Delivering Messages from Home to U.S. Soldiers in Iraq

Debbie Elliott finds out how the U.S. military copes with the flood of Christmas mail for troops serving in Iraq. She speaks with Lt. Lindsey Wible, a postal platoon leader in Baghdad.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:

We turn now to Lieutenant Lindsey Wible(ph) who's serving as a postal platoon leader in Iraq. She has had a very busy month making sure packages from back home made it to the troops.

Hello, Lieutenant Wible. Merry Christmas.

Lieutenant LINDSEY WIBLE: Merry Christmas to you, too. Thank you.

ELLIOTT: What did you do today to celebrate the holiday?

Lt. WIBLE: We had a mail call. We weren't open for outgoing mail, but we were open for incoming mail today to make sure the last-minute Christmas gifts got to the soldiers. Other than that, we had a really, really nice Christmas lunch and some activities going on this evening--a talent show and stuff like that.

ELLIOTT: So did you have a big load of last-minute gifts to deliver today?

Lt. WIBLE: We did. We did. It's been very busy.

ELLIOTT: What's the biggest package you delivered?

Lt. WIBLE: We've actually had a lot of Christmas trees come through the mail. Family members at home are sending Christmas trees and Christmas decorations so that the soldiers can decorate their areas to try to make it, you know, as festive as possible here.

ELLIOTT: You know, here you hear the postal motto that, you know, they'll deliver through snow, sleet, ice, whatever. I imagine for the unit clerks there, it's really dangerous trying to get out and deliver the Christmas gifts this time of year.

Lt. WIBLE: Yes, it can be, especially for the outlying camps that are out in the more dangerous areas. They don't have the opportunity to send and receive as often.

ELLIOTT: Is there one thing you think the troops really hope for the most?

Lt. WIBLE: Just hearing from your family. Just hearing that they miss you and they're looking forward to your return is really the best gift that we can get over here.

ELLIOTT: What did you get for Christmas?

Lt. WIBLE: We're actually going to hold off and celebrate our Christmas at home late. I have a daughter; she's three and we're going to hold off and do that whenever I get home.

ELLIOTT: Did you send anything home to your daughter?

Lt. WIBLE: My mom actually--I feel like I've been away from her for so long that my mom really knows, you know, better than I do what she needs and, you know, what she wants. So my mom took care of that for me this year. But I did, you know, buy a few things for her that I thought that she would be able to save and look back on in years to come.

ELLIOTT: Lieutenant Lindsey Wible, thank you for taking a few minutes this Christmas Day to speak with us.

Lt. WIBLE: Oh, you're quite welcome. My pleasure.

ELLIOTT: Lieutenant Wible has been in Iraq since February and expects to return home sometime after the new year.

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