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Gabe / on Fri, Apr 28 2006 at 11:54 am

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We here at Penny Arcade make it a point to avoid politics for the most part and I don’t want to have that conversation now. But I did get this email today and I thought it was pretty amazing.

I was delighted to find your first book: Attack of the Bacon Robots, at a Base Exchange three days ago at an undiscloseable location in Iraq. I just thought you should know how much I appreciate it being there. There were three copies available, and I bought them all myself so they could make the rounds in our little tent city. I often read and enjoyed your comic back at home, and being able to see it again was tremendously cheering (I hope the next one comes out soon!).

Now, to give you an idea of where I’m coming from on this, let me outline what life is like here. We work long days, sometimes between 14 and 16 hours. Sometimes there aren’t even proper facilities, like showers, for days or weeks at a time, much less anything resembling a recreation facility. When we’re not under the threat of mortar attack, and there is a gap in our hectic schedules, we find ourselves painfully bored. Three to six month old magazines brought from home become treasured possesions that get passed from person to person with the exchange of favors. Things like chocolate bars and a case of beer are the realm of fondly remembered fantasy. Laughter is oftentimes a far too distant thing.

Your book made us smile, laugh, and remember that at home, life is still very, very free. It reminded us what we are fighting for, the kind of people who dream, and imagine, and make bizarre insinuations that elsewhere in the world would be forbidden and outlawed. We sometimes forget that there really is a place left that isn’t destroyed, destitute, or full of hate.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: "It’s just a book, get over it." But it meant a lot for me and my fellow soldiers to chuckle for a bit and feel normal again. I just thought you should know.

Thank you, thank you, for making it possible for a bit of home to come to me. (And please forgive my spelling…there is no spell check in the desert!). Now, must get off the computer so the forty other people behind me can send an e-mail home to friends and family…

- Intel Ops Chick

 Regardless of what you or I think about wars or warriors, I’m proud that something we did gave some measure of comfort to people who are in a terrible situation and a very long ways away from anything they could call home.

-Gabe out


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