

2cor1_5.jpg

FROM A BROTHER MARINE CHRIS HOPKINS A MARINE SERVING IN IRAQ

Dear prayer warriors,



I am out here in Iraq and I have been drawn to the Psalms so much. I see the passion and pain and enemies on every side and I have often though that it was a little dramatic for my own life. I mean who are my real enemies. Well needless to say I have found some genuine enemies out here. We live here under constant threat of attack in the place that we live. We bomb we shoot we fire rockets but seldom do we see the physical results of our decisions and our ammunition. Only a few times do we get to see the impact of the decisions that we make. Most of the times in the psalms the authors cry out to God for great and mighty works and it seem offer hardly anything in return but the constant theme of their offerings is that they will sing of His name and proclaim it among the nations. What a small things to offer God in exchange for the wonderful things that are asked of God.

Let me make the scene clear when we first got here I had trouble talking to my platoon about God. The veterans said they couldn't see God in the war. My heart cried out for them and to this day that is one of the reasons that I cry out for God to show himself strong. Well God did show himself strong just the other day. We were on a patrol and this is the only time I just knew that we were going to be attacked and I made it clear to my Marines how dangerous our route was. We were pretty much harassed the whole time we were out on patrol. We saw people peaking out from corners hiding and then right at the end we started to notice strange cars ... unwilling to stop for us even when fired upon. We still had not taken fire. Then we were about to go on this long access of a dangerous road when we saw a door that would go through a more covered area actually it was through a cemetery. So we make our way across the street two by two until most of us are across all except for three when we find ourselves in a L shaped ambush with two people on a motorcycle and others on the roof of this big building. The ambush was meant to work best if we had gone on our planned route. If we had done this route we would have had 2 guns able to fire at the machine guns that were on the roof. Instead our route made it possible for us to get 17 guns including our own machine guns expertly trained on the enemy position and we gained fire superiority in about 30 seconds. The enemy got out of there quick and when we got back. I was talking in the debrief with my squad leader that did not see God and I said thank you God we chose the route we did. And later on I heard him praising God. His squad had made the decision but even he could not deny that God was the one who deserved the glory. I will continue to sing of his name forever please continue to pray for the protection of the place I live in. The commander here is "praise God" a very smart and intelligent commander who knows much about tactics but victory belongs to the Lord. I am also very sick I had this cough for a long time and it almost won't let me sleep. I was coughing so much today that I was throwing up so that's not good but I got some medicine that will help but continue to pray for healing for me and my guys are getting sick also so pray for that we live in kind of unsanitary conditions (i.e. I have had one shower in over a month) and we live close together so pray that the sicknesses don't spread. Also I have now had two guys break their legs in my platoon please pray that as in Psalm 18 that God would make the path broad beneath our feet so our ankles won't turn and ruin us. Also pray that God would bring our enemies before us into the path of our weapons that we would shoot straight and God would direct our eyes to know where to find the enemy. I pray that they would fall into their own traps and be destroyed and that the Lord would send a plague upon them which cripples them at the critical moment. I pray that their hearts would melt at the moment of truth and past the point of no return.

Thanks for your prayers they are working.

In Christ's strength,

Chris

UPDATE FROM LT CHRIS HOPKINS 3/7 MARINES 1/2/6

UPDATE FROM THE BATTLEFIELD FROM MARINE LT CHRIS HOPKINS ..SOMEHWERE IN IRAQ..THIS NOTE IS DIRECTED TO YOU..Praise for the Fervency in prayer you exercised during the Recent Elections


Hello again prayer warriors,



Well it's been a long time and I praise God for you. I praise God for each day that I am able to stay here and continue in my health and my men are able to continue in their health.


Well we are at a auspicious time in the deployment a time it seems of turning of progress yet at the same time a time that seems lonely and far far away from home. During this holiday season I have felt many many strange feelings some selfish, some giving, some angry, some rejoicing but there is no other place that I would rather be right at this time. I could not imagine having to leave without my men and without knowing if they would be all right or at least being there to take them through it. So I go on with a platoon that has taken only one casualty (a minor wound to the face) but has sacrificed greatly for the cause of freedom. These men are leaving behind family situations that are far less than desirable or even stable. One of my Marines has already lost a father while we were over here and almost his mother at the same time. Many have lost girlfriends and seen people they thought would stick by them fall to the wayside. They drive on though possibly because they know they have to, possibly because they are more scared to quit than to keep going, and possibly because there is something in their very being that drives them to protect something greater. We were on guard duty the night of Christmas and Christmas Eve and it was a cold night as as the night went on I went around to the posts they were on and talked to many of them. I heard the hurt in many of their voices and even the desire to forget about it and drown themselves in this thing ... this meaningful work that they seem to be winning or making a difference as they put their personal lives on hold. Many even intentionally do not call home or write or even e-mail but a very few people in order to remain above the homesickness. I in fact am one of those people. I am reminded of a scripture in 2 Timothy I think it is that talks about bearing as a good soldier in Christ. Soldiers it says do not allow themselves to get involved in civilian affairs but act as though to please the one that is their commanding officer. I never really understood that until a few weeks ago when I made the mistake of involving myself too much in civilian affairs. I was calling home far too much and the more I did the more that I wanted to be there especially during the holidays. But I was not able to do so and didn't even realize there was a problem until my platoon sergeant came up to me and presented it before me. My squad leaders and some of my men and he himself could see it in my eyes and it was like a cancer pretty much. I wasn't doing my job because I was involved in a different world. Thankfully he came to me in time and we were able with God's help to turn it around. I prayed that very night and God showed me what the problem was. I was not upholding the standard that is required and giving my 100% effort to my men. I am ashamed of it actually but am so thankful that it went no further. God stepped in and helped me to come full circle and actually become a better platoon commander. I am only now starting to realize the spiritual implications of this experiential lesson. A few things that I have pulled out of it is that ... you can't let this world (civilian affairs) let you forget that you are in a war no matter how much satan tries to lull you into a false sense of security, war most of the time is a fight against boredom and complacency and it only takes a single second for you to go from alive to dead it's a game of instants and you have to play every instant like it was your last or you are just gambling that you will be actually playing hard in that instant that you need to be, finally you have to rely on God both in this war and the spiritual war because He and only He can turn it around. He is also a God of instants and His instants are the right when you need them instants ... you may not even know you need those instants until it's already past.



As far as an update out here the elections went very very well. It was night and day from the last elections that only saw maybe a few hundred in the Ramadi area vote ... this time we had incredible numbers that can only be due to the prayer of you saints. I mean people came out in droves and we were one of the top cities in the province for voting turn out. I give that all to God and it seems to have been a turning point for the violence (Lord willing). On election day there was only 1 improvised explosive device and one instance of small arms fire in the entire city of Ramadi which is I think the quietest day it's been since I have been here. And the amazingly encouraging thing is that the Iraqi people are the ones that made it happen. Praise God He is truly the only one who can effect hearts and minds. Since then we have had just a wonderfully boring few weeks of little to no contact with the enemy. They still put out the occasional roadside bombs but we are finding them almost every time. God is so good to us and has showered us with many many blessings. As far as amazing things go the base where we stay about half of the time was mortared while we were gone thankfully only one platoon from Kilo company was there and none were hurt. My platoon has a pretty flimsy area where they live so I am so grateful and I know it was God's timing that allowed that attack to happen when it did.



And now for one thing that I would like all of you to pray about it is Passion 06. It is happening and I am not sure where but it is a Christian conference that I think can change the world for God's glory and is truly inspiring to me and many people of my generation. It is happening within the first 6 days of the New Year. I would specifically like to pray for Becky Anthony and Annie Harrelson and the group they are taking that they would truly be recharged and hear a word from God that would turn the city of Baltimore to Christ. There is a movement from God there and I pray that like the election was here that it would be a turning point in the battle for that city.



Praise God from whom ALL Blessing flow.



In Christ,

Chris



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