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recommendation for a "kit" gift....

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by SSN Vet, Jul 10, 2008.

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  1. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    We all knew it was coming sooner or later, and today was the day. One of the guys who works for me (and is in the USMC reserve) just got his notice that he's going to play in the sand box come the end of '08.

    Background:

    This will be his first deployment.

    I've taken him shooting a couple times now and have been trying to get him more trigger time, as his units proficiency shoots are few and far between. I also introduced him to the AK platform, thinking that I'd sure want to know how to run one if I was going there.

    Fortunately he maintained his expert marksmanship qualification this May and put a bar on his badge, and in doing so was picked up for marksmanship coach school.....three weeks of fun in the sun at Camp Lejeune. So he'll go into his pre-deployment training about as ready as he can be.

    Now my question:

    I'd like to send him off with a really nice gift to round out his "kit" when he deploys. He obviously can't take any guns or ammo. But I've read some posts by guys getting ready to deploy, where they described spending several hundred dollars to get needed items that Uncle Sam won't spring for. I'm thinking .... lights, knives, breatheable T-shirts, etc...

    I'd really like to get some specific (make and model) recommendations from guys who have been there, who can tell me what items are:
    1. very usefull
    2. not issued
    3. 'legal' for him to take.

    Thanks in advance,

    SSN
     
  2. Acera

    Acera Member

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    A good knife is always appreciated. My cousin (2Lt, infantry) is currently deployed to Iraq. I "lent" him a knife his father carried in Viet Nam, and had passed on to my father. They do not seem to be issued good knifes.

    Another cousin gave him a Gerber multi tool, that has come in handy I am told.

    His mom's company recently bought his entire platoon Eotech sights for their weapons. Another item not issued to everyone, he actually took of his govt. issued ACOG for the Eotech.

    His former church got the money together and sent the platoon Surefire flashlights. They really appreciated those.

    We also have had a local coffee shop ship pounds of ground coffee to them, for free. They say the coffee there sucks.

    I also have taken up a collection of movies and sent them over, DVD's are appreciated. Included were instructions to pass the movies, they don't want to bring home, on to the next unit when they leave.

    These folks are doing a great job over there, and anything you give them means a lot to them.


    Remember him after he has been there a few months and surprise him with regular care packages.
     
  3. EHCRain10

    EHCRain10 Member

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    +1 to a good multi tool
     
  4. tank mechanic

    tank mechanic Member

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    I would hold off on the breatheable T-shirts. When they are around flame they tend to melt, which can make a bad situation worse.

    I would buy him a good folder and a surefire flashlight. I haven't used one with the led lamp replacement, but if you ask around and get a thumbs up, then you should replace the regular filament bulb. It is very annoying when the regular filament burns out.

    As for the folder I would recommend a Spyderco, because they look rather stylish and are very good cutting tools.
     
  5. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Send them a coffee grinder (the burr type...) and a good french press.

    Remember - it's all in the grinds.
     
  6. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    that would be high on my priority list....but this young man doesn't drink coffee (yet)

    any thought on a "the real deal" Kabar?
     
  7. bogie

    bogie Member

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    For what you'd spend on a ka-bar, you can get a better knife. Today, they're a lot of advertising.

    He -will- drink coffee. He likely just hasn't had the good stuff yet. (I never understood the film Baghdad Cafe until I figured out that coffee didn't need to come in a jar).

    Knife-wise, something sturdy, good steel, that he's not going to break from using it as a pry-bar...
     
  8. Packman

    Packman Member

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    There's a local restaurant here that has started a donation where they send hot sauces to the troops. The walls of the building are positively plastered with grateful letters from the troops for the hot sauces. I buy a few of them and eat it on everything. It can save a questionable meal, for sure.

    The restaurant, for those interested, is Tijuana Flats. Delightful food, and good hot sauces. I think you might be able to donate online. I give a few bucks every so often.
     
  9. Acera

    Acera Member

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    Uh Packman, you might want to let us know what city your are in, if you want us to support Tijuana Flats.
     
  10. bogie

    bogie Member

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    It's right next to The Wal-Mart, across the street from The Gun Show.
     
  11. Acera

    Acera Member

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    Thanks Bogie, If it is the place that serves free chips, I know exactly where it is.
     
  12. jagugator

    jagugator Member

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    Man I thought I was going to die from eating "the hottest" hot sauce at Tijuana flats. It felt like my throat was closing up. :what:

    They are a chain that I believe just moved into the Hampton Roads area. Atleast there were none that I knew of prior to my 07 deployment. Now they seem to be all over the place.
     
  13. gtmerkley

    gtmerkley member

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    Do some surchning for both.
     
  14. UhKlem

    UhKlem Member

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    A good tactical carry sling is always useful. Some folks like single point slings, some like 2-pt Giles style slings.

    A good sized everyday knife is a Spyderco Delica or Benchmade 530. A couple of Swiss Army Classics are always handy.

    An LED light is useful. If the Surefires are too steap, the Fenix lights with Cree high output LEDs are very nice, especially as a small, non-weapon-mounted light. A small headlamp with low output and red LEDs is also useful for chores or reading without disturbing others.

    Merino wool sox are feet savers; thin running or cycling style for that climate. They stink less, absorb more. Good sunscreen. One that blocks UV-A (those rays don't burn but are more energetic at causing kin cancer). Neutrogena ultra dry lotions with Helioplex, or Blue Lizard with titanium or zinc pigment are a good way to go. Several pairs of cheap clear and tinted safety glasses as they will get lost, broken, or borrowed. Spare camelback tubes, bite valves, and bladders. Electronic earplugs.

    For downtime, a small short wave radio might be nice.
     
  15. dogmush

    dogmush Member

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    This is based on an Army deployment, I'm not sure what exactly the Corps get issued.

    Things I bought, or wished I had, prior to coming here:

    Good Gerber. (the issue one is horrible)

    Good Folding Knife. I like spring assisted, and nothing more then about $60. It needs to be good, but you're gonna mess it up so don't bring an Emerson.

    Holster. M9 holsters as issued blow. I like my Blackhawk SERPA, (and it comes in USMC tan).

    Optics. I got an ACOG, and love it, but I know some guys that got the CCO and bought an EOtech.

    Good Socks. 'Nuff said.

    Cofee Grinder. Definatlly. Everyone laughed at my hand crank untill I made coffe on the exhaust manifold of a HMMWV in the middle of nowhere.

    IPod. The 160 GB one. And all the music and movies I can stuff on it. Seriously it's more boring over here then anything else.

    Good hot sauce and condiments. If it aint Texas Pete, It ain't in the Mess Hall. And they don't cook for flavor here.

    Books are always good if he likes to read. (Can Marines read?)

    SureFire. Lots of bulbs and batts for it over here.

    Also the mag pouch that goes on an M4 buttstock seems to be popular.
     
  16. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

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    Wasn't there a big deal recently about how they liked BoreSnakes over there? Maybe a couple of them would be nice.
     
  17. doc2rn

    doc2rn Member

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    I would go with the a good head wrap/ baklava type of thing and wrap around shades. The green tinted goggles they issue are near worthless after the first sandstorm.
     
  18. M203Sniper

    M203Sniper member

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    1. Knife (useful)
    I have a Kersahw folder that you couldn't pry away.

    2. Multitool (very Useful)

    3. I-pod (legal to take & gift card for more songs works too)

    4. Journal (Legal)

    5. Quality Flashlight. (essential & impossible to get - there)




    - Semper Fi -
     
  19. pappy

    pappy Member

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    After he gets there, send cookies, lots and lots of cookies. We had a friend that went a couple of years ago and my wife sent him 6 dozen or so every month, his whole outfit was VERY grateful!
     
  20. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    The multitools I have been sending over have been extremely well received. The boys all write and say they that send have several so they can trade.

    The biggest hit I scored was when I sent an entire box of those Photon II lights. Get a cardboard box lined with bubblewrap and buy some of those "bug" lights or their knockoffs and fill up the box.:D
     
  21. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Member

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    I had a niece over there and she (and her friends) appreciated "fresh" fruit. We would buy it here and then vac pack it and ship. She said it always arrived in very good condition and was a treat. Before she was shipped over I made sure she had the Surefire LED, spare batteries and a Leatherman Wave. She knew if she could think of anything else all she had to do was to drop Uncle Bill an email and it magically appeared...... The least I could do, considering what she was doing for me.......
     
  22. ColinthePilot

    ColinthePilot Member

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    As controversial as it sounds, my buddy said send american cigarettes. Even if you're friend doesn't smoke (he's a Marine, so I'm sure he does haha) My friend said good American smokes are tough to find so he can trade with them.
    He's spooling up for round two, and he has been all over the Blackhawk website. He got a different drop-leg holster (I don't think his unit carries M-9's though. they're Spec Ops) and a Blackhawk compatible, camoflauged pouch for his digital camera.
     
  23. John4me05

    John4me05 Member

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    How are they as far as hydration purposes and such go... Would Camel backs be appreciated... Quality cleaning materials for their firearms would have to be a top on their lists... Some break free and bore snakes would probably be a God send when out and about...
     
  24. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    I sent an s load of cleaning stuff to the 1st Cav when that article in SGN came out. I would think cleaning supplies would be appreciated as well, patches, Q-Tips, lube and bore cleaner.
     
  25. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    read through a long kit post on ARFCOM and got many good ideas....

    I suspect some of the items desperately needed in 2005 are now issued.

    Also sounds like many opportunities to blow money on stuff that doesn't get used or worse, gets in the way.

    I'll have to ask him Monday whether he's thinking this far ahead yet. (He just found out Thursday and is still trying to calm down his women folk).

    He seems very level headed about the whole affair.

    I'm trying to encourage him to look at the deployment as an opportunity to see the best of the corps. and to re-discover the reasons why he joined up. Up to the present time, he's been pretty discouraged by his experiences at his reserve unit.
     
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