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A soldier’s thanks
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A soldier’s thanks

A message from First Lieutenant Zachary Tedoff arrived too late to be included in “Marlboro synagogue collects items for troops” (Aug. 23). Temple Rodeph Torah in Marlboro, where Tedoff is a member, has “adopted” his U.S. Army troop stationed in Afghanistan and has already sent care packages containing more than 300 pounds of toiletries and other goods collected by congregation members.

Lt. Tedoff wrote:

“Of course, receiving all of the hygiene items, food, candy, and school supplies from TRT was very much appreciated. I expected only a small package or two, but I got eight or nine very large packages filled to the top with all sorts of things. These packages had an immediate impact on our mission over here, as it helped both our soldiers and the people of Afghanistan.

“I was able to give all of the school supplies out one day to a village that I have never stopped in before. We pass this village every mission we go on, but I don’t think any American has ever stopped in it and talked to the people. Nevertheless, all the kids always wave at our passing patrols.

“So, on the day I gave out school supplies, I stopped our patrol and had a few soldiers help me unload the box of supplies. As soon as we stopped the trucks, the kids were a little bit scared, so they went and hid. I gave the boxes of school supplies to an elder in the village, and he called the kids over. Kids came running from what seemed like a half a mile away to get their own notebook and pen, something most of them probably hadn’t owned until this point. I think they were surprised that we even stopped in their little village.

“The smiles on their faces made me feel like Santa on Christmas, which is weird for a Jewish kid in a Muslim country.”

First Lieutenant Zachary Tedoff

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