Firearms Talk "adopt a platoon" support team

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by infotech, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. infotech

    infotech New Member

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    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
    for you.

    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.
    Thanks,
    Infotech
     
  2. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    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.

    Thank you,
    Thomas
     

  3. SGT-MILLER

    SGT-MILLER New Member

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    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.
     
  4. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    +1!

    Great idea.

    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.

    JD
     
  5. Musket

    Musket New Member

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    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.
     
  6. mpoirier22114

    mpoirier22114 New Member

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    count me in as well, just let me know
     
  7. infotech

    infotech New Member

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    Wounded soldiers not only pay for their own flight home they also have to pay for meals while hospitalized. I'll check and see if this horrible policy has changed but last I heard it was still in place.

    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.
     
  8. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    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.

    JD
     
  9. SGT-MILLER

    SGT-MILLER New Member

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    Infotech Posted:
    Sorry, I gotta do a little rumor control here. Part of my duties in Iraq was to help coordinate movements of wounded soldiers/marines/sailors/airmen from my base in Iraq to either Germany (Landstuhl AB) or back to the east coast of America. The wounded troops do not have to pay their own way. They fly back on US military aircraft and any costs associated from operating those aircraft will be taken out of the war funds set aside by Congress. Those funds which as paid by the taxpayers (as we all know). Wounded military members see no change in their checks at all.

    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  10. infotech

    infotech New Member

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    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.
     
  11. Musket

    Musket New Member

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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. :p 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??
     
  12. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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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
     
  13. infotech

    infotech New Member

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    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.
     
  14. altmf

    altmf New Member

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    I'm up for it.

    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.
     
  15. infotech

    infotech New Member

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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
     
  16. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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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.

    This has me intrigued....

    JD
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  17. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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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
     
  18. infotech

    infotech New Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  19. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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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. :rolleyes:

    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
     
  20. infotech

    infotech New Member

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    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. :(