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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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Link to CARE PACKAGES for our Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2006 ...which also covers our activities in 2007.

Here it is, finally! I'll be adding many posts over the next couple of days to update our activities during the last 3 months.

1 posted on 03/29/2008 11:24:01 PM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: Abigail Adams; AIC; airborne; AirForceBrat23; Alamo-Girl; ALOHA RONNIE; angelsonmyside; AnnaZ; ...

Believe it or not: a new thread!

Prayer update on daybreakcoming (who has sent a half dozen prelit Christmas trees and ornaments to our units over the last few years). She did well after the first round of chemotherapy, and another round started in January. I haven’t heard since, as my mother is deteriorating and is taking up a lot of my time.

2 posted on 03/29/2008 11:28:32 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: All

Interesting thank you’s sent to us from our adopted units can be found in the 2006-7 thread at the post numbers listed.

Thank yous:
post 1671, to Enterprise from 315th PSYOP at Bagram
post 1690 to Enterprise from Baghdad
post 1965 to patriciaruth from Stryker at FOB Stryker and later at Baqubah
post 2022 to patriciaruth from NPTT for 11 Petzl headlamps to NPTT at Camp Liberty
post 2072 to JustAmy from Bagram, Afghanistan
post 2118 to patriciaruth from Stryker at Baqubah, received headlamps, movies, etc
post 2153 to SW6906 from NPTT at Camp Liberty, Baghdad
post 2155 and 2177 to patriciaruth from HHC of NPTT at Baghdad for Christmas tree sent by MJY1288 and for the ornaments we sent to decorate it.
post 2168 to 4Godsoloved...Hegave from Stryker at Baqubah

3 posted on 03/29/2008 11:32:10 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: All

Mailed March 14, 2007, to Stryker at Ba’qubah 3 more boxes
Box 5 (new large 12x12 flat rate), insured 99.52 (value100.52), postage $13.00
10 DVD movies:
Airplane! (Leslie Neilsen, Lloyd Bridges)
The Mask of Zorro (Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta Jones)
Independence Day (Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum)
Braveheart (Mel Gibson)
Gladiator (Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix)
Dodgeball (Vince Vaughn)
Lethal Weapon 4 pack with Lethal Weapon I-IV (Mel Gibson, Danny Glover)
19 bags/packs gum and Easter candy:
5 Packs 8 small Reese’s Peanut Butter crunch bars
3 Packs 8 fun size Snicker’s bars
2 bags Hershey’s dark chocolate with almond miniatures
3 bags Butterfingers’ chocolate foil wrapped eggs
4 bags Whopper’s malted milk robins eggs
2 packs 14 Eclipse sugarless gum

Box 6 (large 12x12 flat rate), insured $79.26, postage $13.00
6 DVD movies:
Men in Black (Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith)
Men in Black II (Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones)
Jeff Foxworthy: Totally Committed
The Untouchables (Sean Connery, Kevin Costner)
Witness (Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis)
Click (Adam Sandler)
14 bags Easter candy:
4 Hershey’s creamy milk chocolate foil wrapped eggs
2 Butterfingers chocolate foil wrapped eggs
8 Whoppers malted milk robins eggs

Box 7 (large 12x12 flat rate), insured $98.90, postage $13.00
6 DVD movies
The Passion (Jim Caviezel)
Walk the Line (Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon)
Frequency (Dennis Quaid, Jim Caviezel)
The Alamo (Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton)
There’s Something about Mary (Carmen Diaz, Ben Stiller)
My Cousin Vinny (Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci)
17 bags/packs Easter etc. candy:
2 packs 8 small Reese’s Peanut Butter crunch bars
4 packs 8 Snickers fun size bars
4 bag Butterfinger small chocolate foil wrapped eggs
2 bags Hershey’s dark chocolate with almonds
5 Whopper’s malted milk robins eggs

Mailed March 13, 2008 to Stryker at Ba’qubah, 2 more, boxes
Box 3, value $56.98, postage $25.05
2 battery operated boot and glove dryers
11 packages Peeps chicks, yellow, pink, green, lavendar,and blue
1 Phillips screwdriver

Box 4, value $48.77, postage $8.95
4 cans of body powder
4 packages of 4 batteries D size
7 magazines:
3 Readers Digest Feb, March, April 2008
3 Weekly Standard’s on McCain, Obama, and Clinton v. Obama
1 Sports Illustrated on “The Catch”
Box 40 quart size zipper lock plastic bags
Prilosec little DVD of old Super Bowl highlights

Mailed March 7, 2008, to Stryker at Baqubah, 2 boxes,
Box 1, valued at $72.50, postage $8.95
29 shaving gel (donated by Enterprise)

Box 2, valued at $72.50, postage $8.95
29 shaving gel (donated by Enterprise)

Mailed January 18, 2008, to Stryker at Baqubah, 4 boxes
Box 1, value $32.10, postage $8.95
17 small Valentine heart boxes of 1.75 oz Russell Stover candy (3 pcs, dark choc truffle, choc caramel, choc nut chew)
1 small Valentine heart box of 1.6 oz Whitman candy
3 invidually wrapped Russell Stover choc Santas (2 marshmallow, 1 raspberry cream)
9 individually wrapped Russell Stover chocolate hearts, strawberry cream filled
1 magazine: Sports Illustrated Best Pictures of 2007

Box 2, value $34.71, postage $8.95
24 small Russell Stover 1.75 oz Valentine heart boxes of candy
9 small 2 oz Russell Stover Valentine decorated rectangular box candy

Box 3, value $29.34, postage $8.95
24 small Russell Stover 1.75 oz Valentine heart boxes of candy
1 bag cherry Tootsie Pops (~35)
2 small 2 oz Russell Stover Valentine boxes of candy

Box 5, value $29.34, postage $8.95
24 small Russell Stover 1.75 oz Valentine heart boxes of candy
1 bag cherry Tootsie Pops (~35)
2 small 2 oz Russell Stover Valentine boxes of candy

Mailed January 19, 2008, to Stryker at Baqubah, 4 more boxes
Box 4, value $27.85, postage $8.95
24 small Russell Stover 1.75 oz Valentine heart boxes of candy
4 blueberry candy canes
1 individually wrapped Russell Stover chocolate heart, strawberry cream filled
1 bag cherry Tootsie Pops (~35)

Box 6, value $38.46, postage $8.95
24 small Russell Stover 1.75 oz Valentine heart boxes of candy
7 magazines (Weekly Std 11/19 and 1/14; Readers Digest 11/07 and 12/07; Sports Illustrated 11/26 and 12/17; Decision 1/08),
5 newsletters (Imprimis: What Statesmen have to Teach us; 2 campaign letters from Fred Thompson; 1 campaign letter from Mitt Romney; Billy Graham letter 11/07)
1 local newspaper Jan 16

Box 7, value $31.00, postage $8.95
24 small Russell Stover 1.75 oz Valentine heart boxes of candy
6 magazines (1st Freedom 12/07, Sports Illustrated Man of the Year, Weekly Std 12/3 and 1/21, Readers Digest 12/07 and 1/08)
Newspapers: 1/17 issue local paper and L.A. Times Sunday comics
RNC 2008 Calendar

Box 8, value $31.75, postage $8.95
24 small Russell Stover 1.75 oz Valentine heart boxes of candy
7 magazines (Weekly Std 11/26, 12/10, 12/24, and 12/31; Sports Illustrated 1/14 and Year in Sports issue; Decision 12/07)
2 newsletters (Imprimis: Return to the Constitution; copy article on Holland’s post secular future)
1 L.A. Times Sunday comic section

4 posted on 03/29/2008 11:36:37 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: All

Mailed March 13, 2008 to HHC of NPTT at Camp Liberty (MAJ C)
1 box, value $51.62, postage $8.95
3 packages Dove dark chocolate foil wrapped eggs
3 packages of Brach’s jelly bird eggs
3 packages of Whopper malted milk robins eggs
14 Cadbury chocolate orange crème eggs
14 Russell Stover coconut crème eggs
14 Russell Stover strawberry crème eggs
14 Hershey’s small chocolate bunnies

SENClander mailed March 7, 2008, to NPTT at Camp Liberty (MAJ H)
2 boxes (new larger flat rate boxes)
1 bag Tootsie products
1 bag Reese’s peanut butter eggs
4 packages Peeps chicks
1 bag marshmallow chicks and bunnies
1 bag large Robin eggs, chocolate filled
1 bag mini Robin eggs, malted milk filled
1 bag Cadbury mini eggs
1 bag Hershey miniatures
1 bag pastel candy corn
8 plastic eggs containing a Lindt chocolate bunny
1 wind-up chick/1 wind-up rabbit
1 package of capsules which expand into animals when water is added (thought maybe they could share these with the kids)
packed it all in green Easter grass.

Mailed February 4, 2008, to MAJ C’s HHC of NPTT
1 box, insured for $59.36, postage $11.00
1 TV series DVD boxed set: 24, season 6 (Kiefer Sutherland)
14 small heart shaped boxes of Russell Stover candy (3 pieces in each)
2 bags cherry Tootsie Pops
5 packets chicken flavoring
1 magazine: Sports Illustrated, latest one
2 newsletters:
Franklin Graham
Imprimis: Economy and Canada
Sunday comic section local newspaper

5 posted on 03/29/2008 11:40:13 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: All

Mailed January 18, 2008, to Battle Company on Pakistan border of Afghanistan, bought with donation from airborne (90 power bars, 9 boxes Valentine candy)
1 box, insured $98.04, postage $11.00
9 small 2 oz. boxes of Russell Stover Valentine candy
1 box 12 Power Bars — oatmeal raisin
1 box 21 Marathon Snickers bars
2 boxes 6 Marathon Snickers bars
1 box 21 Power Bars Variety (chewy peanut butter and chewy choc peanuts)
1 box 24 Triple Treat Power bars (smores, caramel choc almond, forgot the other one ?peanut butter?)

NOTE: 2/20/08: APO now changing and will be kept dark from all but family.

6 posted on 03/29/2008 11:44:16 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth
Dear patriciaruth, could you, please, put me on your list and get me the address of a contact in Iraq or Afghanistan?

My extended family always wants to send care packages, but we can't always get the name of a contact to send them to. Bless you all for the good things you, and the other FReepers, do for our soldiers!

Thanks so much, Sing!

7 posted on 03/29/2008 11:51:00 PM PDT by singfreedom
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To: patriciaruth

When I was in Afghanistan the best care packages were homemade cookies and treats. The BX had pretty much everything else we wanted.

8 posted on 03/30/2008 12:46:16 AM PDT by AlaskaErik (I served and protected my country for 31 years. Democrats spent that time trying to destroy it.)
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To: patriciaruth

BTTT and prayers for your mother and you.

9 posted on 03/30/2008 7:26:55 AM PDT by cgk (Checkers Speech 08: Nixon didn't give the dog back, why should Obama give up his preacher? - Lowry)
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To: patriciaruth
Dear Sister in our Lord, I'm Sorry to Hear that your Sweet Mother isn't Feeling Well, and will be Praying for her.

10 posted on 03/30/2008 8:29:34 AM PDT by Kitty Mittens (To God Be All Excellent Praise!!)
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To: patriciaruth; AlaskaErik

It’s great to see the new thread! Prayers for your mother, Patty, and prayers for daybreakcoming. And thanks to AlaskaErik for his service.

11 posted on 03/30/2008 8:59:59 AM PDT by Abigail Adams
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To: patriciaruth

New thread woo hoo!

12 posted on 03/30/2008 10:12:09 AM PDT by Enterprise ((Those who "betray us" also "Betray U.S." They're called DEMOCRATS!))
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To: AlaskaErik

Most homemade cookies arrive moldy, so the DoD has asked us not to send them. Especially after 9/11 there was also concern that items from strangers might deliberately be contaminated and not just a source of accidental food poisoning.

Thus our group can only send commercially wrapped food items with an outdate on the package.

I’ll be posting the Restrictions list again on this thread, along with mailing tips later tonight.

Meanwhile, we would enjoy hearing a bit about your service if you would oblige us?

13 posted on 03/30/2008 3:41:48 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth
Meanwhile, we would enjoy hearing a bit about your service if you would oblige us?

Not much to tell. One of millions who went into theater and did his duty. I was with the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. I flew on 77 combat missions all over Afghanistan as a C-130 loadmaster. Some of my more memorable flights...air dropping ammo while a firefight was raging on below us, flying some of the Gitmo detainees back to their country, flying a Canadian soldier from Kandahar to Bagram for airlift to Landstuhl after he was hit by friendly fire from one of our A-10s and flying Hamid Karzai to one of the villages in the northeast part of the country.

14 posted on 03/30/2008 11:07:19 PM PDT by AlaskaErik (I served and protected my country for 31 years. Democrats spent that time trying to destroy it.)
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To: AlaskaErik; fanfan

I know why you are modest about your service, as we have pictures of adopted soldiers doing many of the same services for our war effort and our country.

But you could have been unlucky and been chosen to make a really large sacrifice, and what we honor you all for is that you stood in the line and took your number and were willing to do what was necessary and take your chances.

We cannot ever thank you enough for that.

fanfan is a Canadian who has been involved with our group early on and sent packages to our American soldiers, and then graduated after a bit of experience and began sending packages to the Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. I know she will be interested in reading your post above about your experiences.

When was your service? I know we killed some Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan with friendly fire early in the course of the war and that caused large difficulties in our relations with Canada. People often only see the movies that glorify war, and don’t appreciate the reasons why war is so terrible, including really tragic mistakes that occur in the fog and confusion of war.

Your experiences listed are all amazing, and you have truly been a part of history in the making.

15 posted on 03/30/2008 11:42:42 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: Kitty Mittens

Thank you for your prayers, dear Sister. We were playing with your stuffed gold finch this past week as it was in Mother’s Easter basket again. And she delights to her the bird song when the spot is pushed.

Mostly I am trusting God step by step day by day, and hoping that it is His will that she have an easy time as she winds down and passes to her next life. Probably some of that is selfish, that I not have a really difficult time taking care of her. :-)

How did you fare in the recent thunderstorm?

16 posted on 03/30/2008 11:47:06 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: johndoe8333; SwatTeam

SwatTeam has just mailed me some knitted caps to put in care packages.

She must read your post above; it will warm her heart.

Thanks for posting.

18 posted on 03/31/2008 12:00:45 AM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: AlaskaErik; patriciaruth

Thanks for the ping, Patty.

Thank you so much for your service, Alaska Eric.

It is very appreciated. :-)

19 posted on 03/31/2008 5:28:04 AM PDT by fanfan ("We don't start fights my friends, but we finish them, and never leave until our work is done."PMSH)
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To: patriciaruth
How did you fare in the recent thunderstorm?

We didn't Get Any Hail, so I was Thankful for that, but the Pastures were a Sight; it Looked Like a World of Water! The King's Pond is Filled to the Brim, and Looks So Beautiful. There had been a Small Group of Ducks there Lately, but they Finally Flew Away. 7 or 8 Turtles Line Up Everyday on a Log in the Water, Sunning themselves, and Look Very Cute.

Your Mother was in my Prayers this Morning, and will be from Now On whenever she Comes to Mind. I'm Glad she Likes the Goldfinch; Bless her Heart, she is the Sweetest Person! I'm So Thankful our Lord's Mercies are New Every Morning, and that He is with her Daily, Surrounding her with His Love.

20 posted on 03/31/2008 9:00:09 AM PDT by Kitty Mittens (To God Be All Excellent Praise!!)
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To: AlaskaErik
Thank you for your Service to our America, AlaskaEric.

21 posted on 03/31/2008 9:07:50 AM PDT by Kitty Mittens (To God Be All Excellent Praise!!)
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To: patriciaruth

Great work, lady! (et al)

22 posted on 03/31/2008 10:22:04 AM PDT by StarCMC ( -JOIN US!-We're PIST!)
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To: Kitty Mittens

Your place sounds so lovely.

However, I’ll bet the turtles were eating the ducks is why they flew away.

23 posted on 03/31/2008 3:17:38 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: StarCMC

Taking the occasion of thanking you to change my tagline to our new URL.

:-* (whoops! mistyped a smile. Is that a kiss?)

24 posted on 03/31/2008 3:23:09 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: All


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)

Check “gift”

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 you’ve 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 won’t 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.


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.

25 posted on 03/31/2008 3:55:08 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: All


1. ALCOHOL and flammables (including mouthwash, perfume, aftershave, nail polish remover and nail care products, lighter fluid, butane fuel cans, eye glass cleaner fluid)
2. GLASS containers or other breakable items
3. HOMEBAKED goods (only commercially wrapped food with good outdate can be sent 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 don’t 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. AEROSOLS (since the London airline bombing threat, aerosol cans of anything cannot be mailed in priority boxes that go on airplanes). Tubes of shaving gel (nonaerosol) and sticks of deodorants can be sent.
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.

Also forbidden:
10. firearms and ammo
11. combustibles and explosives
12. drugs
13. PORN

*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 isn’t rejected for loading on the outgoing mail plane.

1. Don’t mix FRAGRANT items (soap, lotion, shampoo, nonaerosol air wicks, etc) in the same box with food items as the food will taste like the fragrance and be inedible. Even when it separate boxes, it is a good idea to seal food and fragrant items in zipper lock plastic bags.

2. CHOCOLATE. We stop mailing chocolate candy to Iraq in April and don’t resume sending it till mid-October due to the heat. Temperatures on the tarmac can get over 140 degrees and even individually wrapped hard candy can fuse into a solid, inedible mass. Other items, like stick deodorant, can melt, too.

We have sent chocolate successfully during the summer as Tootsie Pops, Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies, Chocolate Splash drink mix boxes, and Hershey’s chocolate syrup (in zipper lock plastic bags)

26 posted on 03/31/2008 4:12:17 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: All

BOXES (and other supplies you will need):

You don’t have to pack in the flat rate priority boxes you get from the post office, but it is simpler—and with the exception of those on the East Coast in the same mailing zone as the Army Post Office zipcode, it is cheaper to use priority flat rate boxes.

We have to send all our care packages by USPS priority mail as the Army relies on the U.S. Air mail Carriers to do the initial security screening for them. Packages sent any other way can be delayed by months.

You pay at the time of mailing the flat rate priority boxes.
Currently the cost is $8.95 regardless of weight for the 11 x 8 1/2 x 5 1/2” size, as long as the box is squarely shut, and not bulging.
The cost of the new 12 x 12 x 5 /12” flat rate priority boxes is $10.95 when mailed to an APO address, regardless of weight, and $11.95 to U.S. addresses. Postal rates are supposedly going up in May, but the new rates aren’t known yet.

To order 25 flat rate priority boxes (11x8x5 or 12x12x5) delivered to your home free within 10 days, call 1-800-527-1950 before 5 pm EST Mon-Fri.

Also you will need customs forms from the post office, one for each box. It’s a good idea to get one or two extra in case you mess one up.

You will need a wide roll of clear packing/shipping tape. The stronger tapes are much easier to use (brand names Scotch and Duck) and a roll of strapping tape is nice. Walmart carries a roll of Scotch wide strapping tape on a red plaster roller with a cutting edge for around $2.49.

To prepare your box for packing you need to open it (as it comes flat) and check which is the bottom side so you can tape it shut (as squarely as you are able), small flaps inside, large flaps outside for the 11x8 box and all flaps are equal size on the 12x12 box. The top has a place for the address label printed with TO: destinataire.
This is hard to do by yourself without getting the tape stuck to itself, so you may want to ask for help for someone to hold the bottom flaps squarely against each other before taping it along the seam, no overlap, and as little gap as you can manage.
Cut a piece of tape and hold it ready, and put it down and seal the bottom while someone holds the flaps square against each other, steadying the box on the unfolded flaps of the top side of box, which is steadied on the table or floor where you are working.
You don’t have to overlap the end of the box with the tape much, as this is a holder piece of tape, so when you cut this piece, estimate it as a few inches longer than the box length. You’ll be sealing up the whole box all around later for final strengthening of these flap closures.
(After taping the bottom, I turn the box over and estimate and cut off one at a time pieces of tape to seal the inside bottom flaps down (two flap edges in the 11x8 box and one flap edge in the 12x12 box) I’m in an agricultural area and keeping spiders out is a challenge.

Be sure your contents are listed somewhere (on a piece of paper or on the customs form) before you close and seal each box.

Be sure the top flaps close squarely and level without bulging up and without much gap before you seal them shut as you did the bottom.

Before doing any more taping, label the box.

You can label it with a preprinted form that has the return address on the form, or you can put your return address (handwritten or a little address sticker) in the upper left hand corner of the top of the 12x12x5 box or above the “TO: Destinataire” where it says “From: Expediteur” on the 11x8x5 box.

NOTE: if you are not using address labels for your return address, you will have to write yours in before you seal the top of the 11x8x5 box.

In the lower right hand corner of the 11x8x5 box, use a dark pen or black felt pen (especially for the APO AE number), and starting above and just to the left of the TO: write the name and APO address you have been given.
In the lower middle of the 12x12x5 box the labeling is ridiculous:
I have just ignored the labels and put the person’s name beginning with their rank in the first line, their unit identification in the next line (which is labeled “rank”) and the location identification as FOB, COP or Camp WhateverItIs in the third line labeled “military organization”. In the last line with the little boxes for the APO AE zipcode, don’t fret if you don’t have the extra four digits of the zipcode. Most APO zipcodes in the war zones don’t have the extra 4 digits.

Take your wide roll of clear tape and cover the return address and the recipient address with clear tape, to prevent smearing and damage in the mail.

If there is food in the box, we also now seal all the sides of the flaps top and bottom with tape to prevent insects and liquid getting in and make it harder to tamper with the package. It’s probably a good idea to do this regardless of contents.

You can use the same wide clear tape (or a strapping tape if you have it) to do the final sealing for strength to prevent breaking open in the mail. These two final seals are both all away around in the middle both ways, like ribbon on a gift package, for the 11x8x5 box, and creatively offset to the left of the APO address label area for the 12x12x5 box. If you are strapping a bigger box, then consider using two separate ribbons of tape around the top, and even one horizontally around the side of the box, depending on the weight inside and the strength of the box.

NOTE that light weight items may go cheaper in a non flat rate box, but that larger sized boxes are penalized now regardless of how light the box is.
The oversized rate applies to pieces that measure over 108 inches but not more than 130 inches in combined length and girth.
Parcels that weigh less than 20 pounds but measure more than 84 inches (but not more than 108 inches) in combined length and girth are charged the applicable rate for a 20-pound parcel (balloon rate).

27 posted on 03/31/2008 5:08:37 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: All


1. cardboard cans (like drink mix powder and nuts come in) can break open around the bottom/top where it is sealed to the metal bottom. You need to reinforce them with wide packing tape.

2. Powders, etc need to be placed in ziplock bags so they don’t contaminate other items if they leak.

3. Don’t pack food or mouth care products with anything that can contaminate it if it breaks or leaks.

4. VHS movies: Sand is a problem with VCR machines in Iraq, so we are no longer sending VHS movies there. If you want to send a DVD movie, please check with patriciaruth for the Masterlist of what has already been sent or requested.

Packing the bags of microwave popcorn is easier if you remove from the boxes or cartons they come in. Generally you can get a carton of 28 bags of microwave popcorn in a 5x8x11 flat rate priority box if you pack this way.

If you want, you can line the box with a garbage bag and pack your bags of popcorn inside the bag and then tie the bag. The bags of popcorn come in their own cellophane sealed bags, so this is just belt and suspenders if you do this.

You can fit 3 stacks of popcorn bags in each 5x8x11 box. If you check which long edge of the microwave bags have the most kernels settled in them, and you alternate these sides, then you can make eight bags in a stack. Any extras you have can be shoved down between the stacks.

IF YOU WANT you can put some bonus treat in the small hole left in one corner after packing your box. But DON’T put anything liquid, breakable, or not ingestible (toothpaste and floss and mouth care products are okay). I’m often pack gum in ziplock bags in these holes. Some one else is puts TicTacs. But simple crumpled paper is okay, too, to stuff the hole to prevent shifting of the end stack of popcorn. DON’t put anything that can melt from April through October, like chocolate.

6. CHOCOLATE and items that can melt are generally not sent during April through midOctober. Even hard candy in cellophane wraps can melt into a solid mass while sitting on hot tarmacs. If you include items that can melt, even during the rest of year, it is best to put them in ziplock bags so they don’t spoil other items if they melt.

7. GAMES for computers. List them on the customs form as DVD movies to lower the risk of theft. And always insure DVD games and movies when you send them.

8. FRAGRANT ITEMS, like soap, air freshener strips, some deodorants, etc. If you mail them with food items, the food can end up inedible due to being impregnated with the perfume odor. Separating fragrant items into a separate box can solve this problem. Also, some

9. DRIED FRUIT, especially whole figs, can give off a RIPENING GAS and odor, enough to burst the bag they are in. The gas can then permeate and ruin the flavor of all the rest of the food items. Avoid mailing bags with larger pieces of dried fruit, especially if the bag is swelling with gas.

28 posted on 03/31/2008 5:14:31 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: All

Mailed March 14, 2008, to Balad in Iraq
1 regular flat rate box, insured 55.92, postage $11.00
5 DVD movies:
Cisco Kid (the best of the Duncan Renaldo TV series from the 50’s)
Shanghai Knights (Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson)
Unbreakable (Bruce Willis)
Total Recall (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone)
Goldfinger (Sean Connery)
3 packs 8 Snicker’s fun size bars
2 packs 8 Reese’s Peanut Butter crunch bars
2 bags Whoppers malted milk robins eggs
1 bag Butterfingers chocolate foil wrapped eggs
1 bag Hershey’s dark chocolate with almond miniatures
1 bag Hershey’s creamy milk chocolate foil wrapped eggs.

Mailed February 1, 2008, to Balad, Iraq, 2 boxes.
Box 1, value $36.08, postage $8.95
24 small 1.75 oz Russell Stover heart-shaped candy boxes (with 3 pieces of candy -choc truffle, choc caramel, choc nut chew)
2 DVD movies:
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Sports Illustrated Feb 4
Decision Feb 08

Box 2, insured $111.57, postage $11.40
1 TV series: Planet Earth (BBC version narrated by David Attenborough)
4 DVD movies:
Flight 93 (A&E made for TV movie)
The Fifth Element (Bruce Willis)
Alamo (Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton)
The Last Boy Scout (Bruce Willis)
2 cans 1 2 lbs. cashews halves and pieces
4 small boxes Russell Stover Valentine candy
5 pkgs cocoa mix (2 double choc, 1 each of candy cane, hazel nut, Bristol cream)
Sports Illustrated Jan 21 (Bret Favre, Totally Cool)

29 posted on 03/31/2008 7:57:01 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: Abigail Adams; AIC; airborne; AirForceBrat23; Alamo-Girl; ALOHA RONNIE; angelsonmyside; AnnaZ; ...

Detail on contents of the 21 packages I mailed out this year to Iraq (Stryker at Baqubah, HHC of NPTT at Baghdad, and Balad) and Afghanistan (Battle Company) can be found at posts 4, 5, 6, and 29.

Information on sending care packages is posted at posts 25-28.

ACCOUNTING for JANUARY 2008 through MARCH 2008: (This is only an accounting of the care packages that I sent)

RECEIPTS: (checks, money order, and Paypal): $740-$1.75 fee for Paypal = $738.25
(from Enterprise, jtill, Kitty Mittens, airborne, manna, jtill, manna, jtill, Enterprise, manna, PigRigger, SwatTeam)

Receipts (goods): 60 shaving gel from Enterprise (58 were mailed to Stryker at Baqubah on March 7, 2008)
Received March 31, 2008: 11 knitted watch caps sent by SwatTeam (not yet sent out)

21 PACKAGES MAILED: Jan-Mar 2008
Postage $224.80, My cost of goods: $1050.57
Stryker at Baqubah: 15 care packages sent, postage $162.50, value $637.98 (value of shaving gel donated by Enterprise not included)
NPTT HHC at Baghdad: 2 care packages sent, Postage $19.95, Value $110.98
BATTLE COMPANY: 1 care package sent, Postage $11.00, value $98.04
BALAD: 3 care packages sent, Postage $31.35, Value $203.57

(Value of packing tape, strapping tape and gas not included.)


Have some further posts to do to catch up, including credits for care packages sent out by others.

30 posted on 03/31/2008 8:14:20 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth
However, I’ll bet the turtles were eating the ducks is why they flew away.

Oh, I Never Thought of that! I Hope they wern't Eating Baby Ducks. :( My Neighbor Told me the Turtles Eat a Lot of Minnows and Small Fish, but that the Fish Get Replenished Very Quickly. There's a Lot of Water still Standing in the Pastures, and there are a Million Small Frogs Everywhere; the Turtles Probably Eat those, if they can Catch them.

31 posted on 03/31/2008 9:07:34 PM PDT by Kitty Mittens (To God Be All Excellent Praise!!)
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: Yehuda

33 posted on 03/31/2008 10:17:48 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: AlaskaErik

Sounds like you had some interesting experiences! :-) Thank you for keeping us safe and free!

34 posted on 04/01/2008 11:46:33 AM PDT by Abigail Adams
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To: patriciaruth
Finally got some Christmas pics from BATTLE CO., in the Korengal Valley, high in the isolated mountain of north eastern Afghanistan...My grandson send the camera in DECEMBER! and we thought it was forever lost. But I got it this last week - with stamps on the envelope stating it had been "missent" to another APO - where it evidently sat for months!

enjoying some food and warm socks and a box of boxes full of goodies...


5 more months of deployment - Bad guys still there - still bad, but this month will tell if it's going to be as bad as last spring/summer/fall...thankfully, they won't have to do another winter this deployment - but will catch two on the next one. By then, things should've calmed down -

35 posted on 04/01/2008 2:14:03 PM PDT by maine-iac7 ("...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time" LINCOLN)
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To: Kitty Mittens

The turtles in my brothers pond were eating his geese, so he’d just pick them off with his shotgun or rifle when they came up to sun themselves.

They grab the duck or geese legs and drag them under till they drown.

36 posted on 04/01/2008 4:08:13 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: maine-iac7

Thank you for the great pictures!!

37 posted on 04/01/2008 4:09:41 PM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth
They grab the duck or geese legs and drag them under till they drown.

Oh, that's Dreadful; I had No Idea they Do that! :( I Watched them a Lot, and Never Saw it, but they could have been Doing it Behind my Back. Thank you for Telling me this, because I didn't Know.

God Bless and Keep you and your Family, my Dear Sister in Christ, and our Lord Grant us All a Restful and Peaceful Night.

38 posted on 04/01/2008 8:53:34 PM PDT by Kitty Mittens (To God Be All Excellent Praise!!)
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To: patriciaruth
Thanks for your post and all of your efforts. I am still sending DVDs of TV shows, but the strike really slowed things down and ended some seasons outright. I've sent/am sending:

Smallville (interrupted, but slowly continuing)
Scrubs (season cut short)

24 looks like it won't be aired this season, but I heard this season was political correctness run amuck, so no great loss.

I got a "return to sender" for Shannon at Bagram PSYOP, so do you have another contact for Bagram?

Thanks again!

39 posted on 04/03/2008 9:00:24 PM PDT by SW6906 (6 things you can't have too much of: sex, money, firewood, horsepower, guns and ammunition.)
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To: SW6906

You have FReepmail! about the change over at Bagram.

40 posted on 04/04/2008 3:02:34 AM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth

Hey Patty!

Wanted you to know - I’m headed to Ft. Bragg next weekend for Sean’s graduation from Special Forces school!

He and Sarah are expecting baby # 2!

May God bless you and your “Merry Band of Patriots”!

And may He continue to bless all of our heroic men and women serving in the US Armed Forces!

41 posted on 04/04/2008 8:19:21 PM PDT by airborne (For ENGLISH, press '1' . For SPANISH, hang up and learn ENGLISH!)
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To: airborne

Is that the weekend just past or the weekend now coming up?

42 posted on 04/07/2008 12:55:07 AM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth

An update on a Sky Soldier’s stateside leave:

my grandson, from BATTLE co, 2nd/503rd, in Afghanistan just had his 18 day leave, after 10 months in the Hindu Kush, aka “Taliban Central” =

He was apprehensive over the reception he might receive stateside, due to the cr*p coming out of DC and elsewhere - but he found out that what his ole gramma had assured him was true: America is behind you!

He is, as we “speak” on his way back for 5 more months in ‘The Valley of Fire” -

He has 5 more months there before a years break back at base in Italy =

Praying that by the time Battle Co, is sent back to the Korengal for a second 15 monther that things will have calmed down. ()It seems Gates is considering to cut the deployments down to 12 months - only twice that of other branches. Big of him.

On a positive note: My grandson was greatly heartened and surprised that everywhere he went on his leave (He was was in Texas and California with parents, other grandparents and siblings, ) he continually found people at restaurants, stores, hotels, on the street - letting him know how much they appreciated him and his fellow troops.

He even got the royal treatment from other troops on the plane coming stateside when they saw his insignia: “You’re BATTLE COMPANY!” = Drinks were being sent from everywhere and his hand got sore from shaking.

From Houston to Corpus to California - he was treated like royalty everywhere he went. He was blown away.

Here’s a couple ‘excerpts’:

Last week, he and his dad went up to Austin - my grandson is an accomplished guitarist, even played a full set on stage, when he was only 12, with the famous Blues man, Phillip Walker - so he wanted to check out the Blues bands in Austin. He was having such a good time, he suggested to his dad that they stay over night.

The hotel wanted $298 for one night. My grandson said: “Well, it’s not that I couldn’t pay that, it’s that I wouldn’t pay that to sleep anywhere for one night.” (He had on a BATTLE CO. tee shirt) He asked: “Do you, by chance, have a military rate?” A smile lit up the clerks face. “Just a minute,” he said.

He came back with the manager, who shook his hand and ...

the results were that they got a top story, $498 room, for $98.

And when he got to the airport yesterday morning for the trip back, he was taken out of line by the airlines reps - he asked: “Is there a problem?”

“Yes,” they said: “You do not stand in line. Come with us.”

And they put him in First Class! He was stunned. But what a wonderful “icing on the cake” moment for him as he heads back to hell.

I tear up just thinking what this all meant to him as he feared the worse before he came stateside, what with what they hear in the media.

(an aside: he has one of his guitars with him at the Korengal and is their “official” entertainer..)

Note: Just talked with one of my son’s who is a long-hauler. He was driving through Colorado today and was on the highway side by side with a convoy of troops who were head and shoulders visible to motorists.

He said every vehicle going past was cheering, waving and high-fiving them. He said the soldiers were waving back and grinning ear to ear.

Eat your black hearts out, you traitorous liberals. America is with our troops.

43 posted on 04/07/2008 10:57:30 AM PDT by maine-iac7 ("...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time" LINCOLN)
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To: Abigail Adams; AIC; airborne; AirForceBrat23; Alamo-Girl; ALOHA RONNIE; angelsonmyside; AnnaZ; ...

For heart warming info about Battle Company, see maine-iac7’s post above.

44 posted on 04/08/2008 2:12:52 AM PDT by patriciaruth (
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To: patriciaruth; AlaskaErik; johndoe8333; RaceBannon

Thanks for the summary/information/education and for your tremendous work, Patty.

America’s finest, FReepers directly connected to America’s finest, and FReepers supporting America’s finest!

All-in-all, the finest people the rest of the world may never know.

45 posted on 04/08/2008 6:13:37 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: patriciaruth; Allegra; SandRat; LUV W; SE Mom; rodguy911; Lancey Howard; Enchante; gpapa; ...

~~AWESOME ..... BTTT!!

God bless you and your family, maine-iac7,
and protect and guide your outstanding,
incredible grandson!! What an amazing man.

Tears and cheers.

46 posted on 04/08/2008 7:52:45 AM PDT by STARWISE (They (Dims) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war-RichardMiniter, respected OBL author)
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To: patriciaruth; STARWISE; maine-iac7

Thank you for pings to main-iac7’s grandson’s wonderful reception, especially in Austin - one of our more liberal cities.

I pray for our military each day.

47 posted on 04/08/2008 8:32:29 AM PDT by potlatch
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To: maine-iac7

Wow, great stories! I’m glad your grandson felt the love that we have for our soldiers! God bless him and his fellow soldiers.

48 posted on 04/08/2008 9:01:49 AM PDT by Abigail Adams
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To: airborne

Congrats on Sean’s graduation! Please give him a salute and a hug from all of us!

49 posted on 04/08/2008 9:03:02 AM PDT by Abigail Adams
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To: maine-iac7; patriciaruth

Thank you for the Ping, Patty, to this Uplifting and Encouraging Read. Maine-iac7, God Shower your Grandson with Awesome Blessings!

50 posted on 04/08/2008 10:50:12 AM PDT by Kitty Mittens (To God Be All Excellent Praise!!)
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