Okay, guys, how much is BS about this?


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bogie
March 27, 2003, 10:58 AM
I've seen several posts where folks say that the troopies over in the sandbox are lacking in a few essentials.

Now, I suspect that at this point, they'd want a bit more ammo, but hey... I'm open-minded...

Now, I'm wondering that if I go down to the local Wally World, pick up a whole buncha stuff on the various lists, and drop it off at the local USO that it's gonna make a few REMFs pretty happy. And the troopies on the front of the spear are still gonna be wishing for more ammo.

So... What to do?

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coonan357
March 27, 2003, 11:14 AM
Bogie , go to wally world and see if they have some 7.62 and 5.56 nato ammo and see if the uso will take it ?? Nothing we as citizens can do about ammo for the troops thats the gov's dept but I am sure if we could send it we would ! this wasn't to be an offensive or derogertory remark .

(could you imagine some solders opening there packages ?? what did youu get ?? aw mom sent me some cookies .. what did you get ??/ aw mom sent me a brick of winchester .223's geeeze your mom must like you ....)

Keith
March 27, 2003, 11:41 AM
Honestly, don't piss off the guys by sending candy or cookies. Send them a phone card. At some point they are going to get to a working telephone and that phone card will be worth its weight in gold.
If you go to store that caters to immigrants you'll find cards that get excellent overseas phone rates.
Many of the standard cards are worthless for overseas phone calls.

Keith

Ebbtide
March 27, 2003, 11:53 AM
During the last war I saw a lot of these donated goodies show up in the local food banks.

I am amazed I do not personaly know not a single person in the gulf. Which is odd since I got out of the reserves in 94, and I have 4 family members serving in the reserves now. But if I did, I would talk with their family and see what they are really requesting.

I recently heard a report not to send anything because they already had enouh donations and were having trouble getting it over to the FPO, APO etc.

The phone cards are a great idea. We (me and my family) must have spent hundreds in phone calls during my six months.

ed dixon
March 27, 2003, 12:15 PM
"Troopies?" "Sandbox?" Oh yeah, it's the cute war.

Shoeless
March 27, 2003, 12:18 PM
Locally, a talk radio station has tractor trailer trucks set up at WalMart for just that. You go in with a list that they give you of stuff that troops need. You buy whatever stuff you want to give them, then you bring it out to the parking lot and give it to the guys in the tractor trailer.

They then truck it down to Fort Benning, where it will be assembled at the commissary, family and friends of those deployed will get to "shop" for free from all the supplies, and make care packages for their individual troops.

I went and bought some stuff... I only spend $30 but there were a lot of folks donating and it all adds up. This is what the list said to buy:

Toilet paper
Baby wipes
Lip balm
Shampoo/Conditioner
Soap/Shower gel
Hand lotion
Sunscreen
Individually wrapped snacks
Toothpaste
Toothbrushes
Envelopes
Stationery

They will be at a WalMart in Dunwoody GA today (thurs. 3/27) and at a WalMart in Lawrenceville, GA tomorrow (fri 3/28) if you feel like donating. I guess you could just call a bunch of WalMarts to ask if they are the correct one, if you're not sure where to go.

Shoeless

D.W. Drang
March 27, 2003, 12:21 PM
Please note that mail of any type (cards, letters, packages) addressed to "Any Soldier" will no longer be delivered.

When I get to work today I'll check in with the USO and see if they are forwarding goodies. I'm not sure they are, but anyone in the Puget Sound region who wants to donate to the USO lounge at Seatac will get a good reception... :)

D.W. Drang
March 27, 2003, 12:30 PM
Double tap... :o

Phil Ca
March 27, 2003, 12:32 PM
When I was in RVN in 1965/66 I needed some .38 Special cartridges for my S&W revolver. My mother sent me a cake with the rounds wrapped in foil and stuck on the frosting like candy. There were 25 of them and when I opened the box and the other guys saw the cake theywere ready to eat. I said the cake is yours but I get all the foil wrapped candy. It turned out that the rounds were .38 caliber all right but for the semi-auto and not revolver!

A couple of weeks later I had occasion to fly South to Saigon on a C-123 Provider for the USAF. I noticed the crew chief was wearing a semi-auto and i asked what caliber. He said it was a .38 and that he was having a hard time getting ammo for it. I pulled out my stash of newly arrived rounds and his eyes were as big as saucers. I agreed to a one for one exchange and he canvassed his pilot and co-pilot and the exchange was made. That made two of us happy and the spirit of inter-service cooperation was working.

BTW, I had a letter published in a local paper and a club of teen-aged girls in the local high school adopted me and sent me all sorts of stuff. I had cookies,gum,candy, magazines,paperback books and all sorts of reading material that I passed on to our support troops and to the infantry rerturning from the field by chopper. You should have seen the eyes light up on a poor grunts face when he got fresh reading material all the way from Oregon. One of the most popular magazines was , American Horseman.



:D

Sheslinger
March 27, 2003, 12:52 PM
the last time she heard from him, he was working on 2-3 hours of sleep and they have to walk a mile to eat. So, seems that they do not have essentials at their fingertips.

Keith
March 27, 2003, 02:08 PM
Yeah, most of the stuff people are sending is readily available, or at least sporadically available...

A phone card though, is a real treasure. My brother was in both Gulf War 1 and Kosovo and was the only guy around with a phone card. He was able to call his wife regularly while nobody else could.

Keith

Ol' Badger
March 27, 2003, 02:14 PM
and he wanted me to send TOBACCO! Yup that UN-PC item. Thats what he said he missed in the 1st one. Freash socks are good to.

JamisJockey
March 27, 2003, 02:29 PM
Some pointers:
its best to send travel or sample sized items for the troops, they may have to pack or hump the items!
Ziploc baggies for loose items. Ziplocs are great for organizing and waterproofing gear, too.
Mail to 'any soilder' may not be delivered.
Contraband is a no-no (tobacco is okay)
Hot sauce is good for killing the taste of bad food :p
visit http://www.marinemoms.us for more stuff.

blades67
March 27, 2003, 03:39 PM
Phone cards and flea collars are two items near the top of the 10 most wanted items list of most soldiers.

Ebbtide
March 27, 2003, 03:45 PM
Anyone see any merit in THR adopting a unit, do we have any members serving in a forward area? Could we send him and his buddies some goodies?

Any thoughts?

Ehenz

Stevie-Ray
March 27, 2003, 04:36 PM
Right now the big 2 are phone cards and baby wipes. (Not too many showers there)

D.W. Drang
March 28, 2003, 12:34 PM
Article in today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/lifestyle/114581_soldierhelp28.shtml

Even with tight regulations, Americans find plenty of ways to aid the military
Friday, March 28, 2003
By KRISTIN DIZON
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
Americans love to send a shot of morale to their soldiers in hostile lands in airmail envelopes and brown-paper packages.
Many a GI has opened a soul-savoring missive or clutched an embroidered handkerchief or tasted a sweet chocolate-chip cookie, all sent by complete strangers.
Cut to the post-Sept. 11 world, and a grand old tradition has become a big no-no. The Department of Defense no longer will send snail mail or packages addressed to "any soldier." Not in a 21st-century world in which anthrax or other biological weapons or bombs can be sent in the mail. (Family and friends can still send snail mail if they have the service person's address.)
It's simply too much of a security risk to deliver unknown items from unknown sources to the men and women in the armed forces, so the Pentagon brass suspended popular mail programs in October.
But many people are looking for ways to express their support directly to military personnel.
There are still plenty of outlets, many of them electronic, but there also are plenty of ways to volunteer your time, donate goods or send a check.
* anyservicemember.navy.mil[url], which also is known as [url]www.operationdearabby.net, is a popular way of sending a message under the new guidelines. E-mails aren't sent directly to a GI; instead military folks have to log on and scroll through messages on the site. They can see messages intended for a particular service branch or ones that come from their home state by using pull-down menus.
* www.defendamerica.mil/nmam.html is a site where you can sign an online thank-you card for troops.
* www.operationuplink.org encourages people to donate money for calling cards that help troops stay in touch with their families.
* www.anyservicemember.org is a private site run by a civilian who works in Army public affairs. Jack Coffey of Fort McPherson near Atlanta, Ga., started his message service in November 2001. Service members visit the site to view messages. Coffey isn't sure how many messages have been posted, but he said there are more than 27,000 messages for Army personnel alone. You also can sign up for a military pen pal here.
* www.commissaries.com is a site where you can buy grocery gift certificates for soldiers and their families for discounted commissary goods. Click, "Operation: give the gift of groceries." If you don't know a specific person to send them to, you can choose distribution by the Air Force Aid Society, the USO or Fisher House Foundation, which houses military personnel and families when a loved one is at a military medical center.
* The American Red Cross runs a canteen at Fort Lewis for deploying soldiers. Volunteers serve coffee, juice and snacks to troops, who often spend hours in lines while being processed for duty. They also give soldiers care packages when they have the supplies.
The Red Cross also helps inform troops in the field of family emergencies such as a death, a critical illness or the birth of a baby.
"People die every day. People get ill every day," said Al Oliver, the senior station manager at the Fort Lewis Red Cross. "And when you least expect it, somebody hits you with bad news."
First, the Red Cross verifies the information, then sends a message through the military locator system. During combat, military commanders may only let life or death messages be delivered to the soldier.
You can contact them with emergency messages by e-mailing: redcross@lewis.army.mil or calling 253-967-4288.
If you'd like to donate goods, the station can use cranberry, orange or apple juice and unused and unopened toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, combs, lip balm and sunscreen. Please call ahead to check what's needed and to arrange for delivery or pickup.
They're also happy to have volunteers for Monday through Friday canteen shifts, but are limited to people who have military IDs.
If you'd like to send a check to support the Fort Lewis station, you can mail it to: The American Red Cross, P.O. Box 33218, Fort Lewis, WA 98433.
* Most people think of the USO, or United Service Organizations, as the group that sends celebrities such as Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe and Sheryl Crow to entertain overseas troops. But the non-profit charitable corporation, which is not a government agency, does much more to support service members and lift their morale.
The USO operates 121 centers around the world with the help of 12,000 volunteers. Another 27 affiliate centers are run independently around the United States, including one at Sea-Tac Airport and one at McChord Air Force Base.
The USO is giving care packages to soldiers at some of its locations. The $25 package includes toiletries, pre-paid phone cards, magazines and other items.
If you want to contribute to the "Operation USO Care Package," or you'd like to send a general contribution, you can mail a check to USO World Headquarters, P.O. Box 70264, Washington, DC 20024. See also www.usocares.org/home.htm or call 800-876-7469.
* The USO of the Puget Sound Area Inc. has run a military lounge at Sea-Tac, without interruption, since July 1966. It's one of only three such 24-hour USO centers in the world.
In their 2,500 square feet, they greet troops, serve food, offer 12 bunks for sleeping and daybeds and cribs for traveling military families, provide showers, video games, big-screen TV, Internet access and more.
"I think it's a tremendous asset to soldiers to give them a little refuge -- a place to unwind while they're waiting on flights," said Henry, an Army computer technician on his way from his posting in Korea to visit family in Michigan. "It's a blessing."
Krista Cossalter Sandberg, executive director of the center, hears that all the time. "I have never been more appreciated," she said. "Every day, I'm told 'thank you.' I'm hugged and I get letters, too."
The center normally serves 90,000 military personnel and their families every year. In just three months, they've already surpassed those numbers this year.
Sandberg says the center can use donations of paper plates, plastic cups, postage stamps, postcards, stationery, pre-paid phone cards, individually packaged chips and snacks, and more.
But she said people should always call and check first before bringing things to the center. She also said it's better to work through established non-profit groups that know the rules rather than giving to individuals who are taking up collections.
Volunteers are always needed at the USO and commit to at least two, four-hour shifts each month. Call 206-246-1908. If you have a military ID, you can also volunteer at the McChord USO, 206-982-1100.
You can send a monetary donation to: USO Puget Sound Area, 2nd Floor, Main Terminal, Sea-Tac Airport, Seattle, WA 98158. Their Web site is www.usopsa.org
* Service organizations also say there's plenty you can do to honor veterans, by visiting Veterans Affairs hospitals and nursing homes.
Other groups that help military families include the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the YMCA of the USA.

P-I reporter Kristin Dizon can be reached at 206-448-8118 or kristindizon@seattlepi.com
© 1998-2003 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
You might contact the Family Support Group (Army name, other services call them other things) at the nearest installation or Reserve Center and see if they are accepting donations. When I stopped in at the USO lounge (BTW, the article is incorrect about the Seatac lounge, it DID close it's doors once, for two hours after the Nisqually Quake of 2001) I was told that most of their donations are going to military families in the area, and what they don't need themselves is being sent BY THEM to the troops.

Also, at least one mailing guide I saw said that tobacco IS on the prohibited list. I don't know that anyone is checking. I also don't know if they are checking bottles of mouthwash in mailed packages to make sure they don't contain whiskey...:evil:
(Of COURSE I'm not suggesting that someone in combat be so stupid as to get drunk--but it might be nice to have that celebratory drink available when you see that Saddam has been given the Mussolini treatment...)

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