Thanks from Iraq for toy donated by GSL members and others
[Earlier in 2005, GSL member Richard Quint organized a toy drive for Iraqi kids. He sent donated toys to our troops for distribution. Mr. Quint sends us this letter, and forwards one he got from the Army Chaplain on the receiving end. God Bless Mr. Quint, Chaplain Santiago Cruz, and all our troops – ED.]
I am writing to thank the members of CCRA/GSL for their support for “Toys for Iraqi Kids”. Contributors were Wal-Mart stores in Rantoul, Savoy, Champaign, and Danville. One of the greatest contributors was Slot & Wing Hobbies of Champaign. I especially wish to thank the unknown gent who so generously donated the large sack of toys that first week.
Also, many toys have been donated by families having a garage sale. One such family was the Haddens of Ludlow. They had numerous toys and gleefully surrendered them for the Iraqi kids. Taylor and Bailey were two great troopers – thanks, girls.
Twenty-six apple size boxes were mailed from January through August including three returns.
Enclosed is a letter from Chaplain Cruz in Iraq. Again, many thanks to you all.
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Quint,
Christian Greetings! Hope this letter finds you in good health and enjoying God’s blessings. Thank you so much for all the boxes of toys you have sent us. My soldiers in downtown Samarra are helping me to distribute them to the children there. I will distribute the last toys you sent me at the end of Ramadan. Please, thank on my behalf everybody who is sponsoring you with toys. We are winning the Iraqi children’s hearts, one at the time. Soon, we will be going home and all of you have played a significant role on our mission success.
Thanks also for the special toy and the picture you sent me. You are indeed a beautiful couple. May God grant you many years of health, love, and happiness together. I put the toy on my desk. After I finished reading your letter, I realized that you certainly are a living legend, a true American hero. Please share those stories with our young soldiers.
I emailed you some pictures to the GunNews email address. Please, let me know if you received them. (We did) Thank you so much for your good heart and for always keeping us in mind. God bless you and your family.
Chaplain (Cpt) David Santiago Cruz
Mr. Quint’s daughter has written an book on her father and the things she learned of his experiences immediately after D-Day as he helped liberate Europe from the Nazis.
Publication Date: November 1, 2012
“Of all the good gifts that God gives us, perhaps none is sweeter than the gift of friendship.” – Charlene Quint KalebicWhen she turned forty, Charlene Kalebic realized that her life was half-lived and that the sun was setting on the lives of her parents, both in their 80’s. Before time ran out, she had a strong desire to understand her father’s formative years while serving in World War II as a GI. Like most men of his generation, he rarely spoke of the war; he simply referred to it as “The Big One.”
Her father had enlisted at the age of 17, and Charlene knew there must be something from that chapter of his life that made him the person he was today. The 60th anniversary of D-Day (June 6, 1944), provided the perfect opportunity to know more about those unknown years. Hoping to discover what had formed his amazing character, she asked her father to go to Europe for the anniversary and act as her tour guide.
It took only a nanosecond for him to agree. Charlene found herself on a journey of discovery into her father’s past, retracing his footsteps from London through Normandy to Berlin during WWII. It was there that Charlene relived her father’s faith in action—kindnesses shown, promises kept, and lifelong friendships made in the lands he was charged with liberating.
To her surprise and delight, Charlene learned some of life’s greatest lessons from one of the world’s greatest teachers in the twilight of his life. And she came to realize that the best sermon is one without words. What had left a lasting impression on the life of her father, would forever change her own.
“As the sun finally set on his life, I came to appreciate my father’s greatest gift: he did not tell us how to live or even how to die, but rather, he lived and he died as it should be done—and he let us watch him do it.” -Charlene Quint Kalebic