We have a grandson, Andrew, who just turned 21 years old while in Iraq in Fallujah. He is a Navy medic. I can't even imagine what he is going through. We received an e-mail from him telling only one story.

A civilian citizen had been kidnapped from his home by insurgents. As he was being driven somewhere, he saw signs of an American compound, so he broke away and ran. He got caught in the barb wire around the area. The military was not sure if he was a suicide bomber or what. An interpreter said he had escaped and needed their help. Our grandson took care of his wounds and treated him with kindness. This citizen was 6-ft., 1-inch tall and weighed 256 pounds. Andrew is 6-ft tall and maybe weighs 150 pounds. Before he was transferred to another area, this man kept saying thank you and if anyone ever wanted to hurt Andrew to let him know and he would kill them and he would report anyone that was doing wrong in his country.

Andrew never asked to be sent in harms' way. He joined the Navy on a contract, with a guarantee of his medical training so he could become a doctor. He was sent to go through Marine training and shipped out with them in Iraq. We pray all the time for his safety.

Now here is my reason for my rude feelings. I send care packages to him via FPO so he can have some treats and help supplement his food. He has lost weight as it is. I go to the post office and am drilled on all the food items I have in the box, all non-perishable stuff. I am asked if I have anything with pork in it. Excuse me! This is going via U.S. mail to an American military area to a young man that is in harms' way, but oh no, we can't send anything containing pork to this foreign country. Where is our religious freedom considered there and our culture?!

I do not blame the local post office. They are just following guidelines. I had no pork items, but I did have some Washington smoked salmon and Tillamook beef jerky. Knowing Andrew, he will be sharing the contents with his fellow comrades. God bless them all.

Thelma Sembach

Ocean Park

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