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Shane Duhe



Just wanted to show you some proof of your efforts and work.  For you to honor your friend PFC Nick Madaras in this way is really special.  By your actions you took in this project of sending soccer balls to Iraq for the children, pulling people together for this one special reason, I hope (I'm sure) that it has helped you feel like Nick's memory lives on.

As a Marine Civil Affairs Officer, my job on this deployment is not to focus on handing out soccer balls, but when I got your box this was something I had to make sure to get into my vehicle when being out in town.  

In Fallujah City, our work in Civil Military Operations centers on command and civilian leadership directed reconstruction efforts, the managing of reconstruction projects, and all of that seams up into me and my men being contracting and project managers for the many things going on where the Iraqi Fallujah City Government (in Al Anbar Province) either still needs our help, or just plain desperately wants it. 

I am looking forward to the day where this type of work fully transitions into a situation where we military guys have nothing to do with it, and it is their own efforts and their own future they are forging for themselves.  I am happy to report from the front that most of our funding for all of this comes from Iraqi invested money, not your tax payer dollars.  This is an exciting transition this year and it will continue to "transition" from a management perspective and in the future be solely Iraqi handled like I just mentioned.  Anyway, there's your report on good news from Iraq from a veteran on his third tour here (just in case you don't ever hear anything good on the news). 

Back on Nick, when I received these particular soccer balls from you, it made me think of the other people I personally know who have died out here, and my heart felt certainly obligated to bring YOUR PERSONAL EFFORTS the last 10 yards and where the balls belong.  With the kids. 

You're right about those balls.  It's a HUGE deal when they find out you've got them in your truck, and word passess through the streets quicker than you can belileve.  Kids come running from every direction and you will definately get mobbed and the whole thing becomes a mob scene if you stay in one place too long.  I try to select when I'm doing these sorts of hand outs with regards to safety concerns and security.  But it's worth it when you've had some super tough times at work, you just want to do something fun, and because of this, it does raise your own personal morale too, to see the kids running off with their soccer ball as if they'd won the lottery.

To know that Nick loved soccer, and to know that Nick's name is rolling around the dirt lots of this City on a ball, and believe me it is, I think he's touched by the gesture and smiling about it.  I know he is.

Do you know the Madaras family?  If you do, would you please pass to them from me that it was a sincere honor to remember their brave son by sharing Nick's love of soccer in life with others.  I am deeply and eternally grateful for the Madaras family's personal sacrifices.  Please tell them.

From the Marines of Civil Affairs Team 5, 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, Regimental Combat Team-1, I want to say thank you.

"Semper Fi", short for Semper Fidelis, means "Always Faithful" and it's a Marine way to say:

Chief Warrant Officer-2 Shane Duhe, USMC    

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