Skip to comments.CARE PACKAGES for our Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2008
Posted on 03/29/2008 11:24:00 PM PDT by patriciaruth
Welcome to the 2008 thread of the Merry Band of Patriots!
Our grassroots group of troop supporters started in the summer of 2001 by sending VHS movies and Snickers candy bars to the 101st Airborne and later the 10th Mountain at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. We are not an organized charity as no one of us has the time or energy to do all that paperwork, and any contributions made are not tax deductible.
Our specialty in the past has been movies, books, snacks, personal care items, holiday decorations and some appliances like DVD players, microwaves, and Playstations; and we have sent many hundreds of movies to various bases. Normally we adopt a whole unit and send care packages to a contact in that unit who distributes the goodies to all in the unit. When our adopted units rotate back stateside, they leave the items which are not consumable for the use of their follow-on unit. Thus we have helped build up entertainment libraries throughout the war zones.
REVIEW OF 2006
In 2006 we entered our 6th year of sending care packages to our troops in war zones We adopted the follow-on PSYOP company at Bagram air base in Afghanistan and a follow-on Stryker Brigade company at Mosul in Iraq. We also adopted a new company of 141st Signal battalion in the 1st Armored Division that started at Tal Afar and was soon moved to Ramadi as a tip of the spear there in 2006, just after another adopted unit (Old Sarges unit) at Ramadi left. Here are a couple emails from Chris that say it all for what they went through there.
The bad news is that my team has been activated and now has a mission in downtown Ramadi, the most dangerous place in Iraq. June 15, 2006
can you say, BOMB MAGNET?!! -- June 16, 2006
[It didn't help that a reporter with a major news service helped the terrorists spot their RPG trajectories by publishing that one had fallen 20 feet short, resulting the next day in an RPG killing one of our contact's fellow soldiers.]
Last week another soldier and I were at our communication trucks when an RPG hit a humvee right outside our compound wall about 10 feet away. It rocked the trucks. We both opened the doors to our trucks to run inside when a 2nd RPG flew over the wall, through our camouflage net, bounced off the top of our trucks and hit the ground exploding right in front of us. I was closest, about 2 feet away. The blast threw us back into the trucks. The other guy only had his glasses knocked off. He got right back up and ran inside. I don't remember the exact details but I remember the blast throwing me back inside the truck and into the signal equipment. I think I was stunned and dazed because I sat there for a few minutes before I regained situational awareness and got the hell out of there. I suffered a concussions and some hearing loss. August 10, 2006
A lot of prayers were said for our guys at Ramadi, which is now a relatively peaceful city under Anbar Awakening, and our contacts are safely home.
In 2006 we were also glued to a couple companies of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Richardson in Alaska. (Most of the Brigade bases at Ft Wainwright.) Our adopted company in an SBCT the year before had been at Fallujah 2004 and then met evil face to face and endured some horrific times at Mosul (2004-2005). They witnessed atrocities to the civilian population by the terrorists and they experienced IED attacks and the mess hall bombing at FOB Marez that left some of our company very severely injured with one KIA.
Their follow-on unit and a sister company that we also adopted were faced with pacifying the towns along the Syrian border. In 2006 they moved out from Mosul into Ft Talafar, FOB Heider, COP Rawah, and other locations and brought a return to sanity for the locals from the murderous reign of radical and vicious terrorists enforcing their idea of Sharia law.
Alpha company of 4-23 infantry regiment of SBCT was out in the sand in tents at COP Rawah in the late winter and into the blistering summer heat with few amenities, so we concentrated on sending them packages.
In May of 2006, because I believed our adopted 172nd Stryker units and our 1AD unit at Tal Afar were going to be in an upcoming major offensive, I urged our troop supporters to send a great many care packages for the Fourth of July.
The Merry Band of Patriots responded by sending over a hundred care packages to our adopted units for the Fourth of July. More detail will be in one of the first posts of this new thread.
As feared, just as their tour ended and they were getting on planes to go back to Alaska, our two adopted 172nd SBCT companies had their tours extended and were turned around and sent to Baghdad in 120 degree heat. They pretty much arrived with just the clothes on their backs, having given away to their follow-on unit or mailed home most of their comfort and recreational items. They had to beg back their Stryker vehicles and unpack and reassemble and resight their weapons. Stryker at the special location (FOB Heider) went, too; and all were reunited again at FOB Stryker at Baghdad. Some 200 plus of them returned from Alaska.
We did an emergency mailing of packages to help reequip them with odds and ends, like surge protectors, flexible cold packs, pillows, sheets, soccer ball inflators, drink mix, DVD movies and boxed TV series. kattracks, bjcintennessee, daybreakcoming, DAVEY CROCKET, JaneAustin, Just A Nobody, SwatTeam, JoyjoyfromNJ, Enterprise, MJY1288, norton, JustAmy, Abigail Adams, DrDeb, Ros42, my optometrist, SENClander, patriciaruth all sent packages.
In return a few of us got T-shirts from the Apache Renegades (Juans Stryker unit), with their mascot [skull with Indian war bonnet] over a map of Iraq with this inscription:
Aug 05 Dec 06
Mosul Rawah Baghdad
We adopted a new unit in the Fall of 2006, an NPTT unit (National Police Transition Team) at Baghdad, on the recommended of Juan in the 172nd SBCT, because his brother Andy was a member of the unit. (Another brother was serving in Afghanistan. What a family!)
We also sent 19 packages to Kirkuk for Operation Crayon summer 2006 with school supplies for the local kids.
We communicated with and sent some packages to a few wounded warriors at a Fisher House for transitional treatment of those just discharged from Walter Reed.
We sent some packages to Irbil where some MI soldiers were liaisoning with servicemen from Republic of Korea, and some to a military intelligence unit at Kirkuk.
I sent a few packages to a Marine from my town who was near Baghdad.
2006 had its victories.
Zarqawi was killed at Mosul in June and Saddam was executed in Baghdad in December. But the bombing of the Golden Mosque at Samarra by al Qaida early in 2006 sparked escalating sectarian violence that almost derailed everything we had accomplished. Anbar Awakening (where the Iraqis in Anbar Province decided the al Qaida types were evil and decided to band with the Americans to get rid of them) and the Surge in 2007 put Iraq back on the freedom track and our soldiers closer to seeing a victory for their heroic and costly efforts in Iraq.
2006 had its sorrows.
2006 was a difficult year for me due to personal and family health problems and the beginning of kattrack's final illness, and thus I never posted a new 2007 thread with a summary of 2006. The advantage of the delay is that I was able to include much more detail about what was going on with our adopted units in 2006.
kattracks was our Fairy Godmother Dept for our soldiers in harm's way. In the first 9 months of 2006 she sent at least 92 care packages, many of them large. 7 went to Camp Ramadi and included an large inflatable wading pool, 9 went to Stryker at Mosul. 23 went to Tal Afar for general distribution to all the units there. 11 went to A company of Stryker at COP Rawah and then 11 more went to them after they were redeployed to Baghdad; 2 went to C company of Stryker at Ft Talafar and 11 more after they redeployed to Baghdad. 9 went to Kirkuk for Operation Crayon, and 9 went to Bagram air field, Afghanistan.
kattracks was given the precious gift of the Rapture in May, 2007, and we were left to carry on without her.
A few other special projects in 2006 that caught my eye as I was counting the packages from kattracks:
18 boxes of school supplies were sent in 2006 to Operation Crayon in Kirkuk by Coop, kattracks, Jane Austen, patriciaruth, my mother, Just A Nobody, Enterprise, DrDeb)
Two framed quit claim deeds to Zarqawis safe house were donated by doug from upland (together with copy of the ad on eBay) and sent to MI at Kirkuk and to 1AD at Ramadi.
Christmas, 2006, packages went to
Bagram (from Nina0113, Enterprise, daybreakcoming, airborne)
10th Mountain: (from patriciaruth)
NPTT (from SENClander, daybreakcoming, with 11 Petzl headlamps sent directly)
a local Marine near Baghdad (patriciaruth)
4th ID north of Baghdad. (from patriciaruth requested by Abigail Adams)
Mosul: Stryker that was redeployed to Baghdad (from jtill, a Santa suit from patriciaruth, LittleBlogSpot, Freedom is eternally right, SwatTeam)
Ramadi: (from jtill, fanfan, SwatTeam, daybreakcoming and her sister, Merlinator, Abigail Adams, Enterprise, Just A Nobody)
Walter Reed (from Enterprise)
Mologne House for recovering wounded (from patriciaruth)
daybreakcoming sent pre-lit Christmas trees to Ramadi and Mosul, and her tree to Stryker at Mosul ended up at FOB Stryker in Baghdad as they were redeployed there just before Christmas. SENClander sent a pre-lit Christmas tree to NPTT at Baghdad.
Many care packages went out throughout 2006 which are not listed, like all those nina0133 sent to Bagram; but I have decided to cut the effort to list everything now so I can manage to get a new thread posted.
REVIEW OF 2007
In 2007 we sent out over 71 care packages to Afghanistan, over 105 to Stryker Brigade Combat Team units in the Surge to pacify Baghdad and environs, over 83 to NPTT units at Baghdad, and 4 to Balad for an estimate of over 263 packages sent to our adopted units in the war zones.
. The Surge meant our guys were on walk about more than they were at home base -- looking for and finding AI (al Qaida in Iraq) as well as enough caches of weapons to carpet California.
Afghanistan heated up and we ended the year 2007 sending a few care packages to a group holed up on high mountain ledge near the Pakistan border and scoring 400 plus fire fights with Taliban and al Qaida trying to infiltrate back into Afghanistan.
Last year 2007 we grieved at the loss of troop supporters kattracks, kayak, 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub, GretchenM (formerly GretchenEE), and the husbands of jtill and SENClander. We also continued to miss COB1 (AKA Texas Cowboy). God holds them all now in the palm of His infinite hand.
BAGRAM Air Field near Kabul:
SENClander's sister sent 3 care packages in January to 315th PSYOP unit just before they left, and we [nina0133, Ros42, Abigail Adams, Just Amy, Jim Robinson, jtill, Paperdoll, PigRigger, manna, patriciaruth] sent 61 care packages (5 were large) to A Co, 13th PSYOP who took over and who have now departed early this year. These packages included 55 bags of beef jerky given to a Special Forces unit there from airborne, norton, Kitty Mittens and my mother. SW6906 sent most episodes of 3 TV series.
KANDAHAR: fanfan sent packages to Canadian troops
BATTLE Company on Pakistan-Afghan border:
Early in December 2007 we sent them 7 care packages for Christmas:
5 boxes of Hickory Farms cheeses (with 37.5 oz of cheese in each) from Enterprise and patriciaruth, a box with 17 packs with 1/2 lb of beef jerky from 4Godsoloved...Hegave, and a box with 14 Hickory Farms 14 oz beef sausages from by cshnorthcarolina.
Email to maine-iac7 from her grandson: We ate all of that cheese and meat, it was amazing. We really pushed through all of it fast. awesome. I cant find the box to tell who sent it - if you know, PLEASE thank them and let them know how great it was! Best food in some time! It means a lot to us that people back home know we are here. We;re so isolated that it really is awesome to know. It means a lot to all of us.
In 2007 we [[nina0133, SwatTeam, manna, jtill, patriciaruth, Enterprise, Ros42, Abigail Adams, mathluv, Just Amy, Jim Robinson] sent 66 care packages to our adopted Stryker unit at FOB Stryker at Baghdad up to their departure at the end of the summer --including a microwave [Enterprise], a Nintendo Wii [my optometrist], and 210 blue ice gel packs [SwatTeam and jtill].
We sent 39 care packages [deadhead, SENClander, JustAmy, Jim Robinson, Paperdoll, Abigail Adams, patriciaruth, 4Godsoloved...Hegave], 18 Petzl headlamps [Enterprise, jtill, manna, PigRigger, Kitty Mittens, MEG33] and a Christmas tree with ornaments [mass55th] to the current Stryker unit at Baqubah in Diyala Province, after we made contact in November.
To 3 NPTT (National Police Transition Team) units in Baghdad (at Camp Liberty) we [SENclander, patriciaruth, mass55th, Yaelle] sent 56 care packages including 22 Petzl headlamps [MEG33, SwatTeam, norton, Enterprise, jtill] and a Christmas tree [MJY1288] and ornaments. To one of these units (to Juan's brother Andy) we [Enterprise, Tunehead54, patriciaruth, my mother] also sent 12 boxes of school supplies for him to distribute to local school children.
To an NPTT unit at FOB Falcon near Baghdad that left in September we [patriciaruth, iceskater, Enterprise] sent 15 care packages and SW6906 sent most or all episodes of 5 TV series.
BALAD, Iraq 2007: 4 care packages sent for Christmas to mystery-ak's husband (doing another tour of duty).
FOB Prosperity, Iraq 2007: 1 care package
Our many generous donors of checks, cash, money orders, Paypal, shopping cards, phone cards, etc are listed in the Accounting posts toward the end of our 2006 thread (which also covers 2007) and which can be linked from the post below. Many of our members are now trusted to mail their packages directly.
Today I sent three boxes of Halloween goodies to Bagram. Hope the chocolate doesn’t melt!
Box 1: (large flat rate box)
1 bag Ritz bits peanut butter sandwiches
1 bag Hershey “harvest” kisses
1 bag Hershey “candy corn” kisses
1 bag Hershey “harvest” miniatures
1 pkg Peeps ghosts
1 pkg Peeps pumpkins
1 bag Sugar Babies
1 bag Brach’s candy corn (37.2 oz size)
1 Halloween card
Box 2: same as box 1
Box 3: (small flat rate box)
1 stretchable spider web and spiders
1 pkg 50 creepy creatures
1 giant spider decoration
2 hinged skeleton decorations
3 pkg Halloween napkins
4 puzzle books (sudoku, word search, crossword)
Oh Boy! Decorations, too! REALLY cool!!
Let’s try again.............
I sent out 32 pounds of halloween candy today, headed for the troops at Bagram Airfield in Kabul, Afghanistan. Heres a list of what I got:
HALLOWEEN CANDY FOR THE TROOPS!
10 - 1.6 oz. bags - Laffy Taffy soft candy
4 - .6 oz. bags - Creme Saver soft candy
4 - 1.1 oz. bags - Lifesaver Kickerz soft candy
4 - 5 oz. bags - Sour Jacks candy
4 - 30 count tins - Halls Burst mints
5 - 1.25 oz.bags - Trolli Stinging Ants hot cinnamon candy
4 - 5 oz. rolls - Creme Saver hard candy
2 - 4.5 oz. bags - Gummi Mello Apple candy
2 - 4.75 0z. bags - Gummi Frogees candy
3- 6 oz. bags - Real Australian Licorice
6 - 3.5 oz. boxes - Hulk Sour Gummies
2 - 14 oz. bags - M & M Peanut
2 - 10 oz. bags - Tootsie Pop assortment
1 - 42 oz. bag - Laffy Taffy Mixed Treats
1 - 24 oz. bag - Sweet Tart Trick or Treat bag
1 - 48 oz. bag - Trick or Treat bag
1 - 32 oz. bag - Wonka Monster Mix -Up candy assortment
1 - 37 oz. bag - Jujy Fruit candy assortment
1 - 42 oz. bag - Hersheys Super Mix mini candy bars
1 - 67.85 0z. bag - Reeses Mini Mix chocolate
Cost of candy - $58.76
Shipping cost - $21.41
Joy in giving - PRICELESS!!!
A lot of units stop by Bagram for R&R between missions and will doubtless share in the loot.
Patty, I got off two boxes today.
60 Tootsie Roll Pops
5 1/3 lb Playtime mix
55 Chick OSticks
133 pieces of Sweettarts
74 piece of Chocolate Mix
60 blow pops
34 pieces Fruit Roll ups.
It took me awhile to find our thread. ‘Search’ did not give it to me. I had to look through the pings to find it.
Recommend you ‘bookmark’ this thread. Then you can find it in your LINKS on your Profile Page.
I have linked all the previous threads. The links are at the beginning and ending of the threads. That’s cause I have to go to my LINKS sometimes to find the thread, too.
I sent 1 box of Halloween candy to Bagram this afternoon
Skittles 13.30 oz bag
Mary Janes 62 pieces
Twix 10.50 oz bag
Junior Mints 10 oz bag
Mix ups (sweet-tarts, nerds, laffy taffy, runts) 2 lbs
Party Mix (mentos, gum, lolly pops) 75 pieces
Snickers 10.23 oz bag
Candy Corn 1 very large bag and 2 small bags
God Bless our Military
They are excited about the Halloween boxes they are starting to get at Bagram. Thank you for keeping the fun going!
Halloween Candy in the mail :)
Cost of Candy $35
Cost to ship (large APO boxes) $25.90
1 bag Jolly Ranchers
1 (1-1/2 lb) bag Milk Duds/Whoppers
2 bags Tootsie Rolls
1 (2 lb) bag Variety Pack (Lemon Heads, Red Hots, Fireballs, etc...)
1 bag Double Bubble Gum
1 (3LB) Variety bag—Reeses, Almond Joy, Hershey Milk Chocolate, Milk Duds
1 bag Smarties
2 bags Candy Corn
1 bag Iced Halloween Pops
2 bags Double Crisp Chocolates
And of course a Spooky Halloween Card. :)
AMEN TO THAT!! :)
Ros42, mathluv, SENClander, deadhead, and airborne have all sent Halloween care packages to Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. Contents are posted above. They have already started arriving and here is an email we just received from our contact.
Thank you for the Haloween gear. It’s my favorite holiday, as well as some other people’s. We’ve had a blast putting up the decorations.
As far as the Christams tree, I believe we have it in storage right now. It was up when we got here, but my unit [won’t be here for Christmas] I’ll start asking the new team what they’d like as well as get you another point of cntact for the next year.
Your support has been fantastic and the care packages have given every one a smile. We’d like to thank you for your dedication and hard work. Without your support, we would have had a really hard year, so thank you!
p.s. I’ll send yousome pictures of the Haloween decor as soon as my camera decides to work!
Bless your heart, luv!
Thanks for sharing the email, Patty. Hope we get to see pictures soon.
That’s great! Sorry I couldn’t help out this time.
Email from FOB Falcon near Baghdad!
Subject: Re: Happy Monday Holiday
Sorry about not emailing sooner. It has been a brutal couple of months. We assumed responsibility for another Iraqi battalion and our operational tempo pretty much doubled. We’ve also moved a couple of times since I last emailed you and we are in the process of moving again. We just found out that we are assuming responsibility for the entire brigade. Lots of changes for us.
We also had a couple of guys get hurt recently in an IED blast. Fortunately, none of the wounds were serious and after some treatment they are back with us again. The Iraqis, with US support, conducted a series of operations and we think we caught some of the bastards that did this. I honestly haven’t heard anything about a helicopter crash. Our world view is pretty narrow some of the times and mostly focused on what is going on in the immediate area.
I find for the most part that we enjoy comedies. Some guys are into horror, but not the majority.
I find that I can’t really look at any movies about the current conflicts for much the same reason. You definately get a sense that Hollywood is anti-war/military/American and is trying to disseminate that theme to audiences. I also don’t think I’ll be reading any history books on this conflict until years afterwards. Writers of books and screenplays tend to lack objectivity and analysis of current actions won’t yield anything of value until the ramifications of said actions mature to fruition.
Anthing you send will be much appreciated, Patty.
Thanks for your thoughts and support,
Mailed October 25, 2008, to NPTT unit near Baghdad, with donations from jtill and manna
1 box 12x12,Postage $13.55, insured (value $177.05)
1 TV series boxed DVD set:
Smallville, Season 7
8 bags Halloween candy:
Hershey’s special dark
Reese’s peanut butter cups
2 bags Brach’s pumpkins and corn candy
Hershey’s kisses with caramel
Milky Way dark
7 DVD movies:
Jackie Robinson Story (Jackie Robinson, Ruby Dee, Babe Ruth)
The Man who Shot Liberty Valance (Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne)
Men in Black (Tommy Lee Jones)
Men in Black II (Will Smith)
Pride of the Yankees (Gary Cooper)
The Rookie (Dennis Quaid)
Shane (Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur)
Radical Son (David Horowitz)
An Incomplete Education (a guide to liberal elitism literature and culture)
With donations from Enterprise and jtill I have ordered the following comedies
The Wedding Singer
Something about Mary
Mickey Blue Eyes
Gods Must Be Crazy
Moscow on the Hudson
Back to the Future trilogy
National Lampoon Christmas Vacation
The Santa Clause
and also these movies:
We’ve already sent them some comedies like Galaxy Quest, Shanghai Knights, City Slickers, My Cousin Vinny, and in the box above is Men in Black and MIBII, as well as Scrubs TV series 1-4.
Any other suggestions for comedies or fun movies would be appreciated
I’m not much help on comedy recommendations, but I think you have put a great list together!
Two comedies I've found that are very popular over here are Team America and Office Space. And a lot of the guys like Blazing Saddles.
Thanks for the suggestions! Team America is over the top funny, so I’ve ordered it, even though it is way raunchy and one scene is too disgusting to watch.
I’ll check out Office Space, but I sort of remember one that had a couple guys who were clueless and spoiled about what it took to be a contributing member of society, and didn’t personally care for it much as a result.
Blazing Saddles was funny in its time, but now a lot of it causes me to cringe. You say the soldiers don’t find the discrimination humor dated?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.