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.
Just noticed -
You and I joined FreeRepublic the same day!
Whatever party stuff you can manage - they should be ok for serving dishes & decorations. I think everything came from either Walmart or BJ’s Warehouse Store.
I’m planning to enlist my family after dinner on Thanksgiving to assemble and wrap the gift bags.
“Sis, did you say you’d like some dessert?”
Two Cub Scout Packs made cards for the veterans who live there - about 90 in all.
We go from ward to ward, room to room, and deliver the cards and the Scouts get to thank the vets living there.
It's a very heartwarming experience!
I will ask the 2 Pack leaders if they'd like to make Christmas cards that I can send along with the care packages.
So funny, same exact day. And now we are on the same Chrismas party committee :-) My sister has offered to buy some Christmas decorations for the care package, we are going shopping together on Thursday.
:-) Yes, it will be a great party. My sister and I are going shopping on Thursday.
Looking at the list that ‘nina’ provided, I think I’ll try to match boxes as closely as I can, allowing for sales and “inspiration”.
Maybe include a few small artificial trees.
When do you think is the deadline for shipping these packages?
I ship from the East Coast and I’ve gone as late as first Saturday in December which leaves plenty of time - it’s 9 days from here. You have to ship Priority because although it all goes by ship/plane and takes the same amount of travel time regardless, the military post office will accept the security screening the Post Office does for Priority and just send it on. If you ship regular, it sits around until the military screens it themselves.
Shopping and mailing is not my “thing”, but I have a liberal checkbook. So if you find something that you think they might like to have in their Christmas party - or beyond - I’d be happy to donate.
Thanks for the offer. Will let you know if we need your checkbook :o)
Remember I’ll be sending two tablecloths, 54”x108”.
The are decorated with a border of red pointsettias and red bows and greenery and a gold color filigree.
I also have 2 large bags of trail mix I’ll put in with a DVD TV movie boxed series set.
Oh, SwatTeam, that’s SO great about your getting the 3 season set of The Unit for our unit near Baghdad!!
Do you want to send it to your place and mail it on, or do you want to send it here and I’ll Christmas wrap it for them?
I’m not sure about sending it to them directly via APO function there.
I’ll FReepmail you the APO.
I see you’ve hooked up with SENClander to help do the Christmas Party for Bagram.
Your boxes of Halloween candy arrived as did the others and our last contact let us know. They were blown away by how much came, half of which you sent.
We have a new APO for Bagram, so be sure not to use the old address when you send the Christmas things.
Thanks for letting us know what’s on the tablecloths, Patty. We can look for coordinating napkins and plates. Never let it be said we lack style ;o)
Oh, sure! Now I have to be color coordinated!
You do know I’m a guy, right? ;^)
Good morning all. Will try to match up with the tablecloth theme :-)
It’s red - it’s green. Gold trim. All Christmassy-like.
How hard can it be? 8^)
Happy Veterans day to all those who have served our great country.
My heartfelt thank you to all
Y’all are too funny — LOL.
I went to Sam’s today and bought some (color coordinated) red and green plastic cups, hot chocolate mix, apple cider mix, pretzels, pub mix, beef summer sausage. That’s a start.
Poinsettia lights would be great, deadhead.
And today especially, airborne, thank you for your service.