Josie De Caro, 10, from Granville, Ohio, sent a note with a Christmas tree. "I wanted to thank you for what you're doing for us." She addressed it to "Dear whoever gets this."

The Christmas tree is in Tent 1 at Ali Al Salem base in Kuwait. It greets arriving and departing soldiers. These days soldiers are passing through in large numbers, heading home from Iraq or leaving for R & R from Afghanistan. At six-feet tall, the little tree stands post at the exit to the airfield. All departing soldiering see it as they leave for a flight home.

Josie De Caro, 10, from Granville, Ohio, picked this tree out at her grandfather's tree farm and sent it to soldiers serving overseas. The tree is in Tent 1 at Ali Al Salem base in Kuwait. It greets arriving and departing soldiers. Photo by Cheryl Hatch

As JR Ancheta and I waited for our flight to Kandahar, a piece of paper pinned to the tree caught my eye. The note had a blue cross drawn at the top of the lined notebook paper. In purple-blue marker the word “Smiles” floated in the right margin. At the bottom, the author had drawn an American flag. At the bottom right, 10-year-old Josie De Caro, from Gransville, Ohio, had copied her school photo. Underneath it, she’d written “This is me!” “God Bless You!!,” she colored in neon orange.

“I’m 10 years old and I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers and two dads. My stepdad is Rick and my real dad is Dom.”

“I hope you and your soldiers will be safe in God’s hands.”

She close the letter with her address:

Josie De Caro, 242 Louden St., Granville, OH. 43023

and an email addres: Shauna.spence@ymail.com

Josie ended with a p.s.: “Please write or email me back!”

I, for one, am going to write Josie and thank her for the beautiful gift she sent. Why don’t all of you who read this post do the same? Thanks.

A poster with messages from children hangs in Tent 1 at Ali Al Salem in Kuwait City on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2011. Photo by Cheryl Hatch

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