In 2016 we said our goodbyes to one of our favorite Sales Representatives, Maria Montoya. As a Navy reservist, she was up for deployment and has been away since August. Before Christmas UDS donated personal care items to Operation Eagle and put in a request that Miss Montoya’s unit receive some Christmas care packages. She recently updated us on how she's been and with her permission, we want to share some of her thoughts.

Q: How are you doing?
A: I'm good! I miss my dog – I miss him more than anything in the world. Other than that, I'm adapting well. There's something refreshing about "roughing it" out here. The quiet times serve as a time to reflect on the home life and re-evaluate and appreciate some things and people back home. This country is quite nice. It's a bit of a culture shift but nothing too shocking. The people I have encountered so far are very patriotic and the civilians are very loving and supportive of their troops. It feels great to serve my country; active duty has its ups and downs but it's very consistent. Knowing you are mission essential to the mission instills a sense of pride and patriotism. The relationships I've built within my unit are the best part. I can go back saying I've made 160 new brothers and sisters.

Q: What did you think of the Christmas stockings Operation Eagle sent?!
A: The stockings were great! The frog fuels and candy were a hit—some of the guys were even fighting over them! Also, we enjoyed the personal care items. Very handy stuff. The little first aid kits were cool to keep in our backpacks.

Q: How do you spend your free time there?
A: I had a chance to see a few things around town, but now I'm busy taking 3 classes since they are free with tuition assistance. The MWR also brings some entertainment to us. Musicians, Cheerleaders, comedians, even magicians!

Q: Lastly, any message you want us to pass along to your former UDS accounts?
A: Yes! I miss my customers! We used to have such a good time chatting. Now that I do some supply work for SECFOR, I understand how difficult procurement can be and I have great respect for the work they do.

She has promised to send us more pictures from abroad, but in the meantime check out the Operation Eagle facebook page for current photos.