In this section, we present letters written by soldiers who describe
non-combat situations and the living conditions they experienced.

1990 Saudi Arabia

Cole Hansen was a third grader from Red Cloud, Nebraska when he and his classmates corresponded with Cole's cousin, Doug Garnand, who was serving in the Gulf War. Cole tells us that Doug came to visit their Red Cloud classroom when on leave, and that Doug now lives in Manhattan, Kansas.

November 12, 1990, Red Cloud, NE
Cole Hansen (third grader) &
Response from his cousin Doug Garnan in Saudi Arabia

November 12, 1990

Dear Doug,

How are you? I am feeling fine and am doing well in school. I'm in the third grade class, and we are doing a project of writing letters to troops in Operation Desert Shield. If you have the time, please write me back. I have some questions to ask you.

What equipment do you use? Do you eat food out of a can? Do you ever get to take time off? I sent you a letter and some cookies, and I heard you never got them. Is there anything that I can send you? When will you get to come back to visit the farm?

My dad is done with his harvest now. My mom is still teaching handicapped preschoolers. I have a cookie company called Cole's Cookie Company, and the farthest place I ever sent them was New York. There will be cookies coming for you.


P.S. Good luck! Thank you for fighting for our country!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

November 30, 1990

Dear Cole,

Thank you for your nice letter and for thinking about me. Like all soldiers I like getting mail. We have been receiving letters from school kids from all over the U.S. and we really do appreciate them.

In your letter you asked me several questions, so I will try to answer them. Some of the equipment we use include our M16A2 rifle, which almost every American soldier carries. Also I carry a 9mm Bretta pistol. We also carry our gas mask, which is called a M17AZ protective mask. We have what's called CPOGs, chemical protective over garment. They protect us from any dangerous chemicals. Because I'm working with a foreign country, I use a lot of their equipment, tanks, mortars, machine guns, and anti-tank weapons.

Sometimes we eat food out of a can, but the Saudi have been feeding us goat, mutton, camel, and rice. Sometimes we eat what's called MREs, which stands for Meals Ready to Eat. They come in foil and plastic packages. They have different meals, such as turkey and rice, meatball and sauce, pork patties, and beef stew. They are the same type that astronauts eat. Next time I come home I'll bring you some.

You ask me in your letter if I need anything. The Army gives me about everything I need, just pray for me, and write me if you have the time.

I don't know when I will be back to visit, but I hope so soon. I don't believe it will be this Christmas, but maybe this summer.

Thanks for sending the cookies. I haven't received them yet but I probably will.

Good luck with your cookie company and in school. Tell your parents and grandparents I said, "Hello."


P.S. Thanks again for your letter.




1944 Naples          1945 Nagasaki
1945 Okinawa          1990 Saudi Arabia