Skip to comments.CARE PACKAGES for our Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2006
Posted on 01/21/2006 3:06:06 PM PST by patriciaruth
Welcome to the 2006 thread of the Merry Band of Patriots!
Our grassroots, volunteer group of troop supporters has been sending care packages to servicemen and women in war zones since the summer of 2001 when we began by sending VHS movies and Snickers candy bars to the 101st Airborne and then later the 10th Mountain at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo.
This last year we sent a couple hundred care packages to troops at Baghdad, Kirkuk, Mosul and Tal Afar in Iraq, at Bagram in Afghanistan, at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo and to our wounded at Landstuhl Regional Hospital in Germany.
Our specialty in the past has been movies, books, snacks, holiday decorations and some appliances like DVD players and Playstations, and we have sent hundreds of movies to various bases.
This last year we had 6 main projects in addition to the usual care packages:
1. We sent over 80 state-of-the-art Petzl headlamps to our adopted company of Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Mosul and 35 to an MI unit at Kirkuk. This was probably the most appreciated item we've ever sent, thanks to a project that got off the ground due to the work of Spanaway Lori, HannaUSA , and Oatka and 3/4th of which was funded by my optometrist.
2. There was the Personal Care items "Emergency" Airlift to Bagram air base in June and July. (mathluv, nina0113, Coop, JustAmy, airborne, iceskater, Tunehead54, jtill participated.)
3. The 4th of July Party Decorations and Snacks blowout for all our adopted units. (pictures at posts 357, 358, 368 of our 2005 thread)
4. Operation Popcorn in August and September for the Engineers at Baghdad (iceskater, mathluv, SENClander, Coop, Abigail Adams, Ros42, Ican'tbelieve it, jtill and ebay's mshoponline sent over 600 bags of microwave popcorn, while omegatoo's were lost in the shuffle of her evacuating New Orleans prior to the Katrina flooding)
5. The End of Summer Luau for psyops at Baghdad in September and October (MJY1288 mailed off the party things we bought at eBay and Amazon with contributions from fanfan, kattracks, jtill, Just mythoughts, Ros42, Pig Rigger, MJY1288 and Kitty Mittens. Pictures at post 809 of the 2005 thread)
6. Halloween candy and movies for the Troops (kattracks, SENClander, Ican'tbelieveit, Abigail Adams mailed boxes in addition to the ones I sent with donations)
7. The Amazing Christmas and New Years Deluge, when it rained packages at all our adopted bases, especially at Tal Afar.
Special mentions go to Teams captains: mathluv (Engineers Baghdad), Ros42 (psyops Baghdad), CAluvdubya (Tal Afar), Abigail Adams (Stryker at Mosul), VeniVidiVici (MI at Kirkuk), nina0113 (Bagram, Afghanistan). Fairy Godmother Dept. (kattracks), Christmas Trees and Christmas Cards R Us (daybreakcoming), Shipping Dept (MJY1288), DVD Recording Dept (MJY1288), Webhosting and Photoshopping Dept (New Perspective), Daddy Warbucks Dept (my optometrist).
Among the many care packages sent by our troop supporters are these projects.
Boxes of school supplies for Iraqi children were sent by mathluv, Ican'tbelieveit, and my mother to Operation Crayon in Kirkuk.
Some members (CAluvdubya, angelsonmyside, 4integrity, ebay's susiemck) helped fill requests for Western Movies from an MI unit at Kirkuk (now home, movies still there) and Clint Eastwood and Adam Sandler movies from Fox Battery at Kirkuk (now home, movies still there).
bjcintennesse made many dozens of cooling neck scarves and sent them to pysops and Engineers at Baghdad.
DAVEY CROCKETT mailed boxesful of car magazines to a couple units.
A copy of the hardback book about the first year of the Revolutionary War (1776 by David McCullough) was sent to most of our units by DrDeb, iceskater, SwatTeam, and Just a Cowgirl.
Ros42 and mscht adopted a unit at Camp Ramadi for Christmas. (picture at 1195 of the 2005 thread).
CheneyChick and daybreakcoming saw to it that some care packages went to a remnant of our troops still in Kosovo.
Daybreakcoming's sister helped the staffers of the Louisiana legislature send about 8 boxes with around 32 bags of Christmas candy to Tal Afar.
Our many generous donors of checks, cash, money orders, Paypal, shopping cards, phone cards, etc are listed in the Accounting posts in our 2005 thread which can be linked from the post below.
We were surprised and emotional when we received back from our adopted units some of the items pictured below, and a big thank you to jkphoto for taking the pictures and webhosting them.
Do fairy godmothers rock?
You all are wonderful! My soldier tells me of the things they get from complete strangers. Those packages tend to come on down days. It's a real spirit lifter.
Robert's Ridge sounds great. I'd love to read it.
Lately, since the war has been grinding on a while now, I'm shifting to lighter reading material and movies for the troops to give them some escape, but I'm sure any of the bases would have some soldier or Marine who would find this book interesting.
I think light reading and also humor is a good idea. Humor is great at reducing stress.
I finally posted some of the pictures you took at the Tailgate Party. See above.
Thank you so much for webhosting them. Let me know if it becomes a problem for you.
I would be glad to send some Valentine candy....and hopefully some Valentines...
Do you give me an address or what??
One Hooter's calendar, with over 350 signatures, will be sent off to Tikrit on Monday. I may have to pull a few suggestions from your list to include in the package...
I just subscribed to Reader's Digest and will be including my copy in the boxes going out. It has all those little humor sections with amusing tales and jokes.
It was requested by Mosul. If anybody else wants to subscribe and send out copies to another base, let me know. My subscription was a deal for $10 for a year of 10-12 issues.
Thanks for the ping and thanks to JK for hosting the photos.
Our nephew and his Co. deployed right after Thanksgiving. On a website set up for family and friends, one of the items mentioned in the news section was what can and cannot be sent in CARE pkgs.
Senders were cautioned that sending magazines with photos of women in shorts, swim suits etc would be considered contraband in the ME culture. Several folks were a bit upset because every magazine has advertising using models in stages of dress or undress whatever the viewers opinion might be. Hot Rod magazines, Golf Digest, you name it, is going to have photos in either articles or advertising.
Soldiers are instructed on what to do with said "contraband".
We have adopted our nephew and one soldier in the unit for the duration of their deployment. We use the flat-rate boxes available at the USPS for shipments. Customs form must also be filled out. Flat-rate is $8.30 postage + whatever insurance etc we choose. Boxes measure 8 1/2 X 11 x 6 inches. A bargain rate to provide a taste of home for our troops.
First, list what you are putting in the box and its value as you pack in the items, and before you seal the box make sure you've got a complete list.
The customs form (available at the Post Office, a half page size white form) has multiple copies, so press hard when you are filling it out.
Under sender's name: put a little line or N/A in the "business" line, and USA in country line before you fill out the rest of the spaces.
Under addressee's Name, cross out business and street and just write in the address information between the soldier's name and the APO zip code, then cross out city and put APO AE in front of it and the APO number after it. Put nothing in the country line.
Check "airmail priority" (due to security, this is the only way you can send gifts to unknown recipients)
Skip down to the bottom, sign and date it with the date you will be mailing it out.
Move over to the right and check EITHER "return to sender" (you have to send priority USPS and return postage is paid for you if they can't deliver it when it goes priority.)
OR check "redirect" and write "commander" or chaplain or a specific name youve been given and the same APO info, in case your contact is injured and evacuated and you don't want the stuff sent back.
Insurance is up to you, but I tend not to insure stuff not valued near $100 or if it doesn't contain CD's or DVD's or things more likely to be stolen or damaged.
Finally, you need to fill out the not large enough blank space for
"Detailed description of contents".
The trick is to categorize your items as much as possible, so you end up with as few lines as possible.
NOTE: if you are sending more than one box that contain different items, put "# 1", etc. on the box (like under the post office logo under the return address, and put "# 1", etc. on the customs form for it to the right of "description of contents". This way you won't mix up which form goes with which box.
Don't hesitate to list like items in a row if they wont fit when written one under each other, like
stationery: 4 boxes 72 pencils, 3 pkgs 12 pens, 2 pkgs 40 erasers,..
or toiletries: 4 deodorant, 6 toothpaste, 1 pk razors, 3 body powder, etc.
or movies: 2 DVD, 1 VHS
or snacks: 2 bags candy, 5 bags microwave popcorn, 4 packs gum
Then put the total number of boxes, bags, pkgs, loose items in that line in
the QTY. column next to it.
IGNORE THE WEIGHT COLUMN.
Put the combined value of everything in each line in the VALUE column.
ADD all the values in the value column for the total value.
IGNORE all the other boxes.
IF you have more questions, just ask patriciaruth.
1. ALCOHOL and flammables (including mouthwash, perfume, aftershave, nail polish remover and nail care products, lighter fluid),
2. GLASS containers or other breakable items,
3. HOMEBAKED goods (only commercially wrapped food with good outdate is allowed by nonfamily members as many of these items get moldy during the long overseas shipping time and also to avoid unintended or intentional food poisoning),
4. PORK or any pork containing products, even if only used in manufacturing,*
5. RELIGIOUS items if you dont know the person,
6. LIQUIDS (lotion, wet wipes, shampoo, conditioner, roll-on/stick deodorant, etc. are okay, but need to be put in ziplock bags in case they leak or melt. Double check caps are screwed on tight.)
7. large cans AEROSOLS (if send small travel size cans, please put in ziplock bags )
8. BATTERIES cannot go IN the device that needs them, due to electrical spark hazard and chemical leak hazard of older batteries. Remove any batteries and include a SEALED pack of new batteries of the size needed.
10. firearms and ammo,
11. combustibles and explosives,
*If you buy jerked sausage, Slim Jims, or like products, be sure they are label all beef, and no pork products are listed in the ingredient label. AND when you write them on the customs form, write ALL BEEF sausage or such, so the box isnt rejected for loading on the outgoing mail plane.
Check out the Shooting USA website - they sponsor a different unit each month for care packages, and give the address and other mailing information. And those types of magazines and kids' stuff are on the list of things they'd love to get!
Thanks. Sounds like a plan.
Watching the Steelers and checking FR during commercials.
Good for you! The Shooting USA sponsorship of a unit each month has been going on for a few months now, and every time I send them a box of DVDs and cards. I just sent out a box of Valentines' cards and DVDs last week. And the soldiers send back e-mail thank yous. Such a small thing to do but it lets our troops know we really care.
BTTT You're a wonderful woman, Patricia Ruth - who does great sevice for others!
EMAIL from MOSUL from our new contact to keep you in the loop.
I will let you know once we hit ground at our new location. I have Cc'd my commander on this email, so that he is read in as well.
I (We) look forward to the support from the Merry Band of Patriots. This is something that really helps the soldiers when being far away from home for a long period of time. Thanks again for all that you do.
Thanks for the ping...
I am planning on hitting the store and the post office tomorrow...
I will let you know when I am ready to mail!!!
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