THE CRISIS AT HOME Gulf troops send home thank yous,cultural notes


Here are a few excerpts from letters, loaned to The Sun, from soldiers now in Saudi Arabia.

Thanksgiving Day, 3:05 p.m.

Dear family,

. . .I was given the honor of saying the "prayer of thanks." Because of the mixed religions, I said the traditional prayer, but for some reason it came out with more meaning than ever before. This whole experience has helped me realize just how much I have to be thankful for. Being part of our country and having the wonderful family and friends that I do, is the most any man could wish for. I miss you all and love you very much.

. . . continued on Nov. 23

Hi again,

. . . Mom, I got the package with all the meal stuff on T-Day morning. We can't wait to try the Roast tomorrow. It looks great.

TC cooked the sausages today and took lunch to some mechanics working on my tank. Now you know why my tank gets the most attention in the company. With all the stuff you are sending, Me and You are becoming very popular.

Love, Pat

(U.S. Army Spec. 1st Class

Patrick Marsiglia)

Nov. 25.

Mom & Dad,

Greetings from Saudi Arabia! I hope you like the postcard, it was the only one the gift shop had. The Vacation is going great. The weather is beautiful, and the sights are wonderful. The people are generally nice and the dollar is doing well over here. Well, I have to run, so I will write later.

Take care, love,


(U.S. Army Lt. Stephen Brody)


Holiday greetings from sunny Dhahran, Saudi Arabia:

. . . all the news reports you have heard about the living conditions of our soldiers are true. The desert is dusty, dirty and hot. At night it's dark and day or night there are no landmarks to navigate from. In comparison, my living conditions are very civilized. I share a one-bedroom efficiency with two other lieutenant colonels. It's air-conditioned and has a stove, refrigerator and telephone. We live on a compound within the King Abdul Aziz Saudi Air Force Base. Three Mess Halls (the Desert Inn, The Pentagon Speciality House and the Mission Inn) are within walking distance.

. . . Saudi culture is very different from our own and takes getting used to. They pray five times a day for half an hour. When this happens, everything stops. All stores and commercial establishments must close or risk confiscation of their assets and the owners imprisoned or fined. They have a religious police force to enforce the religious laws. It is impolite to cross your legs and show the sole of your shoe to an Arab. Never offer anything to an Arab with your left hand; it is considered unclean. Arabs are a very patient people and cannot be rushed. However, their driving is atrocious. They drive very fast and have no regard for stop signs. . . . Needless to say, I drive well within the speed limit and always give an Arab the right of way. . .

I miss you all very much and want you to know that you are in my prayers.


(U.S. Army Lt. Col. Daniel Knapik)

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