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Newest grandbaby of the Pete Montoya family.  Picture from proud Grandparents Ruth and Jim Ludwig.  Proud parents Jamie and Mark Bigelow of Dallas, Texas. 

"Madelyn Jane - 7lbs 8oz 20 inches long - Born June 16, 2005"  Welcome to the family Hita!

"Let the littel children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these....and He took the children in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them."  (Mark 10:14)

News about Robert Montoya in Iraq  (Email from Polly....)

Marine Sergeant Robert Montoya in Iraq

Here are a series of emails from Polly and Robert about his tour of service in Iraq.  This email below is from Polly about Robert and her big birthday party coming up in November:

Just wanted to send this message to all of you.  As you can see, Robert
is safely in IRAQ and everything is going well.  I've received several
phone messages from him and several e-mails from him since he sent this
original message.  Don't worry, Robert has a  box of everything he
asked for coming his way, so for now, he does not need any of this
stuff.  He did tell me he would send me an e-mail with the stuff his
guys need or want and when he sends that e-mail, I'll make sure I
forward it to all of you.

He is also working on some stuff for the family web site, so make sure
you go to the web site to check on the latest happenings in IRAQ. 
Frank, Ron, Ryan and I have already seen this e-mail, but I copied you

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, Frank, Ron, Gina, Ryan and I are
hanging in there. After all, that's what families are supposed to do. 

On another note, don't forget I have a "BIG" birthday in November (the
14th) so everyone is invited to come to Austin.  We will have a good
time no matter what we decide to do....So make your plans..

Robert, you and I will have a good celebration when you come home in
the spring. We can celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, your
birthday and mine all at once.

I hope everyone is doing well, and I'd like to hear from you..I'm
hanging in there.

Butch, save this for the family web site. I'm sure Robert will send
another message soon, but I've  kept him pretty busy with some of my
work stuff.

Love, Polly

This email explains a lot of what Sergent Montoya does in Iraq and written to Polly's co-workers at the IRS:

UNIT 77141
FPO AE 09509-7141
                                                                                                                                    In Reply Refer To:
                                                                                                                                    1000                                                           RJM                                                           1 Sep 05                                                     

From:  Sergeant Robert J. Montoya USMC
To:    Internal Revenue Service Tax Collectors                                                

Subj:  Letter of Appreciation 

My name is Sergeant Robert Montoya.  I am currently on active duty and forward deployed in Iraq with my unit Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26.  We are currently stationed in Al Asad, Iraq, which is just northwest of Baghdad. 

I am an aircraft Navigations/Communications systems technician for the Marine Corps.  I work with 25 other Marines fixing aircraft systems for helicopters and jets that are flying humanitarian and combat missions daily in Iraq.  Basically when a system is found faulty on an aircraft the system is sent to my work center and we trouble shoot that system and repair or replace components in the faulty system.   In order to maintain our aircraft support in a high state of readiness it is imperative that we are able to order and receive parts instantly.  If the faulty system cannot be repaired or replaced, that specific aircraft will be downed until the repair is complete.  What does this mean to the 18-year-old Marine Infantryman on the streets of Iraq?  If there are not enough aircrafts ready to fly to bring that Marine supplies, close air support (cover fire), or evacuate him out of hostile situations that young American’s life may be in jeopardy.  There is a saying in the Aviation Combat Element of the Marine Corps “You can’t fly without supply”. 

Your job as tax collectors is very important and without you there is no way that we could accomplish our missions out here. If we did not have the ability to order the parts that are needed to keep aircraft flying more and more young American’s lives would be in jeopardy. 

In my job we use an array of test sets and electronic equipment valued in excess of over two million dollars to repair aircraft systems.  On a daily basis my Marines order circuit cards and various electronic components that vary in value from a few hundred dollars up to the tens of thousands of dollars for one component or circuit card. 

One of the main reasons that the United States military is so successful is that we can deploy anywhere in the world within 72 hours through the use of pre-positioned naval vessels and Air Force transport aircraft.  There are seven Marine Expeditionary Units, which consist of roughly 1,200 combat ready Marines that are aboard Navy amphibious assault ships pre-positioned throughout the seas of the world. To support these Marine Expeditionary Units, there are Maritime positioning Ships that are also pre-positioned throughout the world that carry enough supplies to sustain a full-fledged war for 90 days. 

You and I both know nothing is free in this world and as you can imagine it costs billions of dollars to maintain our nation’s defense budget.  Without you collecting taxes we cannot be successful in combat. 

In the Marine Corps there is a vast array of Military Occupation Specialties that are set up to support the Infantryman.  We all do out part in order to make sure that the 18-year-old infantryman on the streets of Iraq has every resource necessary to win on the battlefield.  You as tax collectors are also part of this team supporting that young infantryman on the streets of Iraq.  Through your hard work and diligent efforts you have provided that young man on the streets of Iraq every tool necessary to accomplish his mission and return home safely.  Many people have thanked me for my service to this country and I am humbled by that. 

I as a Marine, forward deployed, in a combat environment in Iraq thank you tax collectors for your service to this great country and keeping us alive out here.


Maintenace Hanger

Supply Warehouse

Soldier Shop

Chow Hall and Ridge Line

In the distance, Army Chinooks and Blackhawk helicopters

Here is the latest email from Robert....if you want to send some snacks and other things that Robert can use....please read on and his address to send these things is below as well:



How is everything going? I hope everything is fine back home other then the Broncos losing their season opener I am sure things are fine. I couldn't be happier with my football teams right now. The Texas Longhorns pulled off a huge win over Ohio State and the Cowboys won their season opener so things are great with my teams.

Things over here in Iraq are pretty good. My Mom thought it would be a good idea to send you some pictures and updates from out here and a list of some of the things that the other Marines in my unit could use out here to make life just a little bit better out here in the desert. I'll try and send updates every couple of weeks or so from out here.

I haven't had much time to check out the family website in the past but since I have been out here I have checked it out during some of our down time here at work and it is an awesome website. Growing up in Texas I have always felt like the distant relative and it is nice to have the website because I can access it from anywhere in the world and learn about the family and see what everyone is up to. I think that it will be wonderful for my generation and generations of the future as well. Well I hope everything is going good for you and your family. Tell everyone that I am doing well and in great spirits out here. Here is my first update from Iraq:

Hello to all from Iraq,

Well as you can see I am hanging out on the other side of the world in Iraq. Things here are pretty good compared to the first time I deployed to the Middle East in 2003. I am stationed just northwest of Baghdad in Al Asad, Iraq with my unit Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26. I am here working on Navigations and Communications systems for aircraft that are flying humanitarian and combat missions here in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. It is a pretty fun and safe job. Whenever equipment breaks on the aircraft they send the parts to my work center for repair so we rarely have to leave the base. We are working 12 hours on and 12 hours off right now. I am working the night shift from 7pm to 7am. I enjoy working nights because the temperatures are a lot better out here at night rather then during the day hours. Fortunately for us the temperatures have been dropping lately. When we first arrived the temperatures were averaging 115 to 120 degrees during the day and 80 to 90 degrees during the night. Now the temperatures are in the low 100s to high 90s in the day and 80 to 70 degrees at night. Sounds like a lot of fun being out here huh!

Well I enjoy being a Marine and I honestly believe that we are doing a good out here. We are due back around early February so hopefully I will be on the way home and have a lay over in Ireland for an Irish beer on my birthday on the 5th of February. The base out here is not that bad at all. They have all the necessities.........they have a cafeteria, a gym, a place to sleep, and a place to watch college football so its not that bad. Speaking of college football being from Austin my family and I are huge Texas Longhorn fans. I was able to watch #2 Texas beat #4 Ohio St. at the Horseshoe in Columbus, OH so that was pretty cool. Thousands of miles away from home and I still can watch my favorite college football team on TV so life is definitely not that bad out here. I hope all is well with everyone and I am looking forward to the next family reunion. I had a great time meeting and talking with everyone from Colorado and Utah. Especially because Texas plays Colorado this year and Utah next year and the year after that as well. So all you Buffs and Utes fans prepare for the Longhorns and the heated debates about college football at the next family reunion.

If you would like to send anything to myself and the 29 other Marines that I work with here are a few necessities that myself and the other Marines thought of for our work out here and comfort items that will be helpful and make life better out here:

black magic markers, black pens, 2 or 3 inch wide masking tape, batteries (A AA AA D), zip lock bags, lots of baby wipes, hand sanitizer, purell instant hand sanitizing wipes, lots of foot spray and foot powder, white socks, lots of coffee, coffee creamer (regular, vanilla, and vanilla nut), sugar, mach 3 power razor handles and blades,oatmeal, beef jerky, ramen noodles, cup of noodles, vienna sausages, packets of drain less tuna-salmon, breakfast bars, candy bars, twizzlers, rice crispie treats, peanuts, pinon (I wonder who thought of that??), pistachios, peanut butter crunchy and creamy, slim jims, tabasco tapatio and other hot sauces, ketchup, mustard, relish, kc masterpiece barbeque sauce, miracle whip, plastic ware, plastic bowls, seasoned salt, granulated garlic, salsa, chips, drink mixes - gatorade, crystal light, kool-aid sugar already added, and any new release DVDs.

But if you want to here is my address out here:
Sgt Montoya Robert J
MALS- 26 AVI W/C 610
UNIT 77141
FPO AE 09509-7141

These are just some of the things that we thought could help out here. I know that this is a lot of stuff so maybe if everyone that wanted to would send one of each it would help out greatly out here. I am going to sign up for that ANYMARINE.COM deal so that way I can get stuff for all my guys there is 25 of us in my work center. If you guys want to send flags out here I can get them flown over our headquarters building here.

I think what would also make life better out here is letters of encouragement, drawings from the kids, and pictures to help remind us who's freedom that we are protecting out here. I have always said that I am willing to put my life on the line and be sent half way across the world to do my part to ensure that my family will always have the right to do what ever they wanted. I consider it an honor to defend or freedom and bring freedom to people across the globe that do not have the same rights and freedoms as us Americans. Here is a link to a website that has information about the base that we are stationed on out here in Iraq if you would like to see more about life out here in Iraq.

IWell thank you for checking up on me and thank you in advance for any gifts that you may happen to send to us out here. I will send updates on the latest from out here every couple of weeks or so until I return in February. Until then take care and like I said before I can't wait for the next time I see and spend time with everyone.

Take Care,

Robert Montoya/SGT USMC

If this e-mail is marked FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY it may be exempt from mandatory disclosure under FOIA. DoD 5400.7R, "DoD Freedom of Information Act Program", DoD Directive 5230.9, "Clearance of DoD Information for Public Release", and DoD Instruction 5230.29, "Security and Policy Review of DoD Information for Public Release" apply.