Tight-knit allies: Estonians make socks, mittens for U.S. soldiers

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A soldier serving in Estonia receives one of more than 100 sets of knitted gloves provided by viewers of an Estonian TV news magazine to U.S. troops serving as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (Estonian Defence Forces photo by Richard Kuusk)

A soldier serving in Estonia receives one of more than 100 sets of knitted gloves provided by viewers of an Estonian TV news magazine to U.S. troops serving as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (Estonian Defence Forces photo by Richard Kuusk)

Residents of Estonia, stirred up by instigators in that nation’s news media, told U.S. soldiers exactly what they thought about their presence Tuesday in the Baltic nation as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve:

Their simple message: “Welcome.”

Also: “It gets cold here.”

Responding to a request from the Estonian TV news magazine “Prillitoos” — “Sunglasses,” according to Google Translate — viewers knitted socks and mittens for members of Iron Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, who are training in the region. More than 120 pairs of homemade warmth were delivered, according to a Facebook post from the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn, Estonia, in care packages that also included chocolates by Kalev, which humbly considers its brand as “the best known and most prestigious trademark in Estonia.”

For those keeping track, or for those cursing the few frigid days the East Coast of the U.S. has faced in 2015, Tallinn’s average high temperature is below freezing for the months of January and February. January also brings a bit less than eight hours of daylight.

The Estonian Defence Forces put together a video of the soldiers receiving their gifts, including interviews with the nation’s thankful guests. It’s in English, with Estonian subtitles:

“I just talked to the captain, asked him how things are going, and he said, ‘Good, but cold,'” Jeffrey Levine, U.S. ambassador to Estonia, says in the video. “For a lot of people growing up in especially the warmer parts of the United States, they’ve never really experienced winter. … I’m sure they will really appreciate it.”

Units with 2nd Cavalry took over the mission from those with 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, which departed the region before the holidays, according to the Defense Department. The units will continue the training, which takes place in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland as well as Estonia, through March.

They’ll miss out on April in Tallinn, when the average temperature approaches, but doesn’t quite reach, 39 degrees.

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  1. Pingback: TALK | Lean, efficient, transparent - E*stonia - Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies

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