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U.S. Department of the Army: Letter of Appreciation for Atheel Andrews, an Assyrian Christian

Posted: Friday, June 11, 2004 at 07:17 PM CT

Atheel Andrews with Iraqi children in Radwaniyah, Iraq.

Atheel Andrews (right) with U.S. soldier, Lynch, near Abu Ghrab Prison in Iraq.DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Baghdad, Iraq
APO AI 09335

April 15, 2004


Dear Mr. Andrews,

Please accept this Letter of Appreciation as a testament to the professional and loyal support you provided to the 118th Military Police Battalion and U.S. led Coalition Forces in support of “Operation Iraqi Freedom”.

From 1 July 2003 to 15 March 2004, you worked closely with the members of this command as an interpreter in the Falluja and Baghdad, Iraq areas. Your aggressive attitude in obtaining valuable information aided greatly in the security and safety of all my soldiers and the arrest of many individuals who were involved in criminal activity. Your religious patriotism towards U.S. and Coalition Forces was recognized many times over by senior members of the command staff.

In many tense situations, it was your calm demeanor which helped many Iraqi people realize that coalition forces were there to aid the Iraqi people, not conquer them. You established an impeccable report’ with many of the Sheiks and village elders who came to trust you dearly as an honest and sincere representative of the United States Military. Through your industrious and energetic efforts, many contractual agreements were arranged that provided much needed services throught the reconstruction, rehabilitation, and upgrade of a large segment of the neighboring infrastructure. It was you who was the primary force in the reconstruction of 25 kilometers of a water canal system, aiding some 17,000 plus residents who benefited from this project. The younger children had never witnessed many of these services before.

Finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of all the Iraqi children who benefited from your work in the local schools. As an interpreter, your visits to the schools with the Civil Affairs unit aided in hurdling some great barriers. The children adored the way you spoke to them and gave them small gifts, such as pencils, paper, and candy, which to them would not have been realized for months to come. I cannot think of enough ways to thank you for your service. But I will tell you that you would be welcomed within this command with open arms should this unit return to the Iraqi theater.

Lieutenant Colonel, Military Police

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