Thursday, December 11, 2008

Send Some Holiday Joy to Our Troops! And After the Holidays Send Them Some More

I just joined Military Writers Society of America, through which I "met" Andrew Lubin. He is the author of the award-winning book “Charlie Battery; A Marine Artillery Unit in Iraq”, and as an embedded journalist has spent 12 of the last 30 months in Iraq, Afghanistan, GTMO, and Beirut writing on our Marines and soldiers. You can learn more about him from his website.

Here's a guest post he wrote for this blog and I hope, if you're able, you act on his request:

I’ve recently returned from my third four-five week embed in Afghanistan. This is a different battlefield than Iraq; other than the posh Bagram living conditions (multiple chow halls, massage parlors, and jewelry shops), this is still a war zone.

Out in the mountains on the Afghan-Pak border it’s pretty rustic living, and when I was south of Kandahar in June, it was 140’F and too hot to eat our MRE’s.

Packages from the home front are a big deal.

The Marines and soldiers can use what you send, and it’s nice for them to know they’re not forgotten. Here’s what you need to do:
Buy a U.S. Post Office “Priority Mail” APO/FPO flat rate box ($ 10.95 regardless of weight) and fill it with:

Ramens, beef jerky, powdered Gatorade sports drinks, paperbacks, racing car or rifle magazines, powdered hot chocolate, potato chips, Triscuits or other flavored crackers, pretzels, Little Debbie cakes, lip balm, disposable razors, playing cards…and add a note with your address or email and you’ll most likely get a reply.

Or fill a shoebox. When my son was deployed, I’d mail a shoebox of stuff every Saturday. It cost maybe $ 5.00 to fill it and whatever to ship it.
Your packages won’t get there by Christmas, but frankly time and holidays lose all meaning in a war-zone. They’ll be as happy to receive your box in January as in December.

Oh yeah, and mail the packages to:

Capt Lindsay Mathwick
Unit 42540
FPO AP 96426-2540

Sgt Castro Frances
XVIII Airborne Corps
42001 MNC-1-C3 COIC
APO AE 09342-2001

Sgt Justin Mason
UIC 41116
FPO AP-1116

LCDR M. Tomlinson, USN
1st Bn, 2nd Marines
UIC 73040
FPO AP 09509-3040

Get your friends, office workers, and church to roger-up and support our troops. Maybe the war doesn’t make the news like it did in 2003, but America’s still got 200,000+ Marines and soldiers fighting overseas who deserve your support.

HoHoHo and all … and Semper Fi

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