Firearms Talk "adopt a platoon" support team
I posted a while back about adopting a platoon of deployed soldiers and had some interest. I've made contact with a LT currently deployed in Iraq who would welcome our support.
The idea is to exchange letters, emails and send a monthly care package to the soldiers. I hope to concentrate on quality and send things which will help them to survive, stay safe and keep morale high. The groups who initially started out performing this kind of service for our troops have tended to fade away as the length of service increases, now more than ever our soldiers need to know they still have people at home who appreciate the sacrifice and effort made on our behalf.
I'd like to get as many participants as possible, I'll arrange bulk purchases and shipping for the care packages, by participating you would be willing to contribute monthly. My goal is to try and keep the overall cost down while still providing the troops with something special.
From the LT of the group I've made contact with:
My platoon would be honored. We are happy to share with you stories and
photos from our deployment. I will let you know that we are projected to be
headed home in the Spring...so if you are looking for a platoon to have a
year-long relationship with, we will be back in the states sometime between
March-June of 2009...just so you know. Beyond that, we are honored to have
citizens who appreciate what we do and want to help us - we do what we do
Our platoon consists of 21 individuals, all of them heroes. 5 of my
soldiers are infantryman, and 15 are tankers. I am an infantryman as well.
This current fight has created the need for such "mix-and-match" forces.
The are from all over the United States. 1st Platoon, Delta Company, 1-66
Armor (Combined Arms Battalion), 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infnatry
Division is known as the "Renegades." We are currently operating in eastern
Baghdad, an area called New Baghdad, along the Diyala River. The platoon
spends most of its time at a smaller base we call a Combat Outpost or "COP."
Our battalion is based out of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Rustamiyah. We
are a battalion out of 4th Infantry Division currently assigned to a brigade
of the 10th Mountain Division for operational purposes.
This group is deployed through March which makes for a perfect chance to try this thing out and make sure we can keep up our end and gather enough participants. If things go well the LT can hand us off to the unit replacing his.
These guys are not lounging in the green zone, they are forward deployed in an area which does see a lot of action. The accommodations are very rough in the FOBs and anything we can do to make life easier on them will be greatly appreciated. The troops will share stories, photos and I plan to send some flags and other items for them to sign, photograph and send back to be given to the participating members here at FT.
These units are the new "mixed unit" types with soldiers from blended companies which include armor, infantry, special forces and even multiple branches (army, marines and navy).
I can't say enough on what a great thing it is to participate in something like this. These people are true heroes, quality people and you could end up making the kind of friend for life you'll value.
Some items will require being purchased, others would just require some time and effort.
Items I have in mind to send:
Scorpion UV lights (pocket lights which make the local scorpions glow, making them easy to see - these are a huge problem for the troops as they hide everywhere they can, especially in boots, clothes, bedding, etc.
Magazines, electronic and print format (sports, girls, womens magazines, cars, etc)
Weapons and shooting magazines, catalogs
Home town news and news papers, recordings of sporting events, TV shows, etc
Music CDs, recordings of radio shows
Depending on how things go and if needed we might gather air mile donations for wounded troops (they have to pay to fly home), pre paid cell phones / minutes, pre paid long distance cards.
I'll be looking for ideas from the members of our support team and well as from the troops and their COC.
Please reply if you want to join up and PM me an email addy to contact you with. I'll be setting up a dedicated email list as well as keeping the FT membership updated via the forum.
I read somewhere last week that the troops are in desperate need of a good lubricant for their weapons. The article said that the government issued "CLP" works good as a lub. but it actually attracts sand and grit to the inner workings of a weapon, causing them to jam. The article also said that for some time family members and care package senders had been sending an alternate lubricant called "Militex" (I think that the name), but that the military stopped letting people send it in these packages. Probably because it's not a military developed lub and CLP is. I've looked elsewhere for some news about this but haven't been able to find anything concerning this problem. Next time contact is made with the LT, could you ask him about it, maybe he'll be able to shed some light on it.
I figured a dependable weapon lub that doesn't attract grit would be something that could be sent to our guys that would help them survive in the sandbox.
Everyone should pool their contacts and see if we can round up some better M9 magazines (or at least the better springs for the mags), and send them down there.
Alot of those troops need to depend on their sidearm sometimes more than their primary weapon. The M9 magazines down there are a joke, so if we can get them some decent ones, it would be a godsend to them.
Also, maybe send some silicone cloths down there, and some anti-tilt followers for their M16/M4 magazines.
Count the Dillinger household in. We already support Wounded Warrior, now the UFC Fight for the Troops, and I have a thread about sending DVD's and popcorn to the troops.
HOWEVER - Since 09.12.2001 I personally have not had to be subjected to any foreign entity making an attack on my beloved US soil.
The reason for that is because we have the best damn fighting force on the planet and they do the job better than anyone.
We here in the JD household never forget that we can get up, go to the store, or the movies, or just lounge away the day at home because of our brave men and women in uniforms.
I know that times are tight - but some of the things that make a world of difference to these guys are easy to get, and free. Hell, you can record local radio shows that stream live on the internet from hundreds of radio stations around the country and mark them as such on a case of CD's.
Imagine being from Seattle, where I am locally, and being stationed halfway around the world, but being able to hear 4 hours of a local morning radio show that you remember loving when you were "home". That could be PRICELESS to one soldier and would cost you almost nothing.
Everyone should please consider joining up for this noble cause.
Hang on, did you just say that wounded soldiers had to pay their own way home?? Seriously? :confused: :mad:
If that is accurate (and I dont doubt you), then its disgraceful.
That being said I think this is a great idea. However, I am wondering about the commitment. Are you looking for a constant stream of items/correspondence, or one time, or?
As for gun magazines, I have tons and would be more than happy to share. In fact I get piles of mags (drives the husband nuts :) )
How would this be coordinated? would everyone send to one stateside location for delivery or would we send individual packages from us directly to the platoon?
Sorry for so many questions, this is a new idea for me.
count me in as well, just let me know
I was thinking of sending one big package or sets of packages per month. If people just want to contribute money to pay for the items that's fine, if they want to contribute actual items that's fine too. I can do quite a bit a/f/a recording TV shows and radio shows but more localized content might require more participants. I plan to kick in a bit more than the group average to cover postage and so on.
Since there are 21 soldiers in the unit the best thing I can think of would be to get bulk purchases on items we as a team decide to send which require purchase. Things like the scorpion lights, magpul followers, milspec monkey morale patches and so on. Whatever we can come up with as a monthly allowance to cover some special item or items and pay for the magazine subscriptions, DVDs, etc.
Most groups adopt a single soldier per family participating and require each family to send the care package on their own. I thought a group approach might prove more able to do more with less money and send something nicer than the usual baby wipes and beef jerky. (I plan to ask them what they need, if they need or want those things then that's fine too, I'm not discounting anyone's effort in this regard).
The more team members we can bring on board the less the cost will be and the better items we can send the troops. I really like the idea of sending them mags if needed, anything they need to save their lives definitely means a lot more and as any ex military person can tell you, the government doesn't always get that kind of stuff right. Not all that long ago I was sending bore snakes to Iraq to help keep rifles operational. As already pointed out, I've also heard they are having issues with the current provided lube and cleaning solvents. I'll be sure to ask the LT what the sitrep is.
Thanks to those of you who have responded so far, I'd really like to see at least 20 people join up.
I think the best idea is to find out what the guys in their platoon need/want. Us trying to pick brand "X" mag over something they know and love would be welcome, but fall short of what we are trying to do for them.
If they want gun magazines, let's find out which ones. Let's face it, sending them Maxim when they want Playboy is going to fall short as well. ;)
Sounds like the LT is more than on board with the plan - have him put up a sign up sheet, or maybe he knows what his men want, a good leader always does.
I was also stationed in Germany (Ramstein AB, about 10 miles away from Landstuhl AB). I've spent some time at Landstuhl, and to my knowledge, no wounded personnel ever had to pay for meals. Pretty much, the SOP for costs of operating a war is taken from a fund designated by Congress. Military members will never see any deductions from their pay because of hospital care, or medivac flights.
I cannot speak for wounded KBR/Halliburton members, though. Maybe the rumor stemmed from that company, or other contracted personnel in the Iraqi theatre, I'm not sure.
No offense to anybody here, but I try to stop rumors as best as I can to avoid unintended negative consequences towards anybody stateside or abroad.
I'm waiting on the LT to respond, I asked him to clarify some of the discussion items and to give us a list of what they need. I saw the report on troops having to pay airfare on the news so I know there was something to it at one point but as I said, I have no idea if it's still an issue, if it ever was a real issue and was misreported or if it was some other variation. At this point I don't think we have enough people interested to be able to do this, hopefully more will come on board. I really don't want to have to tell the LT if that's the case.
I'll update everyone as soon as I know something.
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