Dear Family, Friends, Loved Ones, 24 December 2006
On the eve of Christmas, I send out this poem with thanks. Thanks to so many of you who pitched in and sent letters and care packages to not just me, but so many of my men. Over the past week, our unit received two shipments of mail and between the two, I have received over 50 boxes to share with my platoon and company. All my men had a stocking, a letter, a box, and a present letting them know that what they do doesn’t go unnoticed. Your support from the “Buckeye State” and those of you across the rest of the country who helped out was very much appreciated. You have made us feel that there are some people back home who are still pulling for us.
This poem is meant to remind everyone of the hard work that my Soldiers are doing over here. These guys are away from their family and friends, and do so because they answered a call. They raised their right hand and took an oath to serve their country. Now whether or not people agree with where we are and what we are doing, that’s not our job. Our job is to fight where we are asked to fight, and accomplish the mission at hand. Right now that mission is Iraq, and I am happy to say that the guys I am associated with are doing a great job. We make progress every time we go out on a patrol.
George Orwell once wrote, “People sleep peaceably at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” On this Christmas Eve and Christmas day, please say a prayer for those in harm’s way. It has been an honor thus far to serve with these brave men, and I look forward to serving with them in the months to come. Take what the media says with a grain of salt. They tend to report only the negative side of everything, because that’s what sells on the TV, whatever is sexy, gory, or dramatic. Know that my boys are out doing good things for those who need it, and bringing justice to those who deserve it. Thanks again for all of your support through our first three months overseas. We’ve got a long way to go, but I know with their motivation and your support, we will continue to get the job done. Keep up the faith! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season, and of course, Go Buckeyes! Take care and God Bless.
1LT Michael Kelvington
24 December 2015
This year, sitting at home, surrounded by family and with the good fortune of the sounds and smells of a newborn son, my thoughts and prayers continue to be directed at those who continue to serve in harm’s way. Sadly, the war rages on, and we’ve received recent news that there will be 6 more empty chairs this Christmas after the suicide attack near Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan.
I consider myself blessed to live in a country that values freedom and honors sacrifice. Having survived a few of my own close calls, I am thankful that through God’s divine providence, I am in one piece and at home for Christmas this year. While toddlers and tinsel warm my hearth, my warrior’s heart will always yearn to be on the battlefield again, side by side with those who will be forever young, in times when we were at our best, doing what we loved for those we love.
Jason, Paul, Rob, Ben, Sam, and Jarrod: Always familiar names in my home as long as I have life in my veins. Far from Black Fridays and bowl games, consumerism and convenience, your gift of service and sacrifice along with God’s gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, is what fills my stocking now and always. NO GREATER LOVE – JOHN 15:13.
Major Mike Kelvington
This first appeared in The Havok Journal December 24, 2015.
Major Mike Kelvington grew up in Akron, Ohio. He is an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army with experience in special operations, counterterrorism, and counterinsurgency operations over twelve deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, including with the 75th Ranger Regiment. He’s been awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor and two Purple Hearts for wounds sustained in combat. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Downing Scholar, and holds masters degrees from both Princeton and Liberty Universities. The opinions expressed above are his own, and do not represent the official position of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.