Letter to Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez from the Marines and Sailors stationed at Mihail Kogalniceanu base in Romania

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The Marines and Sailors at Mihail Kogalniceanu know better than most Americans the importance of our partnership with Romania.

For the past five months they have been our host in this wonderful country and they have been nothing but welcoming. No matter where we go: the beaches of Mamaia, the mountains of Brasov, or the city of Bucharest the one factor that has really made our stay enjoyable is the friendliness of the people.

Romania has embraced us with open arms and it is due to people like Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez who champion our relationship.

I can definitely say that many of the Marines here had never even met a Romanian prior to coming on this deployment. We didn’t really know what to expect but as soon as we stepped off base people were greeting us with smiles and waves. Even in the words of one Romanian soldier, “Communism ended in our country over twenty years ago so we’ve been waiting over twenty years for the Americans to arrive!”

Our warm reception was not due to our own actions but due to people like Congresswoman Sanchez.

Long before any of us even knew we would be coming here she was laying the groundwork to improve our country’s relationship with Romania and the Romanian people.  Not only are we allotted the ability to train here but more importantly build relationships with the Romanian people.

In our rotation alone, we have taken part in the National Day parade in Bucharest, conducted multiple missions to local orphanages to volunteer our time, and build another orphanage in Bucharest for girls who were victims of human trafficking.

That is not to mention four military exercises conducted in Romania alongside Romanian forces as well as an episode of MasterChef filmed on our base (for the joy of many hungry troops.)

We cannot stress enough the appreciation we have for people like Loretta Sanchez who work tirelessly to ensure we are in the hearts of the Romanian people.

A special thank you to the Romanian Americans in southern California for reaching out to us and keeping us in your prayers. Thank you very much for all you have done and continue to do to support our mission. God bless.

-Marines of Black Sea Rotational Force, 2d Battalion 2d Marine Regiment.

(The picture is courtasy of 2d Battalion 2d Marine Regiment, and it was taken after some US Marines had a hike with Romanian soldiers)