Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What NOT to send - Part 1

As Danny and I were cleaning the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) yesterday, we sorted through several boxes trying to organize the contents of care packages we have received. We realized that many people and organizations send necessities when they aren't sure what we needed. As the war has gone on, more and more things are available to soldiers on the frontlines now that weren't available when we started.

Many people have asked me lately what I need or want, what we need. Danny and I discussed it as we sorted though the plethora of goodies. The holidays are coming up and many people and groups are gearing up to send us care packages to show their support. We GREATLY appreciate the support of those back home and would never discourage that! We did however, come up with an urgent list of items we DO NOT need.

1. Hand Sanitizer - We have enough hand sanitizer to cleanse every soldier and half the Hadji population in southern Iraq. It's not that we don't use the stuff, we do, but almost every care package sent has included several bottles of the stuff.

2. Baby Wipes - Tons of baby wipes! There was a time when these little wipes were as valued as gold, but the modern bases have many showers and we have enough time to go take a nice shower in a stall with running water and everything. Though we do have outages now and then and John has showered on his porch with bottles of water, that is not the common. We are really "wiped out!"

3. Hard Candy - Somewhere out there is a list of items that modern soldiers just can't live without. Someone added candy to the list and as a result, we have roughly 150 pounds of the stuff in boxes and piles and getting more every day. Many bags have had to be discarded as there is simply no place to get rid of the stuff. We are fat, happy and have enough cavities, but thank you.

4. Toiletries - Though this is and always will be very valuable, we are stocked full of razors, soaps, toothbrushes and pastes. We are quite possibly the cleanest soldiers to ever fight in combat! I admit, some are not, but it is NOT because we don't have the resources.

There are probably several other things I have not mentioned and I am sure there will be a part 2 to this before too long. Now, I am not the be all, know all so if you have talked to specific soldiers and loved ones who have requested these items, by all means send it to them. We are fortunate that our base has stores for us to go and purchase almost anything we want. Some bases don't.

Magazines and local newspapers are always a big hit. Every time we get a new edition of "The Spectator" it is always nice. We read through and laugh at our friends who got arrested or had babies and scan through to see who won the "Bull Drop!"

From those of us on the frontlines, thank you. Thank you for all your support and kind words, they will never go unnoticed.