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CARE PACKAGES for our Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2008
patriciaruth ^ | 3-29-08 | patriciaruth

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.


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 Sarge’s 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 (Juan’s 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 Zarqawi’s 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.


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 can’t 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.”

IRAQ 2007:
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.

TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Announcements; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: carepackages; goodybags; supportourtroops; troopsupport; waronterror
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To: Abigail Adams; AIC; airborne; AirForceBrat23; Alamo-Girl; ALOHA RONNIE; angelsonmyside; AnnaZ; ...

Email from Bagram, Afghanistan! Please note APO for Bagram is now changed to the new contact.


Hey Patty!

My team is now leaving Afghanistan so here is the new contact. ***

He’ll be handling all care packages from now one. Once again, I thank you and your friends for all the support you have shown us over the last year. I hope I have the oppportunity to work with you all again!



I just ordered some more comedies for Baghdad:
Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein
Team America
Blind Date
Tune in Tomorrow
and the first season of Third Rock from the Sun

161 posted on 11/01/2008 11:36:26 AM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth

That is great. I now have 10 helmet liners and 5 watch caps ready to send.
And I have one glove and have cast on for the other one. Just
thought I would send a pair to see if it would be feasible to
work on any more. Please let me know the new address so I can get what I have finished in the mail.

162 posted on 11/02/2008 7:20:23 AM PST by SwatTeam
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To: patriciaruth

I went to the warehouse store Friday to pick up stuff for individual Christmas packages, unless someone else is doing them?

163 posted on 11/02/2008 4:18:08 PM PST by nina0113 (If fences don't work, why does the White House have one?)
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To: nina0113

You have FReepmail. :-)

164 posted on 11/02/2008 5:01:57 PM PST by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth

On my way to the post office to send a package to Bagram
with 10 hand knitted helmet liners and 5 watch caps. Have
already started on some more.
I also have some machine knitted Christmas stockings and
the yarn to make some more if they are needed or wanted.

165 posted on 11/06/2008 8:41:09 AM PST by SwatTeam
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To: Abigail Adams; AIC; airborne; AirForceBrat23; Alamo-Girl; ALOHA RONNIE; angelsonmyside; AnnaZ; ...

Nina0113 is doing Christmas goodie bags for all of our new adopted unit at Bagram. Can anyone take charge of sending them goodies for a Christmas party? I have 2 Christmas tablecloths I got last year that I can send.

Here’s the boxes that went out today for which Enterprise, jtill and manna contributed the greater part of the cost.

Mailed November 7, 2008, to NPTT unit near Baghdad, 2 boxes 12x12
Box 1, Insured $98.80, Postage $13.10
8 cans Mandarin oranges
6 cans Dole pineapple
10 DVD movies:
Crocodile Dundee (Paul Hogan)
Dodgeball (Vince Vaughn)
The Gods Must be Crazy
The Gods Must be Crazy II
Groundhog Day (Bill Murray)
Maverick (Mel Gibson)
Mickey Blue Eyes (Huge Grant)
Outland (Sean Connery)
There’s Something about Mary (Cameron Diaz)
The Wedding Singer (Adam Sandler)
1 bag Halloween treats, Oreo Mini-cookies
1 bag caramel apple Kisses

Box 2, Insured value $165.92, postage $13.55
2 cans Mandarin oranges
16 DVD movies:
Airplane! (Lloyd Bridges, Leslie Neilson)
Back to the Future trilogy (Michael J. Fox)
Frequency (Dennis Quaid, Jim Caviezel)
Ghostbusters (Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver)
Hitch (Will Smith)
Moscow on the Hudson (Robin Williams)
The Naked Gun (Leslie Neilson)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Chevy Chase)
Parenthood (Steve Martin, Mary Steenbergen)
The Santa Clause (Tim Allen)
Silver Streak (Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder)
Top Secret (Val Kilmer)
Tune in Tomorrow (Peter Falk)
Unbreakable (Bruce Willis)
4 bags Halloween candy (M&M’s peanut, caramel apple Kisses, York Peppermint Patties, Hershey’s nuggets
62 loose Halloween candy: 2 Skittles, 7 Milky Way, 1 Skull lollypop, 3 Tootsie Pops, 3 Kitkats, 7 Crunch, 3 Hershey’s milk chocolate, 5 Raisinettes, 5 Almond Joy, 3 M&M’s plain, 4 Payday, 4 Milk Duds, 4 Hot Tamales, 7 Reese’s peanut butter cups, 9 Snickers

166 posted on 11/07/2008 8:39:33 PM PST by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth

I can help with sending Christmas things to Bagram, Patty. Since Nina0113 is doing goodie bags, what is needed — decorations? edibles? anything? How many are in the unit?

167 posted on 11/09/2008 3:55:43 AM PST by SENClander
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To: tbpiper

Pinging to our troop support group, Merry Band of Patriots.

We’ve been sending care packages to troops since the summer of 2001, and if your son would like some care packages to pass around to his buddies, please let us know.

We fill any request, including 6 foot prelit Christmas tree and ornaments, if wanted. For that, we’d need to know in the next week, as we like to get them bought and mailed out before Thanksgiving.

Please pass our appreciation along to your son for serving in Iraq.

168 posted on 11/09/2008 9:27:18 AM PST by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth
Hi Patty,

I am more than happy to send a Christmas package, please let me know what is needed. Hope my Halloween package got to Bagram

God Bless Our Military


169 posted on 11/09/2008 2:26:52 PM PST by deadhead (God Bless Our Troops and Veterans)
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To: deadhead; SENClander; nina0113

SENClander is going to coordinated the Christmas party packages for Bagram. Deadhead will talk with her and help out there. OK, Colleen?

Nina is doing the Christmas bags/stockings for Bagram.

Nina, have you tried to contact Bagram? I can write a letter if we’re not getting answers to email. The unit is new there and probably overwhelmed at this point. Christmas is probably way down on their priority list, which is why we have it high on ours.

170 posted on 11/09/2008 6:33:49 PM PST by patriciaruth (
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To: Abigail Adams; AIC; airborne; AirForceBrat23; Alamo-Girl; ALOHA RONNIE; angelsonmyside; AnnaZ; ...
Hi, all! Updates on Christmas. BAGRAM: SENClander is coordinating a Christmas party for them. Deadhead has volunteered to help, but we need another volunteer or two to help send party stuff. Nina0113 is doing Christmas goodie bags for everyone in that unit. BAGHDAD: Daybreakcoming is sending a prelit Christmas tree to NPTT unit in that area. As you see in the email below they have requested seasons 1-3 of The Unit for Christmas. Cost for bundled pack of all three is about $90.00 at Amazon. Anyone who can swing that can get free shipping, and ship to themselves or me or even possibly directly to APO. BAQUBAH: Still trying to line up a new contact. ***EMAIL*** Dear Patty, Thank you for the DVDs and the candy. The last box you sent was quickly demolished by the guys. They really enjoyed the candy quite a bit. The address is still good I think the guys would enjoy The Unit [out of a dozen suggested choices]. The Christmas tree would be a very nice touch of home and would be much appreciated by the team. I have seen copies of the Die Hard movies around here. Sounds like you Auntie has been collecting stuff for quite awhile. I hope the housing inspection goes well and the house doesn't require demolishing. I'm glad to hear that she is being taken care of. My grandmother, about the same age as your Auntie, recently moved in with my mother. It is still busy over here. We recently assumed responsibility for the National Police brigade so our work load has increased a bit. I'm hoping that as we get used to our new jobs and responsibilities, the work load will become more manageable. Some of my guys, especially the ones that haven't had leave yet, are getting pretty tired. Thank you for everything, Patty. Sorry that I haven't been able to email quite as often.
171 posted on 11/09/2008 6:46:50 PM PST by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth

What kind of party stuff do you need/want?

172 posted on 11/09/2008 6:52:28 PM PST by airborne (Adversity doesn't build character. It reveals it!)
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To: patriciaruth

I have some rewards to cash in at Amazon. I can get the 3 seasons of The Unit.

173 posted on 11/09/2008 7:58:19 PM PST by SwatTeam
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To: airborne; deadhead; nina0113; patriciaruth

For Bagram, the party stuff we’ll need is food and decorations! I know nina0113 is sending Christmas goodie bags. So to add to hers, we’ll need Christmas cookies and cakes (Little Debbie, etc), nuts, olives, cheese and crackers, preztels, etc., Christmas plates, cups, and napkins, apple cider and hot chocolate mixes. And anything else you think of. We can do this.

174 posted on 11/10/2008 5:03:43 AM PST by SENClander
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To: SENClander; patriciaruth
Good morning :-)

I will begin shopping for decorations and food for the Christmas party.

175 posted on 11/10/2008 6:51:40 AM PST by deadhead (God Bless Our Troops and Veterans)
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To: SENClander

I was sick for a while and was away from my computer. Did my care package arrive in Bagram?

I’m shopping tomorrow, so I can pick stuff up then. I’ll let you know what I got later this week.

176 posted on 11/10/2008 6:57:15 AM PST by airborne (Adversity doesn't build character. It reveals it!)
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To: airborne

I’m not sure about your package. I know they did receive some things. Patty would know. I’m just helping her coordinate the Christmas party ;o| And many thanks for helping with that!

177 posted on 11/10/2008 7:22:56 AM PST by SENClander
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To: deadhead

Many thanks! Airborne is helping, too. We’ll get stuff for a great party for them. I’m hitting Sam’s this week.

178 posted on 11/10/2008 7:25:37 AM PST by SENClander
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To: airborne

>>What kind of party stuff do you need/want?<<

This is what I sent last year for both party & individual bags. I just can’t do the party stuff this year but will be sending the 100 bags, though without the kid’s cards as my contact can’t do them this year.

179 posted on 11/10/2008 8:39:47 AM PST by nina0113 (Hugh Akston is my hero.)
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To: nina0113

WOW! You sent all that yourself?

God bless you dear!

I’ll do my best to make it happen. I have a few contacts I can hit up.

You want me to do the 4 boxes listed at the link, right?

180 posted on 11/10/2008 11:07:03 AM PST by airborne (Adversity doesn't build character. It reveals it!)
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