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Message From Iraq To East Kentucky

Hey Eastern KY, My name is Sgt Shannon Ambrose of Campbells Creek, (Perry County).  I'm writing you all from Camp Taji in  Iraq.  I really miss the mountains very much and won't get to see them until September 2007.  I really miss your radio in the morning.  When I come in, I'm gonna walk in the radio station and shake all of your hands.  I want all of the people in Hazard to know I miss seeing their friendly faces.

We have a big sign outside called " the Circle of Hope " and it asks soldiers "what are you fighting for today?"  I placed your alls radio station on it and fought for you guys today.  Each solider can write on it stuff they fight for back home and one of the big ones always is our freedom.

A lot of people go to work daily in Perry County not knowing that they can get up and be free from road side bombs, being shot at or being treated like animals in cages, trapped in their own homes.  Believe in your parents and forefathers because they built this great nation and a lot have put their lives on the line like we do today to make America safe so you can go to work, or to your friends houses or simply stroll down the streets of Hazard.  What I really have to say is we are all different and take a lot of things in our lives for granted.  Appreciate our sun sets and sunrises over the mountains.  Hazard, I say this to you, it doesn't matter what you do, what you look like or what you have done in your life, God made us equal.  Thank for for where you live, the job you have and the gift of life.  So the next time you're driving, or feel like a robot at your job or are just sitting around watching TV, thank God for America that you are safe for I am a solider and I'll give my life for you to make you free.  Always thank our armed forces no matter where we are because there ain't no place on earth like the USA.

Over here in the desert, it's like Christmas every time we hear from someone from home.  God Bless your family and God Bless the USA.  Sgt. Shannon Ambrose, Charlie Company 15th STB "Force Protection"

Shannon is in Taji, Iraq, located about 20 miles north of Baghdad.  Email him at:  


Hey Sgt. Ambrose,  I am from Hazard, KY.  I am now in the job corps center in Simpsonville, KY.  I miss home too and the faces of everyone.  I miss the way people talk and the way they act.  Everything is so much different I guess.  I can relate to you but no road side bombs.  I am away from home, don't know anyone here.  I just wanted to say you are a good man and stay strong for us.  You are not only fighting for your life but the life of millions of people and at night when you are missing home, close your eyes and remember the sounds of trains going by and the sound of the birds and smell the pretty trees and the pine.  You will feel like you are home for a moment but that is all you need to get you through the next day.  I will tell you a little about my self.  I am from Willard and I came to the job corps to change my life.  You know as well as I do drugs have taken over Hazard and I don't want to let those negative things bring me down.  I have seen many of my family and friends go through so much with that and I plan on going back home when I leave here and making a change.  My family was wanting me to go to the army when I got out of here.  Almost everyone in my family was in the army but I think my place in the world is to do something different.  Well it felt nice to see someone else that misses home.  I wish the best and be safe.  Erica Hurt, Simpsonville, KY

Sgt. Ambrose: I was born and raised in Hazard KY but have been living in Spartanburg SC for 21 years now.  I saw your picture and read your comments this morning on the Hazard Website.  I just want to say I have never heard a better testimony than the one you give here and my heart goes out to you and all the others fighting to keep us safe so we can gather together without fear, worship in our santuary without fear, lie down at night without fear, awaken to a bright new morning without fear, all because of you and all the other military people so far away from home.  I feel blessed so very much after reading your comments.  Your face and your name are etched in my heart and I wish peace to your family while they wait on your return.

"Beautiful faces are they that wear the light of a pleasant spirit there.  Beautiful hands are they that do deeds that are noble, good and true.  Beautiful feet are they that go swiftly to lighten another's woe."  Sgt. Shannon, you are one of those beautiful people.  Thank God for you!  Ida Lee Hansel, Spartanburg SC

Sgt.Shannon, I thank God for you and what you are doing to keep us free. May you have a safe trip home. Merry Christmas, and God bless you. Mary Ann Smith, Hazard, KY

Hey Shannon,  it's Pat, Willie Gayheart's wife.  Hope you all hurry home soon.  We all miss you.  GOD bless you all.  Pat in Ary, KY

Dear Shannon, I read your article and as I was reading I thought these soldiers need our prayers.  My family prays for you every day and asks God to bring you home safe.  The mountains are a beautiful place, our home.  Faye Combs, Cincinnati, Ohio

Sgt. Ambrose, I am so proud of you and all of the guys over there and the jobs you do. This is why I'm joining the guard.  I may never see the sand but if I do I hope I've got brothers like you to help watch over me because you are true heroes to me.  We need you there and I'll pray every day for your safe return home.  Russell Widenr, Leslie County, KY

Hi Shannon, how are you?  Keep up the good work and have a safe return home.  Melissa Walters Arnett, Hazard, KY

Hey Shannon, Good to see ya again.  The last time I saw you was at Wal-mart. We're thinking of you and appreciate the job you soldiers are doing.  You all are in our hearts  and minds.  Give a shout out to me when u can and we all in Hazard wish you the best.  William Roark, Bulan, KY

This is to dad & mom of Sgt Ambrose:  You have a great son.  Our son, Brandon is 24.  He left a month ago for Iraq. So I e-mailed Sgt Ambrose on Sunday and told him how proud Ladonie and I were of him and that our son was there too.  I got a e-mail from him today and tears rolled down our face as we read it.  He told us he would gladly take the bullet for our son. This young man has a good heart.  When Sgt Ambrose gets to come home, give him a great homecoming and my wife and I we will be there.  God loves him and we do too.  Thanks, Mr.& Mrs. Ambrose, you have a great son. I am from Ary.  I left in 1971.  I love Hazard.  Charles & Ladonie Harvey, Dunkirk IN

Hello Sergeant Ambrose, This is your old buddy Jamie again. I hope you are hanging in there so we can hang out together when you get out.  I am so glad that other people realize what a great thing you are doing for them and I personally think you are a "HERO" to the end and I really miss goofing around with you when I worked under you. To one of the greatest people on this earth, have a great day and get your mission done and come home so we can hang out. See you later old buddy.  James Couch Hardburly, KY

Shan, I think you are one of the people that I respect most in this world. You do fight for what you believe in and there aren't too many people that can say that. You are just like my brother, I'm blessed to have grown up around you, you are very special to me. You are truly the big brother I always have and always will look up to. It's not been the same without you around. But I can't wait until you come home. I pray for you that you stay safe, I appreciate what you are doing for this country, for your daughter and family, you would help anyone person however you could. God gave our family a great person when he gave us you!!  I can't wait until to come in for thanksgiving or Christmas.  I'll throw you a coming home party!  After reading your blog, I don't think I will ever look at a sunrise the same again. It truly is a beautiful thing!! And I am sure that god will let you see it for many years to come. Just think about you traveling to Greece when you come home, and all the good things in life and it will surely get you through. I love you soo much shan!! I saw the picture of you jumping out of an airplane before anyone else did. buddy you're brave!! but I'm sure you already know that! email me, we have to keep in touch while you're there! and if you ever need to feel the love of a family member, just read that letter I wrote you in your binder before you left. I love, appreciate, honor and respect you bub!! love always, butch (haha).  Jessica Reed, Hazard, KY

Shannon is a friend and I hold him and all those that are overseas fighting for us to keep us free.  I hold Shannon and those that fight as real heroes.  We have far too many of those that are never seen as such.  I pray everyday that he and those in harms way make it back home safe and sound.  I say this to Shannon, "I miss you and keep your head and the rest of you low."  Be safe my friend.  Vernol Clay, Hazard, KY

Dear Sgt. Ambrose, 

Thank you so very much for what you are doing for my country.  Thank you for all you are doing to keep us safe.

I am from Harlan County, Ky.  My parents were the late Ernest & Mildred Caudill from Evarts, Ky.  If you knew them, or anyone reading this knew them, please get in touch with me.  

My son, John, has already done one tour in Iraq and soon, in January or so, they are sending him back to do another tour.  He too, made a decision to go.  You see, he is my only son.  He didn't have to go.  He went because he wanted to.  He wanted to put his life on the line to keep us free also.  I pray that everyone will remember what the sun looks like in Kentucky and remembers that a good God makes it rise and set everyday, that when we see it, we are thankful for this wonderful country called the U.S.A.  That God was in control when he made it, and he is in control today.  He tells it when to rise and when to go down.  When you see these changes, be grateful you have the opportunity to see it.  Not everyone will or does because we are having casualties, bit if you know and trust God, he will work it out with you.

Do not fear.  There is nothing to fear but fear itself.  God is good.  He is big and he is still in control.  He will never leave nor forsake you.  Keep the faith and email me if you need a friend.  Rev. Mona (Caudill) Joyner, Seattle, WA

Hey fellow Eastern Kentuckians from Perry County!  This is a young warrior that needs all of our thoughts and prayers to help carry him through these rough times.  Having been in harms way myself while in the US Army, it was always a source of comfort to hear from someone "back home".  So, take the time to honor this young man as he needs our reassurance that what he is doing is not in vain.  I was humbled to read this young man's heart felt comments.  I thank God there are men and women like him wearing the uniform making us proud.  May God bless this fine, brave warrior and Guardian of our freedom.  Garland Hill, Pensacola, Florida

Shann, I was just sitting here looking at your picture and with tears in my eyes.  WE are really proud of you me and John both.  I sit and think about the times that me and you and John went to church.  We went a long time didn't we?  When you come home, maybe we can do it again.  E-mail me and let me know that you are ok.  Your Aunt Bet loves you very much.  When you come home be sure you come and see Sissy. You take care of yourself and we will be praying for you.  We love you Shann and God bless you.  Good night buddy.  Betty in Yerkes, KY


I just ran across your page and for some reason I had to write. I don't think we appreciate what you guys are doing for us over there, we don't think about our freedom or that we have the right to go where we want and do what we want and there are people that don't get to do what we do and so we should be very thankful for what we have because if it wasn't for guys like you and many before you we wouldn't have the things we have now. I know there are times when I take things for granted and that I should take the time to think about people less fortunate than me and be grateful for what I have. So enough of me running off.  lol  I thank you for doing what you guys do over for there and I pray that you and many more come home safe. Merry Christmas.  Vanessa C. in Hazard, KY


Thank you for serving our country.  I was born  and raised at Busy.  God bless.  T. Fugate, St Leonard, MD


Hey, Shannon what's up?  How is it going over there?  Just wanted to check on you!  Scotty Williams, Hazard, KY

Shannon I just want you to know that I hope you have a safe return home to your family and Lindsey. May God bless you always!  J.R.

Shannon, We are very thankful for your contribution, in helping to keep America Free, and we are looking forward to your swift and safe return to the Good OLD  USA, and for you to be with to your family and friends.  You can rest assured your neighbors near Campbells Creek, Forked Mouth, Krypton, Yerkes, Gunners Branch, and for that matter all of us are wishing you a safe return.  Finley Begley, near your neighborhood.

Hello Shannon!  I just wanted to say how good it is to see you highlighted on this website.  You, and all the American troops are all heroes.  The selflessness that you've shown by defending our country is overwhelming.  Just keep your head up soldier, your time in war will pass, and then you will get to return home, to the people who love you, and these beautiful mountains.  You know it may seem like you're a million miles away, but just remember, the same moon we see here in Hazard, is the same moon in Iraq.  And we are all praying for you and all your comrads everyday....you will get to see the mountains again!!  Just hang in there, we'll see you later!  Renee in Hazard, KY

As the mother-in-law of a fine soldier who came back from his 2nd tour of Iraq in Sept. of 2006, I praise you. Our son-in-law, Kenny Campbell, of Lost Creek, Perry County is a sweet guy and now secure at home. I pray you will be home soon washing your truck or car, cooking out or Christmas shopping as he is with his wife Casey. I never really knew how hard I could pray until his last trip to Iraq. May angels encampeth around you to preserve you, Sgt. Ambrose,  and keep you safe. Merry Christmas too!  Marge Fulton Hazard, KY


Shannon is a very brave man just like the rest of our troops over there. I'm very proud to say I know this man and what a special person he is. For the families of our troops we're all praying for you and the safe return of our soliders. Shannon be so very careful over there so you can come back to the ones who love you. I respect all of our armed forces there or who have ever served their our countries warriors.  They are the ones that give us our right to do as we please. Our freedom rest on their shoulders. Thank you so very much Shannon for that. I thank God everyday for being an American. Thank God that we're born here in the USA! Return safely!!  Anonymous


Shannon is my uncle and I miss him so much.  His daughter, Lindsey, and I spend the week-ends together, she is my best friend and best cousin.  Uncle Shannon, I am so proud of you so please hurry home.  I tell the kids at school that I have a uncle in Iraq and how he help keeps us safe here at home.  I love you uncle Shannon and miss you a lot, please hurry home.  Love you lots.  Haleigh, Ambrose, Busy, KY

Sgt. Shannon Ambrose is my son.  When he got deployed, his two brothers Ted Jr. and Eddie, Ted (his dad) and I were really shocked, but we knew that that was what Shannon wanted.  Shannon was always there when his friends and family needed him.  He has a little daughter, her name is Lindsey.  She is 8 years old and misses her dad really bad.  There are a lot of mothers out there who have kid, so be proud of them.  They are your hero's just like Shannon is ours.  I would like to ask for you all to pray for my son and all the other troops that are in Iraq fighting for our country, and our freedom, and also pray that GOD keeps His arms around Shannon so he can return home to his family and his little girl. (We love you son may God keep you safe).  Mom and Dad, Busy, Kentucky

Sgt. Ambrose, I happened to run across your message tonight. I was born in London, KY and spent many summers with my Grandparents in Jeff, KY.  I love the mountains and miss the times i spent there. I used to go to Hazard with my grandma and mom and we would window shop and have the best time.  My mom was born in Kenmont Holler and misses her old home.  I want to tell you that we are praying for all of our troops, especially those of you in Iraq.  I cannot imagine what all of you are going through over there.  Thank you for your service and for keeping us safe here at home.  I will pray for your safe return to the mountains that you love.  May God Bless you and keep you safe.  Deb Caudill, Greenfield, Indiana

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