Thanks everyone! We gave out the gift bags yesterday morning. While I was off the ship at a meeting on the Iraqi oil terminal when they were distributed, I’m told that everything was very well received. Well enough received that I’ve seen people wearing hats all over the ship since my return, and I’ve been asked if they can be worn daily instead of just of days when we have holiday routines, which is usually also crazy hat day. I said yes, of course.
Because you guys made so many hats, mom sent an additional box full of hats for me to decide which ship to give them. What I’ve done so far is to bring a large bag of them over to the oil terminal, which is manned by US and UK Sailors as well as Iraqi Marines. I brought enough over to cover the US and UK contingent, and they were thrilled because it’s getting COLD out here at night and the watch standers are excited to have wool hats. I hope you all don’t mind that they’re going to some of the Brits as well as our guys.
There are also three Coast Guard Cutters doing the same oil platform protection mission that I’m doing and we’ve sent bags of hats along with some of your lovely notes over to two of the three Cutters. We’ll get the third one in the next day or so. The young Coasties are also thrilled by the hats - in fact, we underestimated the number of hats required for one of the ships by about a dozen and they came back over the radio to request more.
So you’ve managed to cheer up not just my crew, but that of the Oil Terminal and two (soon to be three) Coast Guard Cutters. Most of the rest of the US ships are actually conducting port visits during the holiday, so I thought the people out here on point with me were the best to get the extra hats - I hope you’re okay that they’re not exactly what you expected when you made the hats. I promise they will be well loved! I am slowly building a photo album (on the right sidebar of the blog) and posting pictures as quickly as I can. Some of the guys stand watch in places where I can't take pictures, so I'm getting what I can as quickly as I can, and I asked the Coasties and Oil Terminal guys to take pictures as well.
Again - THANK YOU ALL!