Postcards from family, friends at home lift Soldier’s spirits
Story and photos by Sgt. John Stimac
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — An officer with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) has wallpapered his office with more than 200 postcards from family and friends in the United States.
Maj. Patrick L. Rowe, the Iraqi Security Forces transition team chief and a Philpot, Ky., native, said the collection started in response to regular mobilization updates he sent home upon arriving at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
“I started to receive postcards from my brother and wife,” he said. “I had a big blank wall behind me and I just started hanging them up there.”
Rowe’s brother, a truck driver, sends him postcards from throughout the U.S., he said.
The collection continues to grow, said Rowe.
“I thought I’d get a handful from my wife and kids, but not all this,” he said. “It’s good to think that people are remembering you when they’re doing regular, mundane activities.”
Maj. Jose L. Flores, the ISF operations plans officer in charge with the 13th ESC and Brooklyn, N.Y., native, said the growing collection helps keep Rowe’s morale up.
“It started out with around 10 to 20, and now you can see how far it went,” he said.
Rowe said he is happy to have the visual reminders of his country’s beauty.
“Now I have a little bit of America on my wall,” he said.
Maj. Patrick L. Rowe, Iraqi Security Forces transition team chief with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and Philpot, Ky., native, sits next to the postcard collection sent to him from family and friends during his deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Rowe has received more than 200 postcards, roughly three to four a week.