Skip to comments.CARE PACKAGES for our Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2005
Posted on 02/19/2005 12:40:42 AM PST by patriciaruth
Time for a new thread!
Our Merry Band of Patriots has seen a psy-ops unit at Bagram, Afghanistan, help educate voters in Afghanistan and come home successfully, while we supported them and special forces in the field by sending over 100 movies and many packages of snacks and toiletries and Hallowe'en candy. A Christmas tree and decorations (Daybreakcoming) and stockings (Ican'tbelieveit) and cards and over 400 candy canes were sent for their follow-on unit, and a box with movies and magazines and misc is just beginning to fill for their next care package. The movies and books we sent previously went into the Special Forces library there.
We've seen Beast Battery at Kirkuk, Iraq, through till their deployment home, sending them over 100 movies and dozens of books and a microwave and DVD/VCR player (from arjay) and many big boxes of snacks. Plus a huge wave of goodies was organized by McLynnan for Christmas in Kirkuk (2 prelit trees, ornaments, Santa suit, many stockings with stuffers, many cards, and a couple thousand candy canes to share out with all the forces there).
We've supported the 411th Engineers at Baghdad in 2004 with about 70 movies and several dozen books, a Playstation 2 and a Nintendo console with a couple dozen games (from asgardshill and ican'tbelieveit), a 4 foot Christmas tree and ornaments and boxes of snacks and many cards and 600 candy canes. In the next couple months we will be bidding them Godspeed as they return to their homebase in Hawaii.
We've sent over 50 movies, a DVD/VCR player (from arjay), and a dozen and a half books to an MI unit near Kirkuk, plus some Christmas decorations and stocking stuffers, and many cards and 156 candy canes. They have mostly left for home now and we just sent a package with more movies to their follow-on unit.
Also we have sent some packages to an Aviation unit at Balad, Iraq and to an Infantry Medics unit, and a small Christmas package each to another AVN unit and an MP unit.
Stryker Infantry company formerly at Fallujah and now at Mosul since November has been the major focus of our care packages these past months. All of Stryker at Mosul has taken fire, and our adopted company has suffered a KIA and some soldiers with severe injuries.
Early on we sent food items (mostly power bars and dried fruit and nuts) then Christmas stockings stuffed with goodies and many cards and 200 candy canes, and since Christmas have begun sending movies. They recently received a DVD/VCR player (from arjay) and with the movies just mailed today their collection will total about 75 movies and a dozen books.
And all this happened because our grassroots volunteer group began forming in the early summer of 2001 to send care packages to Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, when the 101st Airborne and then the 10th Mountain were there.
The contents of packages just mailed will be listed in post below.
Mailed February 18, 2005, to a company in Stryker brigade at Mosul.
Box 1, postage $10.90, insured for $182.00 10 DVD movies:
Witness (Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis)
American Pie 2
Deuce Bigalow (Ron Schneider)
Gone in 60 Seconds
Last of the Mohicans (Daniel Day-Lewis, Wes Studi, Russell Means)
2 Fast, 2 Furious
Dennis Miller-the Raw Feed
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson)
Russka (Edward Rutherford)
Then Sings My Soul (hymns and their histories)
The Virginian (Owen Wister)
4 packs of Mach 3 Turbo razors each with a refill shaving head
18 travel sewing kits
1 letter and 1 card from troop supporters
smiling face stickers
a freebie child's pearl necklace
Box 2, postage $11.90, insured for $213.00
5 VHS movies:
The Fast and the Furious
Chronicles of Riddick
The Day After Tomorrow (Dennis Quaid)
Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Scorpion King (The Rock)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Stargate SG-1 Seasons 5 and 6 (Richard Dean Anderson)
Army magazine Feb 05
3 travel sewing kits
travel size shower gel, body lotion
Mailed to new MI unit at Kirkuk, February 18, 2005:
1 box, postage $10.90, insured for $200
12 DVD movies:
Shanghai Knights (Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson)
The Rookie (Dennis Quaid)
Lawrence of Arabia (Peter O'Toole)
Glory (Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick)
Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson)
Lethal Weapon 1 (Mel Gibson, Danny Glover)
Frequency (Dennis Quaid, Jim Caviezel)
Airplane! (Leslie Nelson, Lloyd Bridges, Kareem)
Shrek 2 (Mike Myers, Carmen Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Eddie Murphy)
The Right Stuff (Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn)
Troy (Brad Pitt)
3 VHS movies:
The Fast and the Furious
2 Fast, 2 Furious
The Scorpion King (The Rock)
Crossword Puzzle Book and pencil
3 packs gum
roasted pistachios and almonds in the shell
Ping to our new thread for 2005.
See above post for some boxes that went out to Mosul and Kirkuk today.
It seems there is an item badly needed by our guys in combat. Read this, please....
Thanks for posting the web address. I read all of it.
Also looked into the headlight thing. Found some good data/prices at http://store.karstsports.com/petaledhe.html and wondered if something could be set up contribution-wise so that 50 units could be ordered. They'd end up costing $28 ea plus shipping.
I've sent Mike an email along this line and asked what address they'd be shipped to.
Great News! I was just was out and ran across some DVD's on sale or previewed:
Without a Paddle
50 First Dates (Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore)
Harold and Kumar go to White Castle (John Cho, Kal Penn)
Back to the Future trilogy (Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd)
Blue Colar Comedy Tour The Movie (Jeff Foxworthy)
Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again (Jeff Foxworthy)
My Cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci, Maria Tomei)
So this means we are down to these 6 movies that have been requested for Stryker at Mosul:
XXX (Triple X)
Alien v. Predator
Back to School (Rodney Dangerfield)
American Pie 1 (We just sent 2)
I read the ad you found below and am willing to do a fund raiser with you two for headlamps.
We could split the order up. I'd send a batch to Stryker at Mosul and you could tell me where to ship the rest.
This ad doesn't mention if it is LED 3 or 4, nor how many lumens this head light punches out.
Wow. That's great! Hannausa is the one who brought this to our attention on the Wa state board. I'll tell her what you found.
Just how do we go about doing a fundraiser?
First we need to decide how we're going to divie up the 50.
How many do you want to get for your guys?
Next we need to verify this is a good source and that our guys would like this item.
Finally we need to ask everyone we know and ping everyone we know.
Before we start we might want to check with the Hobbit Hole if they want to join with us for this one, and take a share of the head lights.
I've got to go out and weed for a while. I'll check back with you later this evening.
(Ironically, I understand this is a French outfit.)
Maybe a PayPal account could be set up - people will donate more readily if it "painless".
Apparently it is French, but there seems to be an American version in Utah.
We need to know how many "lumens" are produced by this head lamp.
For instance a high tech small flash light that we sent to Stryker to check out produced 60 lumens.
Never did hear back about what they thought of it. OR if they need head lights.
So, while you all check into how many lumens this model produces, I'll fire off an email to Mosul and ask if they want head lights.
The article mentions that the "four light" version is the best, but it must have the red light filter. The three light version is out there, but apparently is not as good for our guys at night.
Many of us have our contacts in the field. Let's maybe sit on this a couple days till we have heard back from them?
If our guys need something that the military machine is not providing, we need to give that machine a nudge! Meanwhile, we can fill in the gaps. That machine doesn't always move as fast as it should.
I received this e-mail from Mike. He is there, he sees the "big picture", and the big need.
But it is like I said on the WA board...I would be safer in my home if I had an armed guard patroling around the outside 24/7, but I cannot afford that, so I depend on a locked door, good ears and Betsy in the drawer beside my bed.
I am sure there are lots of different things that would make our soldiers safer or help them do what they have to do easier, but there are limits...that is just a reality. Besides, even if the US ordered enough lights to outfit everyone today, how long would it be before enough of them could be produced to do the job??
It seems to me that if we could outfit one soldier, or 10, or 50, or 100, etc. that would be far better than none. I don't know........what do the rest of you think...and at any rate, after much delay from my rambling, here is Mike's e-mail:
Hi, Hanna and Al!
Looks like a dust storm is kicking up outside. Place is getting that eery orange glow.
Have been thinking about your ideas with the lights. Firstly, your thoughtfulness toward the soldiers is commendable. Yet, translating those good thoughts into realities is obviously expensive and somewhat daunting. Sure, it's possible to send a few lights over here, but even if you could afford 10,000 (which, with a discount, might cost maybe $150,000 to $200,000, I would guess), that would be a small impact. There are hundreds of thousands of soldiers between Iraq, Afghanistan, South America...North Carolina... You get the picture. Probably would cost a few million dollars to really outfit those who need the lights. Obviously, a few million dollars is peanut husks to the US government. I think instead of trying to fix a few soldiers with lights, it's probably a better to just keep hitting people with the message..."Our soldiers need lights...our soldiers need lights...our soldiers need lights." The right person in the right place, with the wave of a hand, could fix this problem.
Okay, Hannah, of all the zingers...Petzl is a French company? Oh boy. And I've been using their lights for years and had no idea.
Where do we go from here? I think the best impact they I can make, personally, is merely observe and report so that the information is available. I am ranging all over the battlefield here, and units are in constant flux. Right now is a particularly hectic time for the troops in this AO because 1st ID is pulling out and 3rd ID (and 42nd ID) are pulling in. Not the ideal time to start contacting anyone in this AO. I think this should be brought up not even at the Army level, but at the DOD level. (Navy, Marines, AF and others will also need lights).
Do you know anyone at high level in the DOD?
I think you are right - even if it is a drop in the bucket, "If it saves just one life" (using the liberal mantra in a good sense).
I received the same email from Mike, so I suggest a two-prong approach: 1) On our level, we scrounge up however many lamps we can and send them over on our own; 2) Badger, hector, write an email a week to our Representatives and Senators about this lack. I'll even settle for some Bush/Rumsfield-hater in Congress standing up and whining "it's all Bush's fault!" if it gets the DOD moving.
I agree. I received 2 more mails from Mike. Here they are.
Yep, the 1/6 FA Battalion is pulling out in a few days. Going back to Germany. Ghost is actually a platoon in the Battalion. They sure won't need lights for a while; they are going on leave! (And seem very happy with that.)
Yes, I will soon pull out of Baquba and head back Khanaqin way. Will be nice to see the mountains and the river of oil and the Kurds...get away from all these crazy suicide bombers for a while.
I agree with you that even a few lights are better than none. Is there a way where somebody can send a "in care of any soldier package?"... wait a minute...i know just who to ask. this will take a few hours but will find out.
Talk with you later,
I've got an answer to the question about distribution of lights. I spoke with 1SG Leonard Dulik who runs the mail service for this AO. 1SG Dulik told me about the "Any Soldier Program," and mentioned that you can find information about this program online.
1SG Dulik also said that you can mail lights to his postal facility in Iraq and they will distribute the lights. The packages should be addressed:
Any Soldier Program
c/o 1SG Leonard Dulik
877 AG Company
OIF3 FOB Speicher
APO AE 09393
1SG Dulik said that you are welcome to email him at:
Good. It appears now that all we have to do is set up an account or central clearing house of some kind for donations and start collecting.
Perhaps a word to the vendor on the project might get a better break, even if on a larger amount.
In the meantime, in addition to Congress, a word to the editor of the local paper might also help. I'm writing the Las Vegas Journal and Review today.
Who has a clue about setting up an account or something? I certainly want to make sure that any money donated goes directly toward paying for lights and not find its way into someone's pocket.
I will write the American branch of that company and see what may be done. Since it is a holiday weekend I would not expect an answer back until Tuesday at the earliest.
They want the headlamps, specifically the one in the ad.
Spanaway Lori and I are now discussing off line how many she wants to get for her guys.
The procedure usually used by our Merry Band of Patriots on this thread and our previous threads is that I credit card the item(s) we are getting for the troops, and people send their contributions to me to help offset my bill when it comes in.
I accept checks, money orders, Walmart shopping cards, Target gift cards, Amazon gift certificates...and cash.
The headlamps will come to me, and I'll mail them directly in flat rate USPS priority boxes to whatever soldier and APO you guys want. The ones our Merry Band of Patriots buy will go to our adopted Stryker company in Mosul.
I've been doing this for almost 4 years now and a lot of people trust me as a result.
Here are some of our old threads:
Here are some old threads we have been involved with in no particular order.
I tried reactivating my Paypal account and it was so screwed up I gave up.
If you all and Spanaway Lori want to get permission from Jim Robinson to have your own fund raiser on your own thread on FreeRepublic, then one of you can do the Paypal thing, which I grant you is a good idea -- it just hasn't worked out for me.
(And I'll probably try again to get it straightened out.)
On this thread, I am putting my name and reputation behind any funds raised, therefore anyone donating using this thread should send the funds to me, because I know I can be trusted to make sure every penny goes to the troops.
However, your recommendation is a really good one, so if I can't get my account up and running again in a timely fashion, I will try to find another trusted member of the Merry Band of Patriots who has a Paypal account and will agree to accept donations and see they get to me.
But first I want to know from Lori if she is willing to financially vouchsafe a certain amount for the headlamps...and how many headlamps she wants to get for her unit in Mosul. (We both have contacts in Mosul.)
After reading about this, I immediately ordered 3 of them for my adopted soldiers. A small price to pay for a little more safety, seems to me. I'm wondering if anyone knows how to send a prepaid card for internet usage to soldiers. I only recently found out that many of them have to pay per hour to use pc's in the internet cafes.
patriciaruth - I am not sure which ad you are talking about, but at any rate, if you are going to buy them then you should probably be the one to communicate with the Petzl company if that is what you want to do to see about a discount or...whatever.
Here is the information I found on the American version of that company.
Freeport Center M-7
PO Box 160447
Tel : (801) 926-1500
Fax : (801) 926-1501
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Web : www.petzl.com
I'm still waiting to hear back from Marty. I'll bet he knows PatriciaRuth's contact. They're both in Mosul. I'm all for sending PatriciaRuth a check. She is a trustworthy soul. Sorry I can't afford to buy many, but if we get a bunch of Freepers to buy even one headlamp, it could really add up!
More headlamps may result if people could simply contribute what they can...essentially buy 1/4 of a headlamp or whatever they can, put that together with what someone else can do etc....
Another good idea. So how do we set up a fundraiser? I'll be happy to send PR a check. Should we do it that way?
Would Jim allow us to do a fundraiser here? Would it be ok with people to send money to PR, and ok with Jim?? Hey I am new at this and I am clueless:)
I linked our old threads above so you could check out that I've been doing the care packages for soldiers thing since early summer of 2001 here on FR. I started calling our informal, volunteer grassroots group of troop supporters the Merry Band of Patriots, but we are not incorporated as an organized charity.
This thread is a continuation of threads going back for some time.
Jim Robinson once sent me a check himself, so I guess he thinks it's okay for me to continue these activities. We've met a few times at the Blackstone and Shaw troop support FReeps in 2001-2 and the FReeper picnic this year, and once at the Air National Guard terminal in Fresno to welcome President Bush in his first months in office when Air Force One flew in and then the president choppered into a national park.
However, these projects have been costly for me this past year as our soldier casualties have mounted. I spent as much out of my own pocket as was sent to me. Kind of a dollar for dollar match. But now I'm trying to pay off my mortgage and can't afford to do this project alone.
If Spanaway Lori is only willing to guarantee one purchase of one headlamp among her circle of friends, then it doesn't look like we are going to get enough takers from her friends to make up a 50 bulk order.
I'll check with the Hobbit Hole and see if they have any interest in putting their bank accounts on the line for our soldiers.
I've spent several thousand dollars of my own money sending care packages to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan this past year.
Have you been doing something yourself? Do you want to join our effort so what you can manage goes into a bigger pool and makes for a bigger bunch of packages?
How are you fixed financially? Can you pledge any of your own funds to this project? Do you know people who are troop supporters who would be willing to help?
My ping list has maybe 150 people on it who have contributed in the past, many of them only able to do prayers and moral support, or write letters, and several dozen who are blessed financially and able to sent money, too, in amounts ranging from $5 to $250, with $25 and $50 being the commonest amounts sent.
I keep a record of all the contributions and all the receipts from stores and the post office, in case anyone is ever interested in auditing them.
But $1400 is a big commitment for bulk ordering at this time for me, as I went into the hole doing the Christmas packages.
I'm mulling about just doing a few at the higher cost, and in a couple months when my bills are paid, doing more.
But first I'll check with the Hobbit Hole.
This is the thread.
Let me know if you know anyone at the Hobbit Hole who would be interested in joining forces to do a bulk order of 50 headlamps for the troops.
My share would go to our adopted company in Stryker brigade at Mosul. I could guarantee to foot the bill for 20 of them.
The particulars are in the posts near the beginning of this thread.
Found this on my state board. You can get the headlamps at this place for 29 dollars. The ones they need!
Search on Petzl TacTikka. The TacTikka is the one you want, not just the Tikka. The TacTikka comes in camo and has the red light filter/lens. They are on sale for ~$29 if you sign up for their newsletter (you have to give them your info if you order the lights anyway) and the shipping is free if you spend over $50. I ordered two and the total came to $57.52, no tax, free shipping.
This is something that will make our soldiers lives easier and maybe even save some lives.
patriciaruth - I wouldn't expect anyone, no matter how well healed they are financially or not to go out and buy lamps without having donated funds in hand to do so.
For me, providing financial support right now is difficult. I am unemployed and my husband is disabled, but I am still willing to donate $10. which isn't much I realize but if it is added to what someone else can donate, soon a soldier has a light. We all do what we can.
Seems to me however that the first thing we need to do is come together on a plan. I may be wrong but right now it seems this thing is going in several different directions all at once.
I went ahead and wrote the Petzl company to see what kind of deal they may be willing to do. Can't hurt. Seems to me if you can get them from a supplier for $29 you should be able to get them from the company for less.
I got a response from the Petzl company here in Utah. What I told him was that we had been made aware that our troops were needing lights and we were going to do a fund raiser to purchase them for our troops. I told him the specific model we were interested in and asked if they would be willing to extend a considerable discount plus shipping....here is his reply...I don't know what to respond with, I thought I had already laid it out pretty well:/
Let me know what you have in mind and I can see about working a deal.
Thanks for supporting our troops!
Manager - Headlamp Division
t. 877.807.3805 ext 242
Hanna, you are a GREAT AMERICAN! Thanks for bringing this to our attention in the first place, and then for trying to get a better deal on top of it!
Another response from the Petzl company.
We cant sell lights below our suggested retail price because we do not want to compete with our dealers, but I will match your funds raised up to $2500 dollars. This will allow you to purchase lights at 50% off retail up to the matched funds price.
Let me know if this works for you,
I wrote back asking what retail price is since various retailers post different prices. Here is his reply.
TacTikka (either black or camo) $34.95
TacTikka Plus (either black or camo) $42.95
Manager - Headlamp Division
t. 877.807.3805 ext 242
I wrote him back and asked the difference in the two. Here is his reply. Btw, I sent him Michael's article in order to explain what/why we were doing.
The light that Michael Yon recommends in the article is actually called the TacTikka Plus. Here is the link to it on our website: http://www.petzl.com/petzl/LampesProduits?MotRecherche=Quick+Search&Langue=en&Gamme=48&Critere=&News=
TacTikka Plus has:
easy to operate push button sealed switch (important for keeping sand out and easy to operate with gloves on)
3 brightness settings
TacTikka lamps are:
sliding on/off switch
Let me know if you have any other questions,
Manager - Headlamp Division
t. 877.807.3805 ext 242
I asked about shipping......here is his response to that, but I wrote back and asked him to look into it.
Where are you shipping them? If within the US I will pay for the shipping costs. To Iraq .now that is a different story but I can look into it if that will help.
Manager - Headlamp Division
t. 877.807.3805 ext 242
So can we put up a new thread, telling people about michael's article and the deal we got from Petzl, tell people they can send donations to PR....????? Whats next?
Sounds like a good idea to me. This Jon guy seems like he cares about the troops too. If he's willing to kick in 50%, that brings the cost of the lights to 21.50 each.
Yep, 21.50...Jon is seeing about shipping to Iraq...if it costs too much from him, if he will ship in the US for free, we can have him ship them to PR and since those lights are small and I would not think very heavy, a bunch could fit in one of the largest Express boxes the PO provides. You know, the ones where you pay a specific amount based on the box, not weight etc. Oh wait.....if it is shipped to an APO, that is US isn't it???? If that is the case, then shipping would be free...right?
I just called Northern Mountain and they cancelled my order. They have the Plus, but they want $35 for it, not the ~$29 I had paid for the non-Plus, let alone the deal you're setting up with Petzl!
patriciaruth: put me down for $60, provided there is some way I know I can get one to the guy I have been sending packages to in Mosul (one of Spanaway Lori's people).
Glad you were able to cancel that order SW:) Lori and I talked about having a single fund raiser and splitting the proceeds between PR's people and Lori (Marty's) guys. If PR agrees to that it looks like we are on our way:)
Not trying to be difficult, it's just that I emailed my soldier and he says he can use this, so I kinda have told him I was going to get him one......
If he is associated with Lori's (marty's) guys, I think you could probably or we could, write to marty and ask him to make sure your guys get one. I would like my guy that I sent a Christmas package to to have one as well, BUt, I have decided to leave the decision to Marty to give them to those who can put them to the best use. Not much point in someone who processes paperwork to have one of these in lieu of a guy that is out in the dark chasing down boogiemen.
Ok, Jon said he would cover the cost of shipping to the APO via box, U. S. P. O.
This plan is coming together. PR, what say you? Should we mail our checks directly to you?
If we have checks mailed to PR I would like to have her name and contact information to send to Jon so he will know who he will be receiving the funds from, and I will ask him to mail her a receipt for the merchandise and a shipping thingie...sorry, the word I need is eluding me:)) Told you, I am cranky today...it messes with my brain:)
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