Phil Marquez is the grandson of Tucumcari residents Alfonso and Dorothy Marquez. His parents are Charles and Delia Marquez of Santa Fe.
Phil Marquez is a sergeant first class in the Arizona National Guard and is stationed in Ramadi, Iraq, according to his grandmother.
His letter was sent to St. Rose of Lima Church in Santa Rosa and was read during the Thanksgiving mass. Marquez’s family asked the Quay County Sun share it also with our readers:
“Here, God is in my thoughts a lot and I pray daily here, sometimes hourly … and always in thanks that I’m still alive after an attack.
“If nobody dies, I thank God for that. If someone dies, I have God to pray to and keep that dead soldier’s soul safe.
“Now that Thanksgiving is coming up, there’s a lot I have to be thankful for, even if I don’t make it back from here.
“Being here makes one aware of all the things he/she has to be thankful for. I was already aware however, being here kind of makes you think of it more often than in your daily life back home.
“I thank God, of course, for my parents, family and friends. They’re all great and wonderful. I thank God for being an American soldier and having the opportunity to be here now, helping another people realize freedom.
“The pride I feel serving here is amazing and I thank God for that feeling. I thank God that I live in a country where even people who don’t realize/appreciate their freedom have that freedom to speak against us, who defend them.
“I thank God for people on both sides of the issue, ’cause that’s what makes our country great.
“I thank God for those who proudly support us. I thank God for being there all the time, not like me, who’s there only sometimes for God.
“I ask that you say a prayer for me … and thank God that there are people like me who are willing to give all we have, so you all have something to be thankful for.”
Our newspaper has been critical of the U.S. involvement in Iraq. But we have always trumpeted the courage and nobility of the members of our armed services who have answered our country’s call.
We thank God for Sgt. 1st Class Marquez, and his dedication to America and to our freedom.