Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas TroopS!

It’s not just the cultural and religious sensitivities that make celebrating Hanukkah “downrange” in a predominantly Mus-lim land a bit of a challenge.

It’s the little things, too — like finding out that the base dining facility does not have kosher sour cream, seemingly a must for any potato latkes worth the name.

While the ceremonies do not come close to reaching the fever pitch associated with Christmas on bases downrange, servicemembers at several bases in Iraq paused Tuesday night to mark the first of Hanukkah’s eight nights.

Hanukkah in Iraq calls for a little creativity
Until about two months ago, Shulman was the only Jewish chaplain serving the estimated 160,000 U.S. servicemembers in Iraq.

Shulman said the circumstances will make Hanukkah a little different than at home.

“The custom is to eat oily foods on Hanukkah, as the miracle had to do with oil,” Shulman wrote in an e-mail. “In the U.S., people eat potato latkes — kind of like a poor man’s hash brown. In Iraq, we don’t have eggs to mix with the potatoes … so a woman from Cedarhurst, N.Y., mailed me 10 pounds of frozen potato triangles (not so frozen anymore) and applesauce to dip them in.”

Chanukah and Christmas are just another working day in Iraq.

Last year at this time…………

Only a few Iraqi Christians showed up to celebrate Mass in Baghdad’s churches on Saturday because of fears that Is-lamic militants could launch attacks to coincide with the holiday.

Iraq’s Christmas Spirit: Fear

The more things change, the more they stay the same my friends.

Will our precious troops be able to smell the delicate scent of the pine covered hillside…
Will they see the birds seeking cover in the tree boughs, all lush and green, the stunning white mantle as snow covers the cold ground,
Will they smell the fragrance in the air, the aroma…
Of roasted turkey, potato pancakes, or mince pies
Donuts and cookies everywhere.

Will they be able to see the lil ones on sleds and hear their shouts of glee,
How much will they ache for the sweet-voiced carols in the air, the Chanukah chocolate, trinkets and toys…

How much will they crave…. Home.

Somewhere far across the winter world tonight, my sweet friends……..
Instead of hearing chimes that fill the air;
or seeing Chanukah its all-enfolding light…there lies a soldier,

who will see these same stars as in our sky
And he may wish upon the brightest one ….

When you light the Menorah…….
When you hang your wreaths of faith…
Keep a candle in your heart.

For him. For her.
Pray they bask in splendor, their purpose we know and haven’t forgotten.

Let us lift them up……in a glorious light.
The spirit of Chanukah and Christmas. They not only personify…They embody.

Send a Chanukah teddy bear!

Please Send a Letter! or a whole bunch of letters.

Or…….Please send a package or letter to Any Soldier info here

Happy Chanukah and Ho Ho Ho~Seasons Greetings to one and all~!

Spreading holiday cheer to my friends over at Stop the ACLU, Outside the Beltway, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Rosemary’s Thoughts, The Random Yak, 123beta, Right Truth, Adam’s Blog, Shadowscope, Stuck On Stupid, The Bullwinkle Blog, Phastidio.net, The Amboy Times, Big Dog’s Weblog, Cao’s Blog, Leaning Straight Up, Chuck Adkins, Nuke’s, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, third world county, Faultline USA, The World According to Carl, Blue Star Chronicles, CommonSenseAmerica, Wolf Pangloss, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

27 Responses to “Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas TroopS!”

  1. Yehudi says:

    As someone who served for 8 yrs, I can tell you that gifts from home make a GIGANTIC difference in morale. Great post, Angel!

  2. Rosemary's Thoughts says:

    Reconciliation takes center stage across MND – Center…

    So the Democrats say they want to see more visible effort on Iraqi government and her people before they will pay our men and women for the work we sent them there to do? Well, check this out: ……

  3. benning says:

    Excellent! Love the images!

    I linked to you!

  4. American Interests says:

    The words and images all tell a good story…once again great work Angel…

  5. hammer says:

    great post. Thank you for honoring our troops.

  6. Debbie says:

    Great article, really made me think. It’s the little things that people always miss when far away from home. There are so many things we can do for the troops to remind them of home, what they are fighting for, and that we remember them.

  7. Right Truth says:

    Remember our troops and world situation during the holidays…

    Poster Sends Message to Congressional Democrats, from Bob McCarty Writes Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas TroopS! from Woman Honor Thyself This Deserves It’s Own Post: A Christmas Tribute to the Troops at Musings of a Mad Macedonian, via 123Beta, who a…

  8. Dwana says:

    You’re right Angel. Great minds do think alike! :) Your post was great. Thanks for giving Hanukkah and our Jewish soldiers the attention they deserve but often don’t get. Keep it up, girl. And potatoes latkes are GOOD!!!

  9. GM Roper says:

    Angel, what an amazing post. Thank YOU, my very dear friend.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah!

  10. middleclassguy says:

    This is the meaning of service; not being home to celebrate our revered holidays with family and friends. It is the sacrifice that is made by the men and women in the service and their families. Whether it is war time or peace time, it makes no difference. This is the time of year we should rememebr what service and sacrifice is all about. It is also a time to give thanks for those who serve and their families.

  11. KKarLmMm says:

    Thanks so much Angel…finally a feel good story everyone can love.
    Holiday season with the emphasis on Holy!!!!,
    maybe there is a bit of hope yet..
    GOD bless America and GOD bless all humankind with peace, love and happiness for the coming New Year….

  12. Rastaman says:

    One rabbi for 160,000 troops is pretty thin distribution. I don’t know if there’s any info on the religious demographics of our military in Iraq but surely there’s more than 200 or so Jews. The percentage of Jews in our military in general is about 1.5%, near as I can find doing a Google search, so that would be about 2400 Jews in Iraq, spread out all over. A couple more rabbis would be nice.

    In researching this I came across an article about a rabbi there in a military hospital who was tending to an Iraqi child, who was dying from a bomb attack. The rabbi had memorized some Arabic phrases from the Koran and kept chanting them until the boy died. Because he didn’t want that child to die only hearing medical terms in English.

    That level of caring just knocks me flat.

  13. MK says:

    Good on ya Angel and may they be home soon.

  14. Aurora says:

    Angel, great post. Thanks for that. Nice coverage with the pics and all. It reminds me to pray for them that they are safe and happy (as much as possible)

  15. Big White Hat says:

    Most excellent.

    I read this with my children. The Boy gets it.

  16. Brooke says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to our troops.

    God keep them safe!

  17. DD2 says:

    I would also like to extend my best wishes to all the troops. Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas TroopS!
    Thanks for a Great Job
    May you all return to us safe and sound.

  18. Ogre says:

    Don’t you mean “Happy Holidays?” there?

    Sorry, I’m a government bureaucrat from the department of political correctness, and I’m pretty sure you’ve committed a hate crime. In addition, you’re showing images of our military and religion — this is clearly, according to many loons, a government endorsement of religion and is not permitted under Amendment 1.5 in the Constitution that says, according to the ACLU, that no person who is remotely associated with government is permitted to have any religion. Court papers have been filed and a lawsuit against you is now pending.

    Have a Happy Holiday.

    (Man, that even makes ME sick! Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to you, Angel!)

  19. Joe Gringo says:

    Wonderful post. AmillionThanks.org is great organization….got my son write a letter.

  20. Frasypoo says:

    Its hard to think of all that we do here and our boys not being able to do that because they are so far away from home !

  21. tapline says:

    Great Post!!! The military will make the troops Christmas, as good as they can make it. As it relates to Jewish Chaplains, If they don’t have one available to perform a service they probably would fly one in from another area. Unless things have changed drastically, within the military….They take care of their own…..stay well…..

  22. Dapoppins says:

    Moving Post, Angel!

  23. Angel says:

    Thanks all so so MUCH! :)

  24. cube says:

    I know it’s a small gesture, but we sent three boxes filled with goodies to the troops for Christmas. We received an email telling us that one had already arrived and they were anxiously awaiting the other two.

    BTW they love cigars!!!!

  25. Blog @ MoreWhat.com » Blog Archive » MoreWhat Matters: Today’s Blog List says:

    [...] Woman Honor Thyself Says: December 9th, 2007 at 9:29 pm eHappy Chanukah, Merry Christmas TroopS!…Chanukah and Christmas are just another working day in Iraq.…… [...]

  26. Incognito says:

    Yes… they deserve our support.. some great suggestions there, Angel!!

  27. Interplanetary: Open Trackbacks thru Tuesday « Wolf Pangloss says:

    [...] Woman Honor Thyself // Sunday, December 9, 2007 at 15:29 [...]