09:54 – There’s been some discussion over the last couple of days about sending CARE packages to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Someone posted a link to a very useful web site, http://www.anysoldier.com. Among other things, that site has a frequently-updated list of Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine, and Coastguard personnel who serve as contacts for their units. Each has a page on the site that lists information about them and their units, and what kind of stuff they need.
Sending packages to the troops is one of those things that everyone knows is a Good Thing, but it’s one of those get-a-round-tuit things. As I was sitting there looking at one Marine’s page, I got to thinking. We make a Costco run every month or so, and I send out Priority Mail packages every day. So it’d be no big deal to “adopt” a unit, pick up some stuff for them every time we make a Costco run, box it up, and send it off. And if we make that a regular thing, the round tuit problem goes away.
So I picked out a unit, which’ll be in Afghanistan through December. There are 15 people in the unit, all women, and the unit is based in North Carolina. They maintain and fly attack choppers. On our next Costco run, we’ll pick up some of the stuff they’ve requested and ship it off. Being girls, Barbara and Mary will be good advisors as to what to send. Also, having run around the world with Blue Planet Run a few years ago, Mary knows from experience what kind of stuff women are likely to want when they’re stuck in the middle of nowhere.
One note. In the comments the other day, Lynn mentioned sending homemade cookies to his son while he was deployed in the Mideast. That’s fine if you’re sending stuff to a friend or family member, but otherwise the rule is only commercially packaged items. It’s sad but true that our troops are told to discard homemade food because it’s simply not safe to eat homemade food from an unknown source.