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CARE PACKAGES for our Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2006
patriciaruth ^ | 1-21-06 | patriciaruth

Posted on 01/21/2006 3:06:06 PM PST by patriciaruth

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We invite you to reminisce on our 2005 thread which is linked below.

There are photos from the troops throughout, the last ones are at posts 1249, 1230, 1231, 1195.

Recent Emails and notes from the troops are at posts 1269, 1250, 1232, 1210, 1200.

A very long list of Christmas and New Years care packages sent directly by members of our Merry Band of Patriots is at post 1237.

Accounting for what I received in donations and the value of care packages I sent out in November and December 2005 is posted at 1226 along with list of the donors.

Accounting for Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr 2005 is at 236 along with list of the donors.

Accounting for May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct is at 937 along with list of the donors.

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone!

Link to Care Packages for our Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2005

1 posted on 01/21/2006 3:06:10 PM PST by patriciaruth
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To: All

Mailed January 18, 2006 to Bagram air base in Afghanistan,
1 box, insured $129.54, postage $11.45.
Xbox game: Forza Motorsport
2 DVD movies:
The Warriors (original DVD issue)
Sin City (comic book recreation, several stories, two with Bruce Willis)
Book: War of Eagles (Tom Clancy’s Op Center series)*
Zipper lock bag with 6 body lotion and oil samples
2 bags candy:
Hershey’s minis 41.25 oz (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, milk choc almond)
Mixture (Butterfingers, Nestle’s Crunch, Baby Ruths, Nestle’s Milk Chocolate)
7 DVD recordings by MJY1288:
Speech on Iraq December 7
War on Terror Speech 12-12-05 (Philadelphia)
White House Christmas Tour with Laura Bush
Rush Limbaugh MP3 files for December, 2005, 2 disc set
Address to the Nation, 12-18-05
President Bush, 1-6-06
Magazine: NRA’s Outlook
Newsletter from Billy Graham Evangelical Association

Mailed January 18, 2006, to Coop to take to Walter Reed Hospital for wounded.
1 box, insured $88.00, postage $10.40
1 blue pullover V-neck sweater XL
1 Land’s End dark green T-shirt, all cotton, shrink and stain resistant, XXL
VHS movies:
The Sacketts, 2 VHS set (Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott)
You Know My Name (Sam Elliott)
Book: Wild Card (Tom Clancy’s Power Plays series)*
1 freebie travel clock

*from jtill


2 posted on 01/21/2006 3:08:40 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: All

.............................................................photo by jkphoto

Airborne's nephew sent this flag to us from Mosul. We displayed it for several weeks after the British underground bombings.

3 posted on 01/21/2006 3:10:13 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: patriciaruth

The book "Roberts Ridge" would make a great gift.


4 posted on 01/21/2006 3:11:28 PM PST by Dante3
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To: All

............................................................photo by jkphoto


............................................................photo by jkphoto


............................................................photo by jkphoto


............................................................photo by jkphoto


............................................................photo by jkphoto

These are some of the things Psyops at Bagram made back in 2004

5 posted on 01/21/2006 3:12:51 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: patriciaruth

Freepmail on the way.


6 posted on 01/21/2006 3:13:43 PM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: All

......................................................webhosted by jkphoto

Psyops in Afghanistan doing liaison and education work prior to Elections in 2004.

7 posted on 01/21/2006 3:13:59 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: patriciaruth

Great work, our troops really appreciate the packages!


8 posted on 01/21/2006 3:15:18 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: All

......................................................webhosted by jkphoto

A great soldier sharing a special moment in 2004 with the great kids of Afghanistan. For security reasons we haven't posted this picture till now.

9 posted on 01/21/2006 3:15:26 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: patriciaruth

Thanks for posting this thread....I don't know where I was a the beginning of last year...but, for some reason this whole project escaped my attention...

I am SO PROUD of all of the freepers that have helped..and, now that I DO know about it...I am reporting for duty to help out in year 2006...

Please let me know what you need me to do...okay??


10 posted on 01/21/2006 3:16:38 PM PST by Txsleuth
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To: All

......................................................webhosted by jkphoto

One of our contacts at Kirkuk in 2004 was Nicole. For security reasons we haven't shown her pictures before. She's doing post graduate work now.

11 posted on 01/21/2006 3:16:59 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: patriciaruth

I have a bunch of "Soldier of Fortune" magazines and gun magazines here that I would like to send to the troops. I understand that these are popular with them. I need addresses where to send things to them. I could also enclose kids stuff like crayons and coloring books for the troops to pass out. Some candy too, like lollipops.


12 posted on 01/21/2006 3:18:37 PM PST by Supernatural (All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie! bob dylan)
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To: patriciaruth

Check my page of a photo of my daughter putting barettes in a little girl's hair. Trinkets such as hair items and little boy toys like chalk that fit neatly into soldier's pockets work great! They can stuff their pockets and have enough to share with all the kids.


13 posted on 01/21/2006 3:18:43 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Abigail Adams; AIC; airborne; AirForceBrat23; Alamo-Girl; ALOHA RONNIE; angelsonmyside; apackof2; ..

Ping to our new thread for 2006.

Photos have been posted above.

Contents of recent care packages sent also posted above. Care packages sent earlier this month by kattracks and myself will be reposted below.

Our latest project is sending bags of bite size or fun size candy bars for Valentines Day to our adopted units at Mosul, Kirkuk, Baghdad and Tal Afar and Bagram. Let me know if you want to send a box out before the end of this month.

There is turnover in a couple units which will be reported further when the current unit gets home.

We will have a new project soon involving a company which will be at an outpost on the Syrian border with few amenities and no PX. They will be contacting us with requests in a week or two or so.

Suggest everyone bookmark this thread in case you lose track of it, or you can remember to go to my profile page and check in Links to find the thread.

Please FReepmail me if you want on or off the ping list.

I was awed by what we all did this last year. The first post on this thread gives link to our 2005 thread and has the post numbers for the list of care packages sent directly to our adopted units in November and December and the Accounting posts for the year.

Thanks again to all past, present and future troop supporters!


14 posted on 01/21/2006 3:19:53 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: kattracks; jtill; MJY1288

Posting again to complete the 2006 record.

Kattracks mailed 1/4 and 1/5/06 2 boxes to Tal Afar:
Box 1
2 decks playing cards
4 books:
Home and Away (baseball)
Wired (about John Belushi)
Live from New York (about Saturday Nite Live)
People (The Century Collection)
Snacks:
2 pkg Oreo cookies
5 pkgs Bumble Bee Chicken Salad with crackers
10 pkgs Bumble Bee Tuna
5 boxes Nestle’s Hot Chocolate mix envelops
2 pkgs Mary Jane taffy
10 pkgs Junior Mints
6 pkgs gum
2 pkgs Tootsie Roll bites
1 box 12 Fudge Brownies

Box 2
4 DVD movies:
Ghost (Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopie Goldberg)
The Firm (Tom Cruise)
Footloose (Kevin Bacon)
Fatal Attraction (Michael Douglas, Glenn Close)
4 books:
Prince of Ayodhya
Leadership (Rudy Giuliani)
On Top of the World (about 9/11 and Cantor Fitzgerald)
Miracle of St. Anna (a WW11 Novel)
Snacks:
4 boxes Nestle's Hot chocolate mix
1 pkg. 12 Fudge Brownies
2 pkgs. Double Bubbble bubble gum
2 pkgs. Tootsie Pops
1 bag assorted candy
5 air fresheners

kattracks sent 1/10/06 2 boxes to Mosul
Box 1
2 boxes Little Debbie Swiss Cake rolls (10 per box)
2 boxes Little Debbie Marshmallow pies (6 per box)
2 boxes Little Debbie Peanut Butter wafers (12 per box)
1 box Little Debbie Banana Marshmallow pies (6 per box)
1 pkg. Little Debbie Choc. Sugar wafers
2 pkgs. Chips Ahoy cookies
2 pkgs Oreo cookies
2 bags Beef Jerky
1 bag Dubble Bubble gum
4 pkgs. gum (5 packs per pkg.)
2 decls playing cards.

Box 2
6 boxes Swiss Miss Hot Choc mix (10 per box)
2 boxes Creme filled cookies, choc. strawberry, banana (10 pkgs. per box)
2 pkgs. Tootsie Roll snack bars (10 per pkg.)
2 pkgs 100 Grand bars (10 per pkg.)
2 Pringles chips (Original, Cheesums)
1 pkg. Chips Ahoy cookies,
1 plastic tub Caramal Corn
1 pkg. Mary Jane taffy (approx, 30 pieces)
1 bag assorted candy
1 box sandwich bags.


1/21/06, kattracks sent 2 boxes to Tal Afar containing
2 boxes Little Debbie Star Crunch Bars (8 per box)
2 boxes Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies (9 per box)
1 box LD Raisin Creme Pies (8 per box)
1 box LD Choc. Chip Creme pies (8 per box)
1 pkg. LD Strawberry Sugar Wafers
1 box LD Swiss cake rolls (10 per box)
1 pkg. LD peanut Butter Wafers
2 pkgs 100 Grand bars (10 per pkg.)
2 boxes Nabisco Fig Newtons
5 boxes Slim Jims (5 per box)
3 pkgs Keebler Snack Crackers (6 per pkg. - toast & peanut butter, cheddar)
2 pkgs Creme Cookies (10 per pkg. - choc. vanilla, strawberry, banana)
1 pkg Keebler Fudge Stripes
1 pkg Tootsie Pops
2 pkgs Chips Ahoy
1 pkg. Oreo Double Stuff cookies
4 boxes Post Raisin Bran cereal bars (5 bars per box)
3 Pringles chips (Cheezums, original, Bar B Q)
2 tins Creme Wafer Rolls (vanilla, cappuccino)
2 bags Tootsie Rolls,
3 pkgs gum (5 per pkg.)
5 boxes Nestle's Hot choc. mix (8 per box)
2 boxes Celestial Seasonings Tea (peppermint, strawberry)
4 Renuzit air fresheners
3 DVD movies:
D-Day
Gaudalcanal
Windtalkers (Nicolas Cage)
2 pkgs plastic sandwich bags.


patriciaruth mailed 5 boxes January 5, 2006, to our adopted company of Stryker Brigade at Mosul.
Box 1, value $6.32, postage $7.70
6 boxes 10 envelopes of Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate mix
LA Times (Jan 3 Sports, Bowl Games special, California; Jan 4 Sports, Calendar)

Box 2, value $6.32, postage $7.70
6 boxes 10 envelopes of Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate mix
LA Times (Jan 3 Front Page, Business, California)

Box 3, value $5.35, postage $7.70
5 boxes 10 envelopes of Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate mix
LA Times (Jan 3 Calendar, Jan 4 Front Page, Business, Rose Bowl special)

Box 4, value $43.23, postage $7.70
Canister Archer Farms macadamia nut caramel crunch popcorn, 20 oz.
Bag 9.7 oz Dove 35 bite size chocolates (milk choc, dark choc, choc caramel)
3 pkgs 2 ½ oz Swizzler strawberry Twists
16 boxes Crystal Lite On the Go 10 envelops of lemonade mix for 1 bottle water

Box 5, insured 71.64, postage $9.90
10 boxes Crystal Lite On the Go 10 envelops lemonade mix
1 lb ground Dean & Deluca Arabian Mocha and Indonesian Java coffee
box of 60 Hedley Ceylon tea bags (English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Orange Spice, Peach Apricot, Green Tea, Lemon)
2 bottles 100 caplets 500mg acetaminophen
DVD movies:
The Wrangler (Jeff Fahey)
The Saint (Val Kilmer)
2 DVD recordings by MJY1288:
White House Christmas Tour with Laura and George
Speech by President Bush, December 7
LA Times, Dec 30 Business (about Medicare)


15 posted on 01/21/2006 3:23:48 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: Txsleuth

Want to send a box with bags of bite size or fun size brand name candy bars for Valentines to one of our units? You can include some little Valentines cards if you want.

Or you can help out with care packages for our new Stryker team when we hear what they want.


16 posted on 01/21/2006 3:27:45 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: Dante3

What is Robert's Ridge about? Do you have a copy you want to send directly or mail to me (or maybe Coop) to include in a shipment?


17 posted on 01/21/2006 3:28:50 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: patriciaruth; kattracks

Kat, you rock!


18 posted on 01/21/2006 3:34:18 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: patriciaruth
"Roberts Ridge: A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan" by Malcolm MacPherson, 2005 (hardcover or large paperback) - focus on Navy Seals

I have not read it but a relative has and I read a great review of it and have sent copies.

19 posted on 01/21/2006 3:43:32 PM PST by Dante3
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To: patriciaruth

Bump


20 posted on 01/21/2006 3:45:55 PM PST by BeAllYouCanBe (Animal Rights Activist Advisory: No French Person Was Injured In The Writing Of This Post)
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To: Indy Pendance

Do fairy godmothers rock?


21 posted on 01/21/2006 3:46:06 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: patriciaruth; kattracks

You all are wonderful! My soldier tells me of the things they get from complete strangers. Those packages tend to come on down days. It's a real spirit lifter.


22 posted on 01/21/2006 3:48:02 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Dante3

Robert's Ridge sounds great. I'd love to read it.

Lately, since the war has been grinding on a while now, I'm shifting to lighter reading material and movies for the troops to give them some escape, but I'm sure any of the bases would have some soldier or Marine who would find this book interesting.


23 posted on 01/21/2006 3:49:12 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: patriciaruth

I think light reading and also humor is a good idea. Humor is great at reducing stress.


24 posted on 01/21/2006 3:56:00 PM PST by Dante3
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To: jkphoto

I finally posted some of the pictures you took at the Tailgate Party. See above.

Thank you so much for webhosting them. Let me know if it becomes a problem for you.


25 posted on 01/21/2006 3:58:38 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: patriciaruth

I would be glad to send some Valentine candy....and hopefully some Valentines...

Do you give me an address or what??


26 posted on 01/21/2006 4:01:29 PM PST by Txsleuth
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To: patriciaruth

One Hooter's calendar, with over 350 signatures, will be sent off to Tikrit on Monday. I may have to pull a few suggestions from your list to include in the package...


27 posted on 01/21/2006 4:04:18 PM PST by Libloather (Hillary, be a doll and give me my FBI file back...)
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To: Dante3

I just subscribed to Reader's Digest and will be including my copy in the boxes going out. It has all those little humor sections with amusing tales and jokes.

It was requested by Mosul. If anybody else wants to subscribe and send out copies to another base, let me know. My subscription was a deal for $10 for a year of 10-12 issues.


28 posted on 01/21/2006 4:04:48 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: patriciaruth; jkphoto

Thanks for the ping and thanks to JK for hosting the photos.

Our nephew and his Co. deployed right after Thanksgiving. On a website set up for family and friends, one of the items mentioned in the news section was what can and cannot be sent in CARE pkgs.

Senders were cautioned that sending magazines with photos of women in shorts, swim suits etc would be considered contraband in the ME culture. Several folks were a bit upset because every magazine has advertising using models in stages of dress or undress whatever the viewers opinion might be. Hot Rod magazines, Golf Digest, you name it, is going to have photos in either articles or advertising.

Soldiers are instructed on what to do with said "contraband".

We have adopted our nephew and one soldier in the unit for the duration of their deployment. We use the flat-rate boxes available at the USPS for shipments. Customs form must also be filled out. Flat-rate is $8.30 postage + whatever insurance etc we choose. Boxes measure 8 1/2 X 11 x 6 inches. A bargain rate to provide a taste of home for our troops.


29 posted on 01/21/2006 4:19:25 PM PST by Diver Dave
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To: patriciaruth

bump


30 posted on 01/21/2006 4:23:45 PM PST by RightField (The older you get . . . the older "old" is !)
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To: Diver Dave

CUSTOMS FORM

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.

IGNORE THE WEIGHT COLUMN.

Put the combined value of everything in each line in the VALUE column.
ADD all the values in the value column for the total value.

IGNORE all the other boxes.

IF you have more questions, just ask patriciaruth.


31 posted on 01/21/2006 4:39:23 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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To: Diver Dave

FORBIDDEN ITEMS:

1. ALCOHOL and flammables (including mouthwash, perfume, aftershave, nail polish remover and nail care products, lighter fluid),
2. GLASS containers or other breakable items,
3. HOMEBAKED goods (only commercially wrapped food with good outdate is allowed by nonfamily members as many of these items get moldy during the long overseas shipping time and also to avoid unintended or intentional food poisoning),
4. PORK or any pork containing products, even if only used in manufacturing,*
5. RELIGIOUS items if you 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. large cans AEROSOLS (if send small travel size cans, please put in ziplock bags )
8. BATTERIES cannot go IN the device that needs them, due to electrical spark hazard and chemical leak hazard of older batteries. Remove any batteries and include a SEALED pack of new batteries of the size needed.

Also forbidden:
9. TOBACCO
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.


32 posted on 01/21/2006 4:42:21 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346573/posts)
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: Supernatural

Check out the Shooting USA website - they sponsor a different unit each month for care packages, and give the address and other mailing information. And those types of magazines and kids' stuff are on the list of things they'd love to get!


34 posted on 01/22/2006 12:58:15 PM PST by hsalaw
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To: hsalaw

Thanks. Sounds like a plan.

Watching the Steelers and checking FR during commercials.


35 posted on 01/22/2006 1:02:53 PM PST by Supernatural (All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie! bob dylan)
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To: Supernatural

Good for you! The Shooting USA sponsorship of a unit each month has been going on for a few months now, and every time I send them a box of DVDs and cards. I just sent out a box of Valentines' cards and DVDs last week. And the soldiers send back e-mail thank yous. Such a small thing to do but it lets our troops know we really care.


36 posted on 01/22/2006 1:10:05 PM PST by hsalaw
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To: patriciaruth

BTTT You're a wonderful woman, Patricia Ruth - who does great sevice for others!


37 posted on 01/22/2006 1:13:12 PM PST by Libertina
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To: MEG33; kattracks; Txsleuth; MJY1288; Supernatural; Dante3; Libertina

EMAIL from MOSUL from our new contact to keep you in the loop.

Thanks Patty,

I will let you know once we hit ground at our new location. I have Cc'd my commander on this email, so that he is read in as well.

I (We) look forward to the support from the Merry Band of Patriots. This is something that really helps the soldiers when being far away from home for a long period of time. Thanks again for all that you do.

1SGT **


38 posted on 01/22/2006 4:08:36 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1562436/posts)
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To: patriciaruth

Thanks for the ping...

I am planning on hitting the store and the post office tomorrow...

I will let you know when I am ready to mail!!!


39 posted on 01/22/2006 4:37:30 PM PST by Txsleuth
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To: patriciaruth

bttt


40 posted on 01/22/2006 4:56:53 PM PST by Dante3
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To: patriciaruth

Patty, does this mean we should hold off on packages for Mosul? I have two Valentine's Day boxes ready to go to Tal Afar and was going prepare the same for Mosul.


41 posted on 01/22/2006 5:19:58 PM PST by kattracks
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To: patriciaruth

Thank you for all that you do! My assistant has a daughter that was very recently with the 101st and she mentioned CARE packages from home and how wonderful they are. Thankfully, she is home now, but is probably going to reenlist. She says the job isn't done.


42 posted on 01/22/2006 5:22:21 PM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: Supernatural; patriciaruth
Wow! I am sorry to say I have missed these threads until tonight. (how did that happen?) What great work you are all doing here.
43 posted on 01/22/2006 5:30:40 PM PST by Diva Betsy Ross (Embrace peace- Hug an American soldier- the real peace keepers.)
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To: kattracks

No, send the boxes to our adopted company at Mosul as planned.

We are going to take on another company of Stryker in a few weeks when they are settled in their new location and send them the bulk of our Mosul packages in the future.

We have lost contact with Battery at Kirkuk. Never did get a contact to replace the one that went home. So this additional Stryker unit will replace them.


44 posted on 01/22/2006 5:31:39 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1562436/posts)
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To: Diva Betsy Ross

Would you like to go on the ping list so you can follow our activities and see some of the emails and pictures we get back from the war zones?


45 posted on 01/22/2006 5:34:18 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1562436/posts)
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To: patriciaruth
Yes, that would be great. I wonder how I missed this thread for so long..this is fantastic! I just happen to pop in when you were at the top of latest articles. I guess I should be searching for these kind of things. Seriously.. I am impressed with what you all have done.
46 posted on 01/22/2006 5:37:52 PM PST by Diva Betsy Ross (Embrace peace- Hug an American soldier- the real peace keepers.)
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To: Diva Betsy Ross

Typically they move us quickly to vanities, so we "go dark" soon after the thread is posted.

In spite of that, there are about 250 or so on the ping list. And not everyone who has sent care packages through the Merry Band of Patriots is a FReeper.

I find it very rewarding being a part of this. I hope you will, too. Welcome!


47 posted on 01/22/2006 5:47:33 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1562436/posts)
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To: Diva Betsy Ross

Thanks. There are many here who support the troops. I'm just getting my feet wet and trying to help out.


48 posted on 01/22/2006 5:56:03 PM PST by Supernatural (All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie! bob dylan)
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To: All

PACKING TIPS:

TRICKY ITEMS:
1. cardboard cans (like drink mix 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.
5. POPCORN:
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 dried fruits, especially whole figs, will 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.


BOXES (and other supplies you will need):

You don’t have to pack in the flat rate priority boxes (5x8x11) you get from the post office, but it is simpler--and with few exceptions, cheaper to do so. You pay at the time of mailing, $8.10 per box regardless of weight, as long as the box is squarely shut, and not bulging. To order 25 flat rate priority boxes (5x8x11) delivered to your home 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 $1.98).

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. The top has a place for the address label printed with TO:
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 two pieces of tape to seal the inside bottom flaps down…as 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 box.

In the lower right hand corner, 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.

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. 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.


49 posted on 01/22/2006 6:07:08 PM PST by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1562436/posts)
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To: patriciaruth
Thanks I appreciate it.
50 posted on 01/22/2006 6:16:21 PM PST by Diva Betsy Ross (Embrace peace- Hug an American soldier- the real peace keepers.)
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