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Sending boy off to Afghanistan
6/3/2012 | me

Posted on 06/03/2012 4:02:40 PM PDT by eeevil conservative

Many of you have friends and family in the military. Other than my grandfather, Navy- WWII, I do not. My son's best friend, like my own, leaves for Afghanistan later this month. We have a lot of history. This is so hard.

Anyway- I am planning a going away party for him. It will be a "scavenger hunt." A trip down memory lane. All of his friends are contributing. "I remember when...." For instance, he and my son ran track, they will go to the old school track and take a picture there. We had a camping trip, they will go there and take pictures. I included the local VFW canteen for a visit. He wants to be a fireman, local firehouse will let him come by and put on all the gear for a pic!

The end game is a rally at HOOTERS- where we get video of him doing the "chicken dance" with the waitresses.

There will me more than I listed, but I LOVE FREEPERS and we have so many great heroes who have served, that I wanted to reach out and ask for suggestions from ya'll.

We will be taking the pics and videos and creating a photo album page, so everyone can see, and create a video to upload. This way, while there, if he ever feels down or alone, he can watch the video once he is able- duty, etc in consideration. I figure he won't forget the party, but what is more, is the party itself will evoke so many good memories of those he loves and special times with them. I want him to be on base, and call to the other fellow heroes, and say, "This was my going away party..." and show them the youtube video....

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated on how I can make this more special...

Thanks,

EC


TOPICS: Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; war; waronterror
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thanks
1 posted on 06/03/2012 4:02:44 PM PDT by eeevil conservative
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To: eeevil conservative

What a great tribute! The kid is lucky to have people like you. We all are lucky to have military folks like him.

Jim
U.S. Navy Retired (and I threw all of my own parties)


2 posted on 06/03/2012 4:06:51 PM PDT by jimfree (In Nov 2012 my 11 y/o granddaughter will have more relevant executive experience than Barack Obama)
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To: eeevil conservative

What a great tribute! The kid is lucky to have people like you. We all are lucky to have military folks like him.

Jim
U.S. Navy Retired (and I threw all of my own parties)


3 posted on 06/03/2012 4:06:51 PM PDT by jimfree (In Nov 2012 my 11 y/o granddaughter will have more relevant executive experience than Barack Obama)
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To: eeevil conservative

What a great tribute! The kid is lucky to have people like you. We all are lucky to have military folks like him.

Jim
U.S. Navy Retired (and I threw all of my own parties)


4 posted on 06/03/2012 4:06:56 PM PDT by jimfree (In Nov 2012 my 11 y/o granddaughter will have more relevant executive experience than Barack Obama)
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To: eeevil conservative

Make sure to update the address book while you have everyone there.

And make sure to give them my thanks.


5 posted on 06/03/2012 4:08:12 PM PDT by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: jimfree

THANK YOU, SIR— for our service!

The next time you get near ATL— u let me know— you can a party that YOU didn’t throw yourself!


6 posted on 06/03/2012 4:10:10 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: eeevil conservative

Best wishes to your son and his friend! Anoreth got a little brother as a present before she left for the Coast Guard, but I understand not everyone can swing that ...


7 posted on 06/03/2012 4:11:12 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Make sure you notice when I'm being subtly ironic!)
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To: BykrBayb

THANKS for that tip!

we are going to his yellow ribbon ceremony to get all the info we need on sending him packages, we will be sure to be the ones gathering, but yes- he needs an address book so he can send letters! I didn’t think of that!!! THANKS!


8 posted on 06/03/2012 4:12:20 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: Tax-chick

ROFL!!!


9 posted on 06/03/2012 4:14:01 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: eeevil conservative

That sounds great, and it also sounds like enough. You don’t want to over schedule. Leave some down time just to talk. If it’s not ending at Hooters, maybe kicking back with a simple bonfire at home might be a nice ending.


10 posted on 06/03/2012 4:18:08 PM PDT by keats5 (Not all of us are hypnotized.)
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To: eeevil conservative

It was amusing, especially because people thought Frank was her son, because they both have red hair.

But seriously, troops away from home (my father was in the Navy for 32 years) want to hear from their family. Get an address, and plan to write every day. I did this when Anoreth was in Basic - just a note card, usually, with anything that had happened at home or at church - and then when she was in the “rehab unit” with a foot fracture, I cut out magazine articles from “Road & Track” and “American Cowboy” and mailed them six pages at a time.

Making sure your son and and his friend each take an up-to-date address book is a great idea, but also, everyone they know should write to them as often as possible. “HI, I went to the Jimmy Buffett concert and you didn’t!” When they get someplace with a known address, send them boxes of batteries, baby wipes, trail mix, and granola bars. Or if you don’t get a firm address, send something to an address from “AnySoldier.com,” and hope someone’s goods get to your son.


11 posted on 06/03/2012 4:20:39 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Make sure you notice when I'm being subtly ironic!)
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To: eeevil conservative

The best way to send him a package is go to the USPS and get him a LARGE “if it fits it ships” box. They have some specially decorated just for the military, but that’s not really necessary.

You can stuff it to the gills and send it to any US Military Base for the domestic rate. It’s something like $16.

My son’s in Okinawa. He get’s his packages within 7-10 days.

A USMC mom~


12 posted on 06/03/2012 4:22:02 PM PDT by keats5 (Not all of us are hypnotized.)
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To: eeevil conservative

“Any thoughts would be very much appreciated on how I can make this more special... “

Make sure he is actually ready to go. Seriously. I just saw one of my best friends off two days ago to Afghanistan and he was terribly unprepared. The military really doesn’t do a very good job of it.


13 posted on 06/03/2012 4:24:43 PM PDT by CodeToad (Homosexuals are homophobes. They insist on being called 'gay' instead.)
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To: keats5

GREAT IDEA!!!


14 posted on 06/03/2012 4:29:57 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: Tax-chick

Most of the troops just email or face book message home now-a-days. I only got snail mail from my son when he was in Basic Training and had no access to a computer. Even those in Afghanistan manage to get to computers on a semi-regular basis, so email addresses are crucial. My friend’s son lives in a tent somewhere in Afghanistan, and he skypes and emails home regularly.

Be VERY careful what you post on their face book sites. Their personal reputation’s matter when promotions are being considered. My son keeps his site above reproach. He deletes any potentially questionable post ASAP.


15 posted on 06/03/2012 4:31:21 PM PDT by keats5 (Not all of us are hypnotized.)
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To: CodeToad; eeevil conservative

For the scavanger hunt, how about searching for extra rifle magazines, better goggles, gloves, socks, etc. than what is issued? With perhaps note cards or small toys to be handed in for the real thing? I suppose somewhere there is a website that lists useful personal items as well as better-quality military gear?


16 posted on 06/03/2012 4:32:15 PM PDT by 21twelve
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To: keats5; Monkey Face; Mrs. Don-o; AnAmericanMother

Wow, technology! Anoreth rarely had access to a computer while they were in the Pacific. We’d get emails, some of which had a large FReeper following. She didn’t get on Facebook until she was posted as a trainer at Cape May earlier this year, and now our Bill, her favorite brother, tells us what’s really going on! “Anoreth says she’ll be home May 16 ...”. “Oh, really? First I’ve heard of it!”

All my dad’s years in the Navy, there was just US Mail. Letters to Dad were like my diary.

I sent Anoreth boxes of trail mix and granola bars when her boat was in port in Seattle, where they don’t have Walmart.

(’Face, Mrs. Don-o, AAM, discussion on the young man’s going away to Afghanistan? The OP is somthing with a lot of eeeeee’s.)


17 posted on 06/03/2012 4:39:27 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Make sure you notice when I'm being subtly ironic!)
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To: Tax-chick

You so rock!! thanks for all these tips!!!!

BLESS YOU— andyour family


18 posted on 06/03/2012 4:50:54 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: keats5

COOL!!!!! thanks!! I am so thankful u shared that! I am in the dark here...but determined to treat him like he was my own there and do all I can...


19 posted on 06/03/2012 4:53:07 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: eeevil conservative

It wasn’t my plan to have a warrior goddess daughter (”Diosa Guerrera, Alma de Espana”), but Anoreth, who just turned 21, never wanted anything except to be in the military. She chose the Coast Guard because they promised to put her on the front lines, and they did: 2-1/2 years in the Pacific, on drug and immigration enforcment, fisheries enforcement, and “showing the flag” in tiny Asian ports my dad never saw on an aircraft carrier.

Afghanistan is a scary prospect, but so is sending a teenager to college, knowing that nobody is monitoring his drinking and driving until it’s too late. The military, at least, has an investment in his survival. Bombard your son with mail ... if he doesn’t want to hear about the tomato worms or the dog’s sore foot, maybe his platoon-mates who aren’t getting mail will.


20 posted on 06/03/2012 4:57:17 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Make sure you notice when I'm being subtly ironic!)
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To: CodeToad

not ready how???

I mean emotionally- I think he is good...he and my son spent Memorial Day with us....my son played with his sisters all day...he sat with me...we really talked, about family, God, his troubled past, etc...honestly... he said all the things to me I wish my own son said....he is wise and mature beyond his years....

he worries about his team a bit....some drill went not well...what can I do????

plz don’t hold back— freepmail if ya need to— let me know what I can do for him...


21 posted on 06/03/2012 4:57:17 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: keats5

AH!! I know to be careful on fb etc about info— but didnt think of the other stuff...I stink at using FB— so i will be sure get email addy from him...I will still prolly write everyday, just so he can get mail and know the that extra effort comes to lovin him...


22 posted on 06/03/2012 5:00:20 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: 21twelve

GREAT IDEA!!!!


23 posted on 06/03/2012 5:04:07 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: 21twelve

Not a bad idea.


24 posted on 06/03/2012 5:05:52 PM PDT by CodeToad (Homosexuals are homophobes. They insist on being called 'gay' instead.)
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To: eeevil conservative

When you get his address, stamp and address several envelopes, then place them in your pocketbook. Whenever you run into one of his friends give the friend the stamped envelope, a hug and a gentle reminder to write a note.


25 posted on 06/03/2012 5:07:28 PM PDT by Grazie (Serving those who served)
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To: Tax-chick

thank you.....you are such a gem....God Bless your brave daughter.....

I am committed to loving him so hard, he will report me for stalking!!!


26 posted on 06/03/2012 5:07:28 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: eeevil conservative

I know exactly how you feel. My cuz is serving at Sokor close to the DMZ, and he’s in harm’s way everyday, defending an ungrateful nation that don’t want Americans there. When he comes back stateside though, we go nuts in Vegas. Every month I download all new shows. movies, comics etc worth 30 days and 300 gigs of movies, shows via bit torrent and send it to him.


27 posted on 06/03/2012 5:07:35 PM PDT by max americana
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To: eeevil conservative

When you get his address, stamp and address several envelopes, then place them in your pocketbook. Whenever you run into one of his friends give the friend the stamped envelope, a hug and a gentle reminder to write a note.


28 posted on 06/03/2012 5:08:29 PM PDT by Grazie (Serving those who served)
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To: eeevil conservative

I just noticed you said your son is interested in firefighting. My Anoreth, 5’1” and 110 lbs, has had a full course of fire-fighting training and stood firewatch for uncounted hours with the Coast Guard. (They trained her as a rescue swimmer, too ... if anyone who needs rescuing is really small, like a dog ... ;-).

It’s a scary situation with people’s trying to kill our kids all the time, but statistically, most of them die in car accidents, even in a war zone. Stay calm, stay positive, stay in touch by any means. They’re doing a good thing.


29 posted on 06/03/2012 5:08:29 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Make sure you notice when I'm being subtly ironic!)
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To: eeevil conservative

I would say the best thing you can do for him before he leaves, is to advise him that if he has any “things” that he’s left unsaid toward friends, ex-friends etc. that should be cleared up.

I realize this sounds morbid or whatever, but something that really needs clearing up and wasn’t handled can cause a lot of problems. Imagine getting word while in a war zone that “Uncle Frank” or whomever is not expected to make it another day and this kid has never apologized for some misunderstanding that turned into hard feelings.

It’s hard for young people to think of things like that, but it’s much better to head out to a remote location with all your ducks in a row as far as stuff like that goes.

Also, one thing that a lot of troops overseas like is when they have a young relative or close friend (say 3rd grade on up) that has the class “adopt” the service member. It’s fun for them to get mail and pictures from kids. So if there’s someone like that or maybe a teacher friend you know, that is always appreciated.


30 posted on 06/03/2012 5:10:21 PM PDT by leapfrog0202 ("the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery" Sarah Palin)
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To: eeevil conservative

Gear. It seems the military either skimped on gear or didn’t supply the proper gear at all. I was stunned by how lacking his gear was. He is going for a year, yet, he was missing so much. He had his helmet not show up, second pair of boots were gone, poncho liner made it but no poncho, his pack was in bad enough shape as to be useless, SERE kit was missing, some but not all cold weather gear was present, no first aid kit, etc. He was told, “Well, try to get what you need when you get there.” We all know how that’s going to go.


31 posted on 06/03/2012 5:10:52 PM PDT by CodeToad (Homosexuals are homophobes. They insist on being called 'gay' instead.)
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To: Kathy in Alaska

Hi Kathy

Would you mind pinging the Canteen list to this thread? I think they could be very helpful.


32 posted on 06/03/2012 5:11:18 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: Grazie

That is an AWESOME idea! Getting mail from such people always makes the day. I spent a few years running around the planet and when my mail would catch up to me I was surprised by who remembered enough to mail something.


33 posted on 06/03/2012 5:14:10 PM PDT by CodeToad (Homosexuals are homophobes. They insist on being called 'gay' instead.)
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To: Grazie

HA!!!

I was plannin on puttin together notebooks for his friends..do’s don’ts what we will be cool to send - when we plan on sending, address. lists, and a place for pics and him to sign before he goes(like a yearbook).. GREAT IDEA! WE WILL PUT A BUNCH OF PRE-STAMPED AND ADDRESSED ENVELOPES IN THEIR PACKET!!!

you rock!


34 posted on 06/03/2012 5:14:16 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: keats5

USMC Mom,

The large USPS Priority Mail flat rate box is about $14.00 to mail and the weight limit is 70 pounds. The heaviest flat rate box I’ve sent so far was about 22 pounds. Since a friend took command of a unit at Fallujah in 2005, I have been sending packages to Marines and sailors forward-deployed and have mailed somewhere around 500 boxes.

The timeframe from Chicago varies if the service member is at a FOB or at Camp Leatherneck. Larger brown boxes are accepted for military mail but can be pricey. A while back I sent chips and salsa and the postage was more than the value of the contents.

Once, I sent my friend several golf clubs and a bag of used golf balls and the box dimensions were only 2 inches under the maximum limit. The postage was around $80.00. Since my friend and his sergeant major are big golf nuts, the package was a big hit.

At last year’s Birthday Ball, guest of honor Ben Stein asked me why I do it; I said, “It keeps me out of trouble; besides, if not me, then who?”


35 posted on 06/03/2012 5:16:06 PM PDT by 12Gauge687
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To: eeevil conservative

No ideas to pass on to you, eeevil, but want to wish your son and friend well and I pray for their safe return.


36 posted on 06/03/2012 5:18:42 PM PDT by upsdriver
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To: Tax-chick

we adopted a shift at our local firehouse....we go once a month to visit....sometimes we grill out steaks.. sometimes we just bring ice cream..Christmas morning we took them breakfast, before we opened gifts— LOL!! and we ate with them and the kids not ONCE asked to leave to go open their presents.....I will be sure to mention to him and them that this is a desire he has...

YOU ARE SO funny too! I am 5 one also— but gained from 110 once I hit 49 yrs old! I bet she is tough as nails!! I know I was...still am....scare folks when I they mess with my kids...not matter what my size...

;-)


37 posted on 06/03/2012 5:20:30 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: max americana

COOL!! GREAT IDEA!!!

God Bless your cousin!!


38 posted on 06/03/2012 5:23:42 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: eeevil conservative; CodeToad

http://afghanlessons.blogspot.com/2009/04/chapter-1-gear.html

Here’s a site I found that looks helpful, looks like there are many others as well.


39 posted on 06/03/2012 5:24:00 PM PDT by 21twelve
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To: leapfrog0202

Thanks!!

I will talk to him about this...and a class to adopt! I know the perfect teacher to talk to about it!! plus my daughters and their present classes come fall....

thank you so very much.....


40 posted on 06/03/2012 5:26:57 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: keats5; eeevil conservative
The best way to send him a package is go to the USPS and get him a LARGE “if it fits it ships” box. They have some specially decorated just for the military, but that’s not really necessary.

You can stuff it to the gills and send it to any US Military Base for the domestic rate. It’s something like $16.

Definitely this. I've been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for a total of more than two years, and my wife sent me anything I needed/wanted in those boxes. Letters stuffed in there are fantastic as well. A box per week or so (that can get expensive, get others to rotate in with you on a schedule, if possible) with just some magazines and some candy and whatever else you want to toss his way will always be greatly appreciated. Try not to deluge him with too much stuff that he'd have to carry back home, though--proper storage space can be a pain in the neck to secure.

Also, think about taking some video of this party and cutting it together along with still images, etc all set to music and burn it to a disc for him. That won't take up much room, it's cheap to send, and it'll give him something to look at and remember home/family during his down-time.

41 posted on 06/03/2012 5:26:56 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: eeevil conservative

Our Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts do a lot for the local firehouse. My Cubs last year got to ride around the block a few times in the engine, since nothing was going on. Best experience of their lives.

Our kids have to move on, and there are much worse places, statistically, than Afghanistan. I hope your son does a lot of good there. Encourage him to be positive, whatever happens. Eye on the big picture: we’re alive today, we can be alive tomorrow.


42 posted on 06/03/2012 5:28:12 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Make sure you notice when I'm being subtly ironic!)
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To: CodeToad

WOW!!!

I will be at his yellow ribbon ceremony this saturday....is there a list they can give me of what he shouuld have? and a list of places to get what he is missing???


43 posted on 06/03/2012 5:30:55 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: eeevil conservative

My advice is simple: Make sure to give any military personnel lots of hugs and handshakes and positive reinforcement prior to their shipping out, and thank them in advance for “taking out the trash”.

My older daughter’s fiance recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan and he said they always appreciate anything sent to them while deployed. His dad would send him cartons of cigarettes even though he didn’t smoke, simply so he could share with his fellow Marines and with the ‘friendlies’ over there. Sweet treats to share with the local kids are a good thing, too. FYI, while out on missions there are kids who will get pretty bold about trying to steal stuff off the vehicles, so that’s something for him to watch out for.

As for communication with people at home, they usually allow some time for Skyping and will periodically make a satellite phone available for the guys to make calls stateside.

Two kids’ mom saw some Navy guys at the airport yesterday and wished them well as they were getting ready to board a plane for who-knows-where. They were very appreciative.

All the best to you and yours and theirs. We truly are lucky to have these heroes in our lives.


44 posted on 06/03/2012 5:31:52 PM PDT by Two Kids' Dad ((((( ABO - 2012 )))))
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To: eeevil conservative

You’re welcome. I hope the festivities go over well.


45 posted on 06/03/2012 5:34:07 PM PDT by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: 21twelve

AWESOME!! THANKS!


46 posted on 06/03/2012 5:40:13 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: Future Snake Eater

YEs! already plan on making the video...asked his friends to get stuff together too to add.. and song suggestions etc...

space— got it....send usable stuff... although... let me run this by you...I have a wooden vile of anointing oil from Israel...I have had it for over 10 yrs... I plan to give this to him to take with... I don’t know how your faith is...not an issue to me... but I know he and I are both strong in faith...

it is about 3 inches high and one inch wide, made of wood...is it something he could carry in a pocket, would they let him carry it in his pocket??


47 posted on 06/03/2012 5:46:08 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: Tax-chick

thanks! you are a rock...I appreciate so much your time to share so much....u have a great spirit...thanks for sharin it


48 posted on 06/03/2012 5:48:42 PM PDT by eeevil conservative (GIVE ME A PLACE TO STAND AND I WILL MOVE THE EARTH....Archimedes)
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To: eeevil conservative

Sure, you can carry whatever you like in your pocket as long as it meets TSA regs. Though if it’s wood, he can keep it in his pocket since it won’t set off detectors.


49 posted on 06/03/2012 5:49:48 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: eeevil conservative

Make sure you have the party at least 7 days before your son deploys. My wife was bumped up 5 days unexpectedly. Screwed up all her going away arrangements and to make matters worse, the flight overseas left on the date originally scheduled.

Military screws up travel plans all the time due to bureaucratic snafus and in my wife’s case, she was suck in Virginia for 3 days living under billeting hell when she could have spent more time with the kids.


50 posted on 06/03/2012 5:50:50 PM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians)
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