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Old 11-26-2008, 01:21 PM   #11
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Thanks for the clarification Sgt Miller. I was waiting for further info and preparing to recreate the "Exorcist Pea Soup" scene in my Congressman's office. Its not the sort of thing "this" citizen would have taken lightly.

I am very easy to get along with, however I have a few very specific nonnegotiable positions on things, and treatment of members of the armed forces is one of them.

Infotech keep us posted. Also, if for some reason this does not come to fruition, does anyone have contact info for where I can just send a one time package of my own and/or maybe a Christmas card with some pics and a thank you for serving??

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Old 11-26-2008, 01:28 PM   #12
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Infotech keep us posted. Also, if for some reason this does not come to fruition, does anyone have contact info for where I can just send a one time package of my own and/or maybe a Christmas card with some pics and a thank you for serving??
Agreed. Perhaps if we can't adopt them for the length of their tour, perhaps we can send one good care package that will help them get through the rest of their time away from loved ones and let them know there are still those of back here that care about them.

C'mon Firearmstalk Members - This is a good cause. You want your Rights to continue? Stop and think for a moment about the brave men & women who are putting themselves in harms way to keep the wolves away from our door. Isn't that worth a little of your time and a small donation?

IT - I am going to sticky this thread so it stays current.

JD
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:52 AM   #13
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Agreed. Perhaps if we can't adopt them for the length of their tour, perhaps we can send one good care package that will help them get through the rest of their time away from loved ones and let them know there are still those of back here that care about them.

C'mon Firearmstalk Members - This is a good cause. You want your Rights to continue? Stop and think for a moment about the brave men & women who are putting themselves in harms way to keep the wolves away from our door. Isn't that worth a little of your time and a small donation?

IT - I am going to sticky this thread so it stays current.

JD
Depending on what the LT comes back with we may do the one time thing or I may do a monthly thing and just tell people here when the time comes and what's on the list. I can afford to contribute enough to make up for 5 members or so (I was thinking 20 people contributing 10 to 20 per month - that would allow us to buy enough mags or lights or whatever for 21 soldiers).

This is a big deal to me, I've lost a few family members in combat and it seems like every man in my family tree going back to our Irish, French and German roots were soldiers. I had family on both sides of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and WW2. One of my grandfathers died in Korea, a Navy officer who used his sidearm to cover his men so they could escape an ambush. Ail of his men made it out, he didn't. My father served in Vietnam and paid a big price for it, one our entire family shared the cost of. I had my Congressman's letter to attend the Air Force Academy and was unable to go due to a very bad accident. My little brother served as a reservist in GW1, met some SF soldiers and impressed, came home, enlisted, made Ranger and went deep into SF Ops. Maybe it's genetic but knowing we have troops in harm's way really, really motivates me to contribute to their fight, however I can and as much as I can.

The war is very unpopular and this past election has a lot of people thinking it means we will walk away. I can't make them understand just how critical the work our soldiers are doing is, especially in Afghanistan and even more important in Iraq despite the perception of "peace" there we are being fed. American civilians would be dying around the world and perhaps even here at home if it weren't for these men and women being willing to stand in harms way on our behalf.

I apologize for my lack of commitment in my previous post, I just have a sense of frustration after trying to set something up like this for months now and having been unable to get a group of soldiers interested. I don't understand it as I know for a fact they need help, especially with tactical gear which many of them are paying for out of pocket or having to use equipment which is failing in the conditions of the theater.

I want to also do something to try and help people here at home understand why the war is so important to our future. I feel like the military may have messed up despite having the best of intentions with the embedded reporting. What we are not hearing back here at home is why the soldiers feel the war is needed or why they want to be there. The media only seems to want to concentrate on the soldiers who have chosen to protest the war. I don't fault any of our troops, no matter which side they come out on. Seeing people you care about die or be injured in front of you can make people question the wisdom of war. Some of the outright criminal profiteering which has gone on has turned others as well. I won't tell any soldier, especially those who have stood in harm's way for our freedom that their freedom is limited in this regard. I just think it might help if we were able to hear both sides direct from the troops with no PR spin.

I've gotten involved in a couple of projects to do just that but once again, we can't get any troops interested in participating. I'm just kind of lost and can't figure out why offers of support from good people are ignored. I know there must be a good reason, I just haven't been able to find it.

So anyway, sorry for the long and emotional post. We'll do something as a team to show our support, one way or another. I'm going to be patient with the LT, for all we know they might be out on deployment or even in battle right now. The internet service there is also somewhat less than dependable.

Updates as they come in......
Thank you for those of you who have joined the support team so far and for your words of encouragement.
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:32 PM   #14
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I can't do much by way of any gear but I can part with some cash for this platoon. All I need is an address (email or postal) to send the money. Infotech, if you read this please contact me with more specific info. I wasn't sure what kind of thread it was going to take to get me out of lurking mode. This is probably the best one so far, with plenty of questions of my own on the way. Thanks.

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Old 12-02-2008, 07:51 PM   #15
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OK I heard back from the LT - I encouraged him to send a list of wants and needs and not to be shy, he actually took the time to reach out to his troops and ask for their feedback. I'm going to try and get this first package out by x-mas and want to make it special. I'll post his response and we can go from there figuring out what we can do. The good news is that I can come up with a lot of the items. The magazines might be easy as well if anyone has saved back issues, I have quite a few in electronic format I can burn to DVDs. The TV shows and sporting events are also no problem, I can get licensed copies of just about any broadcast or cable show and convert them to DVD format for watching (if you can help in this area don't be shy though, it does take a lot of time to put together).

Let's discuss this and figure out what we want to do and I'll contact each of you individually to find out what you want to contribute, we should be able to work out a decent x-mas package to send from there.

Here's the response from the LT(2ndLT actually):

I spoke with the "boys" and got a few ideas for you. Monthly magazines are
always good. So are gift cards so the guys can get individually what they
want. I will just list somethings here and you can pick and choose what you
do. With magazines and what not, 1 copy of anything is plenty and the guys
just pass it around. I don't want to tell you guys to send a bunch of stuff
and the guys not have time to actually use any of it so I'll try to be
specific. Thank you again...I cannot tell you how much your support means
to the platoon and myself. Please share with all your supports/counterparts
that I appreciate their service and support as well. I just wish I was
there to shake your hand and tell you face to face. I hope this list helps.

Magazines (in no particular order):
- Guns/Tactics/Shooting magazines
- Hunting Magazines
- Sports Magazines
- Men's Magazines (i.e., Maxim, Stuff, FHM, etc)
- Tattoo Magazines
- Music Magazines (Blender, etc.)
- Auto/Car magazines
TV Shows:
- The Shield
- The Unit
- Dexter
- Nip/Tuck
Games:
- NCAA and Pro ANYTHING! Haha
DVDs:
- Movies are HUGE here...most of the guys watch movies during their
downtime. We can get a lot of the "new" movies here for like $1.50 b/c its
Iraq and they can do that...but the "goodies" are always fun
- War movies, Action movies, Horror Movies, Comedies
Gift Cards:
- Tactical Gear Web-Sites: SKDtac.com, bravocompanyusa.com, brownells.com,
extremeoutfitters.com, diamondbacktactical.com (if you want more websites or
companies let me know but I'm sure you guys know the big ones - I am
hesitant to say things like "send magazines" b/c some of the boys have
already bought gear on their own...but like I said we will make use of
ANYTHING!)
- iTunes gift cards for downloading music
- Amazon.com gift cards - cuz you can get anything there!

A "good qualiy/heavy duty" coffee maker - we wear out the cheap ones fast.

Something I was thinking of if you are interested: we can get internet in
our rooms here at the FOB through a local guy (on base). We aren't here
often, but when we are it is great to have access in the room. I can afford
it as a single officer, but a lot of the guys can't. I was thinking about
asking who has computers and does not have internet and find out costs on
that and see if a month internet or something was something you guys could
do. If that sounds intersting let me know and I will find out more.

We are totally set on food...moms are making sure we have more peanut butter
crackers and candy than we can handle. If you want to buy specific items for
the guys let me know and I can get you a list for that. Thanks again
man...I'm blown away.
----------------------------------

Thanks again to those of you who signed up - I'll work on setting up a mailing list over the next couple of days so please make sure I have your email via PM. I'll email the complete responses along with the unit info and all that, I don't know if posting everything publicly is a good idea or not - there have been some warnings from the gov to maintain personal and operations security on public forums - there's no telling what the bad guys could get from it but I don't want to take any chances. If anyone wants to write letters to the troops feel free to do so, with the war dragging on like it has morale is important and a note of thanks for what they do and letting them know you understand how important it is can go a long way.

Thanks again,
IT

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Old 12-02-2008, 08:07 PM   #16
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You should have my e-mail in a previous PM. Let me know what you want us to contribute, we would be honored.

Quote:
A "good qualiy/heavy duty" coffee maker - we wear out the cheap ones fast.
This has me intrigued....

JD
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:11 PM   #17
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What do you guys think about this one for our troops? 934 reviews on Amazon with 4 out of 5 stars...

Cuisinart DCC-1200 12-Cup Brew Central Coffeemaker

JD

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Old 12-02-2008, 09:36 PM   #18
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What do you guys think about this one for our troops? 934 reviews on Amazon with 4 out of 5 stars...

Cuisinart DCC-1200 12-Cup Brew Central Coffeemaker

JD
That's a nice one - do you think a stainless steel carafe would be better to send as opposed to the glass one? I have an Italian made maker I bought at Starbucks on special for 99.00 - it has a stainless carafe that's insulated and seals itself. We can make a pot of coffee and leave it all day and it stays hot and fresh.

I know exactly what they mean though, the cheap makers cannot hold up to "group" use and will burn out pretty quickly. I was thinking a restaurant type maker from a surplus or commercial kitchen supply house might be better, at least we know it wouldn't break for quite a long time. I'll be happy to gather up some coffee and supplies from Starbucks along with a grinder and so on. Some people don't like the "burnt beans" from Starbucks so a big bag of beans from one of the other coffee houses would be a good idea as well. (a big can of Maxwell House is a favorite for some also).

I have a couple of contacts with tactical supply / gun makers who are looking into what they can send, if anyone has good contacts of their own it might be worth looking into anything "useful" for the troops they might have an overstock on which they might give us a good bulk purchase price for. I'll post some links and stuff here after my wife is finished with me.


Update:

Here's one of the steel makers from Starbucks but I'd still be worried it will burn out making coffee 24/7 for 21 troops:
http://www.starbucksstore.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=632018

Here's a commercial maker from Sam's club:
http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=146962&pCatg=7941

We could probably find a better price from a restaurant supply place or even the Starbuck's one, especially if I go in person and talk to the manager and tell him what it's for. I managed an electronics store back when the war first started and used to give families my cost on items they had me ship to the sandbox.

I'm going to try and get an idea of what everyone wants to put in and given the total we can decide as a group how to best spend the funds. I'm thinking we get them a really good coffee maker for x-mas with some supplies, the DVD's of tv and sports events, magazines (reading) and some small tactical gifts (cleaning sticks, molle pouches or something - whatever we can get in quantity). I can get some morale patches in bulk also.

If I or one of you can get something cool from one of our industry contacts it would be nice to wrap up a gift package for each of the soldiers for x-mas. Luckily we can do a lot of this for the cost of the DVD's (which I have already) - the rest will be trying to get the most bang for our buck type stuff.

Let's hear those suggestions and ideas...

I think the room internet access is 20 per month there. I'll find out how many guys share each room and we'll see if it's workable. It may either be really expensive or workable depending on how many rooms there are. This allows the troops to do webcam and stuff with family so it's meaningful. I'll find out the fine details and report back.

Thanks again and let's make this a really special x-mas for these guys (and gals, maybe, not sure if they have any women in the unit, I'm getting the impression they don't).
Thanks,
Infotech
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:05 PM   #19
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Well, I don't know about anyone else - but when I was overseas, my internet connection was definitely one thing that helped me through the day.

On the forward bases, non combat, the guys were bored to tears, which was one of the reasons I was there in the first place - to provide inroom high speed internet connections and VoIP abilities.

I definitely think the internet connections would go over well, but only if they have a decent network. When I first got to Korea, the first base connection speed average was so slow it would take a week to download the basic Hotmail homepage. It was something like 9,600 or some crazy crap low number. All the free internet in the world wasn't going to help there.

A lot of soldiers drink coffee, so a good coffee maker is definitely a good idea.

Sounds like they are covered on DVD's - the new ones anyways because of the blackmarket, which I won't go into about.

Getting shows on DVD would be a good item though. If I can figure out how to record from my DVR, I have some of the stuff they are looking for.

The want sports games, but what system? Madden just came out, that would be a big hit I am sure - but what platform?

Magazines were always a big hit. When we would go from main post to the outer bases, we always stopped and grabbed one or two copies of the latest hot topic issues and they were always a big hit...

JD

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Old 12-02-2008, 11:55 PM   #20
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Well, I don't know about anyone else - but when I was overseas, my internet connection was definitely one thing that helped me through the day.

On the forward bases, non combat, the guys were bored to tears, which was one of the reasons I was there in the first place - to provide inroom high speed internet connections and VoIP abilities.

I definitely think the internet connections would go over well, but only if they have a decent network. When I first got to Korea, the first base connection speed average was so slow it would take a week to download the basic Hotmail homepage. It was something like 9,600 or some crazy crap low number. All the free internet in the world wasn't going to help there.

A lot of soldiers drink coffee, so a good coffee maker is definitely a good idea.

Sounds like they are covered on DVD's - the new ones anyways because of the blackmarket, which I won't go into about.

Getting shows on DVD would be a good item though. If I can figure out how to record from my DVR, I have some of the stuff they are looking for.

The want sports games, but what system? Madden just came out, that would be a big hit I am sure - but what platform?

Magazines were always a big hit. When we would go from main post to the outer bases, we always stopped and grabbed one or two copies of the latest hot topic issues and they were always a big hit...

JD
I think he meant recordings of NCAA and pro games, I had to re read that one and thought the same thing the first time around.

The only way I know to get stuff off a DVR easily is to use a computer video convertor like the ATI or Hauppage ones used to make your PC into a DVR. The device doesn't know or care if the video is live or a recording and can convert. I have an extra ATI tuner and two of the Hauppage one's laying around not being used, (I use the monsoon HDTV device). I can probably get just about anything from broadcast except the local "non national broadcast" stuff. One of my side gigs involved keeping an archive of TV series and events so I have a huge video deck and PC recording setup with quite a few series archived form the past few years. I'll go down the list he gave us later and see if I'm missing anything.

Here's our list so far:

1 quality coffee maker
current copies of magazines listed
DVD's of TV shows and sports

If anyone has like new copies of any of the magazines he listed you're willing to send please set them aside. I have electronic subscriptions of some of the ones he listed we can send as well.

I'll get on the mailing list thing tonight, my wife won't leave me alone long enough to accomplish anything right now.
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