Before you read this, it’s important to know who Mike Geary is.
Mike is a great friend and the owner of Lewis & Clark Expeditions, a fly fishing outfitter in Montana. On a fishing trip with Mike in October of 2009, he told me about his service to the American Red Cross as base leader in Kiewit, and Bagram, Afghanistan. His stories were far from typical and really expressed the challenges in a war zone.
At the end of the fishing trip, Mike suggested I send some items during the holidays that he could get to the troops. That one comment from Mike was what got this ball rolling. Thanks to the help of many friends and business associates in our industry, the Wallace R. Bostwick Memorial Fund has gained momentum. We are very fortunate to have a giving group that continues to support this effort.
Be sure to read some of the emails Mike has sent from Bagram. I am privileged to know him!
Fwd: PHOTOS ARE BEING TAKEN - JOY UNBOUNDS THROUGHOUT THE HINDU KUSH
On January 23, 2011, Mike Geary wrote: ANDY, BOXES ARE ARRIVING DAILY. I HAVE REQUESTED FROM THE PEOPLE THAT WE HAVE SENT THEM TO RESPOND WITH SOME PHOTOS.
BOXES HAVE BEEN SHIPPED TO LCPL HERZOG AT THE MARINES IN CAMP LEATHERNECK. MSGT..KENNEDY WITH TF PATROIT IS PUTTING SOME OF THEM ON A TRUCK HEADED OUT TO THE STICKS. ONE UNIT THAT IS CLOSE TO ME 1-61 CAV HAS A 100 SOLDIERS THAT RUN PATROLS IN THE MOUNTAINS AND GET VERY LITTLE. TWO BOXES WERE SENT OUT TO TWO REMOTE HOSPITALS IN BASTION AND SALERNO. ALL GREAT STUFF. THE WAR HERE IS STILL GOING STRONG WITH MUCH MORE VIOLENCE THAN LAST YEAR. I SEE FAR MORE PATIENTS THAN I DID LAST YEAR AT THIS TIIME. WE ALSO PUT A FEW OF THE BOXES AT THE POST OFFICE HERE WHERE SOLDIERS CAN GET THINGS THEY NEED.
GREAT JOB. YOU WILL BE ON THE EXPRESS LANES TO THE PEARLY GATES. -Mike Geary - Lewis and Clark Expeditions
On March 7, 2010 at 11:59:20 AM, Mike Geary wrote:
Subject: RE: red cross stuff and photos
Andy, Just wanted to say, “HI” we have 21 days and counting. What you did was really exceptional and one of the best things about the deployment. You made a lot of people happier and their day lighter. -Mike
On Feb 16, 2010, at 11:36 AM, Geary, Michael J CIV RED CROSS ASS’T STATION MGR wrote:
ANDY, THIS JUST CAME IN FROM SPC STEFFANI MEDINA. SHE IS A REAL PISTOL
From: Medina, Steffani SPC USA USA TF Fury Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 8:39 PM
To: Geary, Michael J CIV RED CROSS ASS’T STATION MGR Subject: RE: red cross stuff and photos
HEY, thank you so much!!! That stuff really made all of us happy.
On Feb 1, 2010, at 9:21 PM, Mike Geary wrote:
Andy, You have no idea the positive impact you have made over here. An absolute good we are receiving everyday from you and your friends. I took some of the food items and stored them for Super Bowl Sunday. We should have a pretty good following. The sweets I fowarded on to TF Pegasus and SPC Kovaks. She takes our messages at night and types like a bat out of hell. I also made her a box a feminine stuff. Then I sent one out to TF Fury and SPC Medina who is from Chicago. If she couldn’t swear it would cut her working vocabulary in half. They both are in Kandahar, which makes Bagram look like the Ritz. The box of chocolates is going to Colonel Kinne who heads up the nursing team. She is naturally charismatic and we all lean on some internal light that she carries with her. If see her within 50 yards I feel better about life. The hospital is where I see the war four or five times a week. Anything you can give there goes to good use. The blankets were immediately received and welcomed.
The cigars went to a Navy Chief who assists us everyday in the Red Cross. He has built book cases scrounged up couches and has become a friend. You need friends over here or it becomes a very isolated and lonely place. I am saving one of the boxes of cigars trying to find where they can come to good use. We have a special relationship with the mail clerk. We give him postal cards and he will forward the boxes that come to the Red Cross. We just print up the labels and they are headed to the FOB’s. The Forward Operating Bases is where the need is greatest and where most of what you have sent is going. I was shrieking with joy going through the DVD’s. There are two things to do here watch movies and work out. I went down yesterday and bought a DVD player to donate. The other one was half ass. Everything you have sent has renewed everyone energy. Photos will be coming. The smiles and warmth that you have created here are enormous. -Mike Geary - Lewis and Clark Expeditions