Col. Matthew R. Lewis, U.S. Army

To the editor:

I am currently the commander of the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. Our unit is based out of Fort Riley, Kan. More than 2,000 of our brigade’s soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan, where they are providing Army Aviation support to the International Security Assistance Force missions across southern and western Afghanistan.

I am writing to request your support in reaching out to soldiers from your area, and perhaps to others from nearby communities in your county or state. We have created an interface called “Hometown Heroes,” a map-based website that shows the hometowns of each of our proud soldiers and that allows the public to gain contact with them to provide messages of support.

The website is Our goal is to build direct linkages and relationships between members of the Army and all of the communities where these great soldiers come from – across America.

As you are likely aware, soldiers draw their strength and resilience from the support of their families, their loved ones, and their communities. We hope this innovation will create a simple way for members of your community to reach out and recognize the many contributions of soldiers from your community who are proudly serving this great nation.

As an example, 1st Sgt. Thomas Hintenach is currently serving as a Company 1SG in the Brigade, and I am certain he would love to hear from you and the other members of Independence. 1SG Hintenach is very proud to call Independence home and would love to get messages of support from your great community.