Skip to main content

Thomas L. Whitehouse Iraq War correspondence

 Collection — Box: Afghan/Iraq 1, Folder: 11, Folder: 1
Identifier: 2022-121-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains two hand-written letters and fourteen printouts of emails from 2nd Lt. Thomas L. "Tom" Whitehouse, USA to his family during the Iraq War. Throughout the correspondence, Whitehohuse predominately wrote to his parents, Jay and Denise Rachel Whitehouse about conditions at his forward operating base and occasionally describes conditions beyond the gates of his base. Also included is a photograph of Whitehouse aboard his tank, a thank you card to his family, and a pamphlet published by the US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine.

March 2, 2004, Whitehouse sent an email to multiple people where he explained how surprised he was to see that he "had power, indoor showers (no indoor bathrooms yet), a chow hall, and an internet cafe."

March 18, 2004, Jay Whitehouse wrote to his son, "Tom" Whitehouse asking "what does MacKenzie stand for?" He also wrote to inform Tom about his grandfather's health and noted that "we have been reading him your e-mails and he likes to know how you are doing."

March 19, 2004, Whitehouse replied to his father and explained that "the FOB name is after a guy who was commander of 1-4 CAV back during the Indian Wars. He led a daring raid into Mexico to kill and capture a bunch of Indians, so we named it after him."

May 1, 2004, Whitehouse wrote to his mother and excitedly told her "I finally got to go outside the FOB the other day. I know you are not as thrilled about it as I am, but I was glad to finally see the outside." While outside, he took note of the local farmers and their small homes describing them as "real tiny huts made of mud. The whole structure is about the size of our dining room." He also mentioned being surprised by how often the locals would wave at them, particularly the children.

May 23, 2004, Whitehouse updates his mother saying that "I have been busy, but enjoy the work I am doing. Going out on missions is the most fun, and the guys in my platoon are really hard workers and enjoy their job."

July 23, 2004, Denise R. Whitehouse wrote to Sarah Cherne, Executive Director at the Red Cross to inquire about Tom's health. Denise explained that "we received a call from Schweinfurt, Germany (where he had been stationed before Iraq) that he had gotten hurt and was in a [Iraq] hospital."

July 24, 2004, Whitehouse wrote to his mother describing his condition as no more than "just a little cough now."

August 5, 2004, Whitehouse informed his mother that he and his soldiers were to receive purple hearts but added that "I think it is a little rediculous (sic) considering I only got smoke inhalation and spent two days in the hospital."

November 28, 2004, in a thank you card Whitehouse wrote to his parents to thank them for their support as he opened up about his experiences while serving in Iraq. "This deployment has been tough, scary, disappointing, tragic and lonely at times."

November 28, 2004, Whitehouse wrote his parents to notify them about Jeremy Christensen and stated that he was "one of my soldiers who was killed by an IED yesterday." He and his soldiers discussed this tragedy several times and busied themselves with missions on 11/28 and 11/29/2004. Whitehouse also mentioned that "the tank was partially destroyed, so we are now using a new one." He closed by telling his mother that "I would prefer that if you have questions, we discuss it over email, because I am not sure if I'm ready to discuss it over the phone yet."

January 10, 2005, Whitehouse updated his mother about moving out of their "containers on 1 FEB, and the new units arrives on the 5th. Then we do some training to show them how to run patrols, and then we get to leave." Whitehouse asked his mother to keep him in their prayers and explained that "it gets (sic) increasingly harder to go out the gate."

January 24, 2005, months after losing one of his soldiers, Whitehouse informed his mother that "Eddie Rebrook was wounded by an IED" that broke his arm and "cut up his face and neck."


  • Creation: 2004 March 11 - 2005 February 27

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Second Lieutenant Thomas Linwood "Tom" Whitehouse, United State Army (date of birth unknown) was born in Dover, New Hampshire to Jay and Denise R. Whitehouse. According to the donor, Lt. Whitehouse attended Rollinsford Grade School, Somersworth High School, and West Point Military Academy.

The donor also states that Whitehouse was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky; Schweinfurt, Germany; Iraq; Fort Riley, Kansas; and Afghanistan. 2nd Lt. Whitehouse served with the 1st Squadron, 4th Calvary Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade combat Team, 1st Infantry Division during the Iraq War. He primarily wrote from forward operating base MacKenzie, Iraq between 2004-2005.


.01 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains letters and emails from 2nd Lt. Thomas L. Whitehouse, USA to his family during the Iraq War. Also included are one photograph, one thank you card, and one pamphlet published by the US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine.


This collection is arranged by material and chronology.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Letters home from Thomas Whitehouse, donated by Denise Whitehouse.

Finding aid for the Thomas L. Whitehouse Iraq War correspondence
Frank J. López-Huerta
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives, Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States