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Harp for the Troops

We have our on Harps for the Troops program, where we have been sending American Freedom Harps to active duty personnel, primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan. We had sent 10,000+ at the end of 2007, and hope to send another 2,000 by the end of 2008. While the harmonicas are appreciated by the troops for their entertainment value, it is the message that we want them to receive. Below are some of the comments from the troops, which also indicate that the message just as important to them to receive as it is for us to send.

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Thank you very much for the harmonica that I was able to obtain, thanks for you support.

HM2 Nisperos, Jose

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Sir, I would like to thank you for your great gift you sent to us out here. My Marines are having a blast with them. You have given us some joy out here. Thanks again.

Jeff Guilloz, GySgt USMC

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Sir, I would like to thank you for your kind gesture and thoughtful gift for the men and women here stationed in Taqaddum, Iraq.

The Marines and Sailors loved them and are just filling the air with melodious music (and noise) around here. You're unspeakable gift has been a real morale boost and I want to just say thanks so very much!

In His service, Stephen J Zachary, Chaplain, USN.

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Hello, I am a soldier currently serving in Balad, Iraq with D Co 1-189th Aviation. I have been teaching myself how to play the harmonica with one sent to me by my nephew. I recently decided to shop for a new one keyed in G. I will most likely purchase a Marine Band 12 hole from your site. While shopping, I noticed the "Harps for Troops" link on your site. There are a number of soldiers in my unit who would probably like to learn to play if someone handed them a harp. There are 60 soldiers in my company. Certainly I can't expect enough for everyone, but if you were able to send a fraction of that amount, it would brighten up a lot of faces! If not, I will still probably purchase an AFH as a keepsake for myself. Thank you for your time and for what you have done already for our troops.

Sincerely, SSG Mike Bick

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Dear Doc, I'm writing to you from just West of Fallujah in Iraq. I am the Sergeant Major of a 700 man Marine unit presently fighting in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.

We recently received a couple of boxes of harmonicas from your shop by way of our Chaplain. Man - you don't know what a hit you've made with these things. Your could immediately hear the sounds of harmonicas coming from all over camp.

Unfortunately, a lot of the young guys never played one (except for a toy) and don't know how. They were amazed when yours truly (their 50 year old Sergeant Major) whipped one out of the box and started playing the Marine Hymn! You should have seen their faces! So of course they all had to ask "How'd you do that!?" which lead to spontaneous harp lessons for most. They're still coming to me 2 weeks later trying to figure out how to bend a note. If I only had my Chromatic or Blues harp here, I'd really light them up!

. . . Anyway, enough war stories. Thanks so much for thinking of us. You are great Amerians and it's folks like you that make us proud to serve.

I've been doing it for 25 years and this is the best we have ever been treated by the Americn public. It really makes a difference to my Marines and Sailors.

If I'm ever putting through Marion on my 'scoot I'll pop in. Thanks guys. God bless you all.

R/S SgtMaj Steven A Garcia, MWSS-371, HQ S-1, Unit 43041, FPO AP 96426-3041

Learn more about us at your web page: http://www.3maw.usmc.milmwsgt37/mwss371/default.asp

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