Army Captain John Dunlop circulated this letter upon his return from Afghanistan. I sought and received permission from him to post it:
Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters of 1-32 IN;
There is no way to thank you enough for the tremendous support you gave my family, my wife, my fellow Soldiers, and me over the last 17 months. I apologize that I am unable to thank you each individually. However, to properly thank so many of you for the overwhelming amount of letters, packages, gifts, and prayers would surely take us until next year.
My battalion has finally returned home after an extremely challenging but rewarding deployment in Northeastern Afghanistan. The Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry operated in one of the most rigorous combat environments that I have seen during my tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. For over 450 days they fought a determined and well trained enemy while simultaneously conducting numerous civil-military projects that helped to instill confidence within the Afghan people, as well as economic and civil prosperity in the provinces.
The long duration of the deployment allowed the Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry to see the effects of their personal sacrifices that Soldiers on shorter tours are never able to see. Areas that were previously thought to be untamable and some of the most dangerous parts of the country are now actively experiencing peace, freedom, and stability for the first time in history. Mountainous terrain that was once considered to be an unsecureable safe-haven for Taliban and Al Qaeda are now areas that strongly support the new Afghan government and are experiencing peace and prosperity unlike ever before. All this was only accomplished as a result of the selflessness, courage, and love these Soldiers demonstrated to the Afghan Army, police, children, and people.
Thank you for recognizing their service and the grave sacrifices they made with your relentless prayers and generous support. Your confidence in us gave us hope, which in turned infected the Afghan people.
On a more personal note, I am humbled by all the support I received, especially from people that I don’t even know. It is Americans like you that justify the costs of protecting our way of life. For those of you that helped take care of my lovely and amazing wife in my absence, I am indebted to you. May God bless you all as you have been a blessing to the Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry and my family. God Bless You, God Bless America, and God Bless Afghanistan.
With deepest gratitude,
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for He who promised is faithful.”