FAYETTE, Iowa (March 3, 2008) - Dr. Alan Walker, president of Upper Iowa University, and Karla Gavin, director of career services, were not expecting to receive U.S. flags in the mail last week, let alone flags of such special significance.
The two flags received included a certificate that read: The flag of the United States of America. Let it be known that this flag of the United States of America was flown over the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad, Iraq by First Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team on the 9th of February 2008. It is with great pride, pleasure, and respect that this flag is presented to (Dr. Alan G. Walker, Karla K. Gavin). Signed by: John E. Pettinelli, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Security Force-Baghdad
These unique gifts were sent by Bobby E. Carter, Jr., Chief Warrant Officer 4 in the U.S. Marine Corp and UIU online student as a thank you on behalf of his unit and all the troops overseas, in general. Carter is one of 71 recipients of a holiday care package sent to UIU military students by faculty and staff last November. The program was initiated by Gavin.
"I wanted to simply say thank you," said Carter. "UIU made this tour so much more bearable, and I appreciate it. The packages and emails about home were nice, so I wanted to send a little something that shows Upper Iowa made a difference." Carter added, "With all that surrounds us here and our thoughts of our families back home, it is nice to know people care. Again, from everyone these packages touched-thank you."
Gavin realizes not everyone heard back from the individuals to whom they sent care packages last fall but said, "I do want them to know that every package is appreciated and that the show of support, be it large or small, is of utmost importance to our troops." Gavin stated she still keeps in contact with Carter, who is serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. He is expected to return to the states the first week in April.
For more information about Upper Iowa University, go to www.uiu.edu.