DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
ALPHA COMPANY, 425TH BRIGADE SPECIAL TROOPS BATTALION UNIT #40573, FOB KALSU, IRAQ
APO AE 09312-0573
04 July 2007
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain,
On behalf of Alpha Company and the 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, I would like to extend my sincere gratefulness for your support of those deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism.
A little background about us. We are an airborne Combat Engineer Company which supports the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division out of Fort Richardson, Alaska. We are a very new unit, as we recently built an entire airborne brigade from the ground up, and deployed in a little over a year.
As the only Engineer Company that supports approximately 3500 Paratroopers, our mission is to conduct route clearance of the roads within the North Babil Province of Iraq, situated south of Baghdad. Yeah I know it doesn't pass the common sense check - we actively seek Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and roadside bombs on a daily basis. We have effectively coined the term "You fear 'em, we clear 'em." I have some phenomenal equipment that keeps us safe, and some exceptional Soldiers and leaders who execute the mission without flaw.
I will tell you that your son is performing phenomenally under fire, while leading his men into combat. He is making his family, especially his parents, very proud. It is very difficult to join such a close knit family as the Sapper Company, and take over a platoon in mid stride during our arduous combat rotation. He has integrated perfectly, and is a solid performer on continuous route clearance missions. When my wife and I met your family at Eklutna Lake, I told you I would be Sam's commander one day; it is a relief to have him as an officer leading one of my platoons.
The t-shirts were an outstanding idea and I genuinely thank you and appreciate your dedication. You and your friends had a direct impact on our mission. I believe it is the families back home who are the ones making the biggest sacrifice. I ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers for the Men who are on the forefront of the Global War on Terrorism. Please feel free to contact me directly via my email if you have any other questions or correspondence.
MATTHEW L. JOHNSON