Letters To the Homefront

my-marine0 DATE : Sunday March 2,2003 5:02 AM    FROM Jo Danehy   TO :  LCpl Justin Canter    Subject:  Hi Justin   

Thanks for writing.  I enjoy getting your emails and knowing you are safe. I know you cannot tell me a lot but just let me know if you get my emails or anyone elses.  Today we are going to the Farm for Lorenzo’s wake.  He is in a marble urn now but he will continue to live in our hearts and minds.   I might see Tim Canter there since he lives around the corner from the farm.  I’ve been meaning to go visit him.  I’m sure he would love to hear about you.  I just heard from Mary Bingham.  Jonathan is thinking about going into the Navy when he graduates from college.  I sent some padded envelopes in my last package to you.  They should be good for sending back your pictures.  Also sent a phone card.  I get great support and info from Marine Moms Online.  Been hearing waits are long for the phone in some areas but not everywhere.  It was heartbreaking to miss your call on Monday but wonderful to hear your voice.  I keep your message on the machine so I can hear your voice.   You sound great.  Keep up the high spirits!  We love you. xxxooox MOM

DATE  Monday March 3, 2003    FROM: LCpl Justin Canter     TO: Jo Danehy   Subject RE: Hi Justin

Mom,  Got your email sent on Sunday.  Enjoy Lorenzo’s wake.  I wish so bad to be there.  The celebration will be a memorable one I know.  Did you  see Tim or not?  How is he?  If you hear from Mary Bingham tell her that Jonathon should really consider the Marine Corps instead of the Navy.  From my experience it is so much better.  He could even become an officer and obtain a higher degree.  I wish I could talk to him about it.  Our commanding officer gave us some liberty to talk a little about our mission.  We are staged for an attack in the Persian Gulf.  About eight or nine of the Marines from our shop went to the forward operating base on land.  I wish I could have gone with them but I’m sure I would not be saying that if it where true.  I am much safer here on the ship.  I just feel like I am missing out on an adventure.  I can see the coast of Kuwait from where we are.  It looks like a beautiful place to visit.  The buildings are like the old Russian towers with the Hersey’s Kisses on top.  All is otherwise normal.  I go to church almost everyday.  I am sad to see Father Haddad go land based.  He was a young priest, very reverent and a good confessor.  We would watch movies after mass every night.  Some good some bad.  It’s good to be practicing grandmothers faith again.  I feel like I have found what I have been searching for all my life in the Catholic church.  It went from being very hot to very cold.  I did not think it could get so hot in these parts of the Middle East.  It is a nice change.  Got to go.  Love you, Justin

Letters to the Home Front

My Marine0I have had these letters (copies of emails) sitting in my file cabinet for over ten years now.   I have been given permission by my son Justin to share them.  I will post letters once a week.  This was a very difficult time in my life having my son join the Marines in 2002 and then quickly be deployed to Iraq in early 2003 upon the aircraft carrier Bonhomme Richard.   For some reason I did not save or print all MY emails to him so you will see more of Justin’s writings at 21 years of age, a new Marine, going off to war.  His MO was mechanics on the Harrier jet.  His squadron was the Tomcats based in Yuma, Az.

Email from a worried Marine mom…that is me.  Sunday February 16, 2003 1:19 PM   Subject: Hello from Chico

Justin were are you?  This is the 4th message I’ve sent you.  I’m assuming you have not got my messages.  I am just trying to connect.  Please respond. We love you and want to know you are OK.  Love MOM

From “Canter LCpl Justin M @BONHOMME-RICHARD.USMC.MIL  Re: Hello from Chico

Mother, it is hard to write you while maintaining our intel integrity.  There is not a lot I can tell you about our location.  I can tell you how well I am getting along with my fellow Marines and I am learning so much from those above me.  I can also say that I have had the opportunity to visit an island in the Pacific.  We may hit a few more ports on our way home.  I need to take more pictures but I am so busy.

It is a hard thing to imagine sometimes how important my shops role plays in this war.  I feel like the fate of the world rests in the work I do and the Marines I work with.  I have a lot of confidence in them and know we will triumph.

Mom these deployments are something you are going to have to get used to.  The world seems to be turned upside down.  It is hard to keep in touch with the whole family especially when I am so isolated.  I’ll leave that up to you.  Never stop praying for peace.  Love Justin