Specialist Helen Marie Corne e-mailed The Brazil Times a letter this week regarding her current tour in Iraq.
She was one of several soldiers from the 138th Quartermaster Support Company who recently left for Camp Atterbury to prepare for deployment to Iraq.
Corne agreed to give more detail about the deployment.
She said, to the best of her knowledge, all members of the unit are doing well.
"I only see a few of them," Corne told The Brazil Times.
Corne said she works a late shift as part of her duties in Iraq, giving her little time to see the others.
She said prior to arriving in Iraq, the company spent a week in Kuwait as all females were in one tent and all males in another.
"We all saw each other, but here, I just have one roommate and she works first shift, so I get a lot of alone time to myself and I love it," Corne said.
Corne arrived in Iraq with her unit in January. This is her first tour.
"I have only been in for 15 months," she said.
She lived in Staunton for 15 years in addition to spending a year in Brazil, but attended school in Terre Haute.
Currently, she is able to stay in contact with her family through the Internet, but it is difficult.
"Sometimes, I don't get to talk to them because a lot of times they are not home," she said.
She hasn't had any problems dealing with cold temperatures, as she said conditions in Iraq are warm.
"During the day, it's sunny and in the 80s," she said. "At night, it gets chilly. Lately, it has been really windy, blowing sand and dust everywhere."
Corne said overall conditions in Iraq are improving.
"As I see it, things have gotten much better over here, since the start," she said.
Corne admitted she is "somewhat homesick," saying she missed her children and husband and is looking forward when the company returns stateside in December.
"I just take it one day at a time," she said. "I talk daily on the Internet to my husband and he always has something supportive to say to me and it really helps. He knows what I am going through, because he has been here twice.
"I love what I do for the people of the United States and for my family. I don't regret it. I do miss them, and can't wait to see their faces again."
'Livin' the dream'
Editor's Note: This letter was written by Spc. Helen Marie Corne, member of the 138th Quartermaster Support Company. She gave permission to The Brazil Times to run the letter with the story.
To the Editor:
Hello. My name is Spc. Helen Marie Corne, originally from Brazil, now from Terre Haute, and I am currently stationed in Iraq on my tour for 2009.
I have three children, Ashley, Austin and Alex Stadler of Staunton, and I want them to know I am doing OK. I miss them a lot and I cannot wait to return to them. I appreciate the support I have received from my children, my husband, Jeremy, my friends, and the community of Brazil. The support I have received has helped me prepare for this deployment and I feel it has given me the strength I need to succeed at my job.
I am looking forward to the day I return to my family and friends. Once again thank you.
"I'm livin' the dream."
Spc Helen Marie Corne