What's a good gift to send a friend in Iraq? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Sierra22
10-24-2007, 15:43
I have a good friend who just arrived in Iraq on Tuesday and I'm thinking of things I can send him for Christmas. A Marine friend just informed me that Wet Wipes are a huge hit there. I'm just looking for other suggestions on things I can send him.

Thanks for the help.

-Sierra22

Sierra22
10-29-2007, 10:27
Nobody has a suggestion for a guy serving over in Iraq?

GSXRanger
10-29-2007, 10:34
Any type of comfort items... i.e. wet wipes, mouth wash, tooth paste, magazines, etc.

The logistical chain is MUCH better now, than when I was there. The PX stocks most anything one would need.

Take it from me... ANYTHING from home is good. Even just a letter.

Go to the local school, and have the first graders make him / her some finger paint pictures. That will touch deeply.

It isnt about WHAT to send the soldier / marine / airman / sailor... it is the thought that SOMEONE back here is thinking about them.

God Bless you.

MrMurphy
10-29-2007, 10:53
I am downrange (nicer facility, but hey, it's USAF).

what he said. Depending on his job (what does he do) you can send him work-related stuff. i could use a knife sharpener as all my knives (i have five or six) have been slowly been getting duller from constant use and the rod sharpener isn't doing much.

if he's infantry, socks! (sounds strange, but true) the good bootsocks i mean. We can get nearly anything here, but some things only come now and then if ever, so pretty much wait two weeks and ask him. He'll know by then.

GSXRanger
10-29-2007, 11:02
I will attest to what Mr. Murphy said.

SOCKS!!! OMG, SOCKS!!!

My absolute FAVORITE sock is the Wigwam 40 below.

Dont be fooled by the name... let me tell you, best darned sock I have ever worn. They are not cheap... but well worth the $$ spent on them.

They are marketed as a WINTER sock, but trust me... they are just fine in the desert as well. I got turned on to these back in 2001 when I went to Afghanistan the first time... and to date, the BEST sock I have ever worn. I have tried them all...

In fact, I have them on right this minute, with my ACU boots. Nothing beats them in my book.

4TS&W
10-29-2007, 11:12
Alcohol, and porn, disguised as other stuff... :)

RoyG
10-29-2007, 11:25
Back on my mid-tour now.

Depends on where he is. Most of the FOBs have a PX where they have plenty of wet wipes.

Get him some DVDs. Even if he is on a large FOB with a well stocked PX, the PX does not discount DVDs. Go someplace and order him some of the TV/HBO series.


My wife has sent me the old SOAP series. LMAO!!!

Good boot socks are always welcomed also.

GSXRanger
10-29-2007, 11:38
Roy made a valid point... DVD series are welcomed. I for one, had an Op-Tempo that was through the roof... but, my team always had "movie night" when possible.

Don't even think about porn and booze... that's begging for trouble. I know that comment was meant as tongue-in-cheek humor... but, they screen pretty heavily.

Keep the ideas coming... if I think of more, I will post.

GreenDrake
10-29-2007, 13:53
An iPod loaded up with movies and music

MrMurphy
10-30-2007, 01:33
Yeah... I just got the SwissGear retractable Earbuds for mine, about $30 courtesy of my wife, and they are sweet. Cut out exterior noise, and no cords to tangle up.

If he has ANY Ipod, get him the Pelican i1010 case for it about $20 from www.actiongear.com everyone that sees mine wants it, and they're tough as hell.

I like Fox River socks, $7 a pair or so, and worth every penny on long marches or long days on foot.

4TS&W
11-01-2007, 10:13
Roy made a valid point... DVD series are welcomed. I for one, had an Op-Tempo that was through the roof... but, my team always had "movie night" when possible.

Don't even think about porn and booze... that's begging for trouble. I know that comment was meant as tongue-in-cheek humor... but, they screen pretty heavily.

Keep the ideas coming... if I think of more, I will post.


Yes it was. I hope at least someone thought it was funny. :)

deadday
11-01-2007, 11:46
Sorry, must've missed this the first time around. Some good suggestions up there, but DO NOT send booze. Please, for the love of God, DO NOT send booze. There's plenty of time to drink when he/she comes home. Not only will booze get them (and you in trouble if caught) it can get him/her and their squad mates killed.



drew

slaytera666
11-02-2007, 04:59
I am downrange (nicer facility, but hey, it's USAF).

what he said. Depending on his job (what does he do) you can send him work-related stuff. i could use a knife sharpener as all my knives (i have five or six) have been slowly been getting duller from constant use and the rod sharpener isn't doing much.

if he's infantry, socks! (sounds strange, but true) the good bootsocks i mean. We can get nearly anything here, but some things only come now and then if ever, so pretty much wait two weeks and ask him. He'll know by then.

Giving somebody work related stuff is stupid unless they request it. Would you give your wife a mop and bucket for Christmas? Hell no. Give something useful but personal. When you are in the desert, anything is good.

MrMurphy
11-02-2007, 10:32
I didn't say send it in blind but if he needs it and you can send it, any help is better than none.

I like getting anything from my wife, since she usually tosses a copy of SWAT and a letter or two for me in there too.

slaytera666
11-04-2007, 23:36
I didn't say send it in blind but if he needs it and you can send it, any help is better than none.

I like getting anything from my wife, since she usually tosses a copy of SWAT and a letter or two for me in there too.

SWAT huh? So I guess you are EST right? No I seriously doubt it.

You know what Murphy? I've met a bout 100 guys just like you since I've been in. Guys in their late 20s joining up because they just want to "serve".
Yeah right. You failed at life and the military was your last resort. You chose the AF, the path of least resistance. Don't try to bull**** me either because I do the same thing you do only better. Keep it up with your pelican ipod case, big ass "tactical wallet", and 6 dull knives you gear queer. And the only thing you need good socks for is to walk to and from the dining facility.

swingline
11-09-2007, 22:18
SWAT huh? So I guess you are EST right? No I seriously doubt it.

You know what Murphy? I've met a bout 100 guys just like you since I've been in. Guys in their late 20s joining up because they just want to "serve".
Yeah right. You failed at life and the military was your last resort. You chose the AF, the path of least resistance. Don't try to bull**** me either because I do the same thing you do only better. Keep it up with your pelican ipod case, big ass "tactical wallet", and 6 dull knives you gear queer. And the only thing you need good socks for is to walk to and from the dining facility.

I think some of my PJ buddies would take exception to that.

rwojcik
11-09-2007, 22:23
silly string and a GPS.

MrMurphy
11-09-2007, 23:49
Gee, I don't know, giving up a career with NBC as a senior staff photographer at an affiliate and fighting to get the AF to take me (medical problems) for four years before I finally got in doesn't seem like "failing" to me. I had multiple opportunities to become a civilian cop and several different departments were interested in me. My family has been in the military and around it for centuries. I chose, and worked hard to come in. I planned to go into intelligence, ended up in Security Forces (backup plan). If I hadn't wiped my knees out, I would be doing 20 and getting out.

If I was a halfway decent runner and younger, I would have gone Army infantry. Being 25+ by that time, I was realistic and knew my physical limits enough to go AF, despite the fact I would have preferred Army. AF mentality tends to drive me nuts.


Sorry, I don't know about needing socks and all, I've only humped a ruck all over Germany in training, and spent 14+ hours on my feet doing entry control points. I wouldn't possibly know about good socks right? I've nearly got hypothermia in a Humvee turret in an Italian winter pulling security details and I've been deployed for 3 months so far doing perimeter security for an airbase. Obviously, I chose the path of least resistance. I could have chosen to be a Services geek and passed out volleyballs and towels stateside.

I just got off a 14 hour shift carrying an M240 and a thousand rounds of 7.62 and a spare barrel around. Obviously, I did it because i'm a weakling.


I came over here with a sheath knife and a pair of folders. I keep finding more because other morons leave them laying around in trucks, sitting on the runway, etc and nobody claims them. Sooooooo I now have five or six. I already gave one to a young broke airman who didn't have a blade.

Got a problem with people who buy gear on their own when the issued crap doesn't work?

pangris
11-10-2007, 07:22
SWAT huh? So I guess you are EST right? No I seriously doubt it.

You know what Murphy? I've met a bout 100 guys just like you since I've been in. Guys in their late 20s joining up because they just want to "serve".
Yeah right. You failed at life and the military was your last resort. You chose the AF, the path of least resistance. Don't try to bull**** me either because I do the same thing you do only better. Keep it up with your pelican ipod case, big ass "tactical wallet", and 6 dull knives you gear queer. And the only thing you need good socks for is to walk to and from the dining facility.

And I've met 1000 people like you - people that can't read the TOS of this site.

Keep insulting people serving in our military, members of this board, having a generally crappy attitude toward life, and your time here will be very short.

GSXRanger
11-10-2007, 10:36
This is a LEGIT topic, on a LEGIT subject. Hopefully, those of you out there that WILL send something to one of our heroes overseas, can get some ideas from this thread.

Can we please keep this on topic?

I for one, could care LESS what you do in the Civilian world, or what you do in the Military. If you are serving right now, to me... you are a hero. If you support those that serve, then to me... you are a hero.

From Cook to Dentist, Mortuary Tech, to Front Line Operator... Intelligence, to Infantry... we are all part of the big picture... spokes on the same wheel.

Now, if you guys wanna call each other names, and bash each other around... I would suggest you do it elsewhere.

Now, back on topic...

that is all.

pangris
11-10-2007, 11:08
Well said.

And for what it is worth, I've sent stuff to friends serving overseas, and thier *requests* were usually gear or booze oriented.

Be very careful shipping booze - for both legal and packing reasons. I didn't pack a big bottle of Jack well enough... it was a pretty serious issue on the other end.

RussP
11-10-2007, 11:45
I sent my son's wife money for her to buy the personal stuff (she had the list). I sent him Mec-Gar 17 round M9 mags, a couple of 20 rounders that he gave to his SGTs.

Also sent him phone cards and, again, sent my DIL $$$ to pay down their phone bill. She had a good one here as she was part of the family support group for his Brigade.
Lots of one-on-one help needed for National Guard wives who'd not been alone running everything before.

My son said socks were very much appreciated, lip balm, unscented hand lotions, and as said before, toothpaste (ask first about preferred flavor).

A good knife sharpener is very good.

A question to ask him is, "What's everybody getting from home over there?" He'll probably start with things he would like to get.

RussP
11-10-2007, 13:34
SWAT huh? So I guess you are EST right? No I seriously doubt it.

You know what Murphy? I've met a bout 100 guys just like you since I've been in. Guys in their late 20s joining up because they just want to "serve".
Yeah right. You failed at life and the military was your last resort. You chose the AF, the path of least resistance. Don't try to bull**** me either because I do the same thing you do only better. Keep it up with your pelican ipod case, big ass "tactical wallet", and 6 dull knives you gear queer. And the only thing you need good socks for is to walk to and from the dining facility.Hey slayter666...It really isn't nice to insult another member of our military, especially one from the same branch, when you don't even know them.
And to throw-up on a fellow Airman like you did, that's just not right. When you do it to one, you're doing it to the others of us who proudly served wearing the Air Force Blue.

If you have an issue with another member, work it out in PMs.

Agreed?

Thanks

pangris
11-10-2007, 19:09
Lots of one-on-one help needed for National Guard wives who'd not been alone before.


DUDE! I didn't think you were the type to let lonely women take advantage of you "one on one" (missing the damn smileys)

RussP
11-10-2007, 19:42
...she was part of the family support group for his Brigade.
Lots of one-on-one help needed for National Guard wives who'd not been alone running everything before...DUDE! I didn't think you were the type to let lonely women take advantage of you "one on one" (missing the damn smileys)It was my DIL!!! My DIL doing the counseling!!!!

That does read poorly, though doesn't it?!?
Good catch!

pangris
11-10-2007, 22:12
It was my DILm my DIL doing the counseling!!!!

That does read poorly, though doesn't it?!?
Good catch!

Nah, just a dirty mind, and one too many friends that have done such counseling 0_o

slaytera666
11-15-2007, 00:06
And I've met 1000 people like you - people that can't read the TOS of this site.

Keep insulting people serving in our military, members of this board, having a generally crappy attitude toward life, and your time here will be very short.

Unlike most here, I live in the real world, not on glocktalk. The expression of my opinion of MrMurphy was just that, an opinion. I'm halfway through my second deployment this year. I know what MrMurphy does for a living and I know BS when I read it.

Clyde in CO
11-15-2007, 01:36
Unlike most here, I live in the real world, not on glocktalk. The expression of my opinion of MrMurphy was just that, an opinion. I'm halfway through my second deployment this year. I know what MrMurphy does for a living and I know BS when I read it.


oooh an internet toughguy. can I have your autograph!?!?



opinion or not, read the terms and follow them. or, **** off. whichever you like.

slaytera666
11-15-2007, 02:09
oooh an internet toughguy. can I have your autograph!?!?

You need to send a self addressed stamped envelope. I'll get you out an 8x10 glossy.

deadday
11-15-2007, 08:35
Unlike most here, I live in the real world, not on glocktalk. The expression of my opinion of MrMurphy was just that, an opinion. I'm halfway through my second deployment this year. I know what MrMurphy does for a living and I know BS when I read it.

2nd deployment? So if you put them both together, you're still a few months short of an Army deployment? 8-) j/k man

But if you've got a problem with someone on the board, or something they said, why not send them a PM?



drew

MrMurphy
11-15-2007, 09:50
What is YOUR AFSC? I am Security Forces. No, we don't have the most glamorous job in the world. Some of us run convoys, walk foot patrols 10k outside the wire, and kick doors down. Currently? I roll around the inside of the perimeter in a Humvee checking sensors,etc. That's my job. I volunteered for Iraq twice. Out of bundle, they wouldn't let me. I didn't get to pick where I went. As deployments go, this is freaking cushy. I WANTED to go somewhere stuff happens and have volunteered to the point of annoying the hell out of my flight chief to get to the action along with some others.

If I chose "the path of least resistance" as you choose to call it, I would be sitting in an EZBoy watching TV at home in the U.S. Air Force-wise I would have gone services. Or joined the Navy and been a cook. I chose the closest thing to a combat arms job I can physically still accomplish, and at that, they're probably going to medical me out for bad knees. I don't denigrate anyone's choice of job, some people don't GET a choice (much) and are stuck where they are.

If you have a problem with me reading SWAT, it's a magazine. You know, things you read for information. I know several of the trainers who write for the magazine and it's good information. I am not now, nor have I ever claimed to be a SWAT officer or EST member.

I just pulled a 14 hour shift offroading in a Humvee doing perimeter security checks so the rest of the AF can sleep at night instead of manning a bunker with an M16 somewhere so I'm a little tired and a little cranky. But having someone call BS on what I do for a living annoys me. Never claimed to be a Ranger, parachuting out of a C-130 at 20,000 to infiltrate the Taliban or anything (though if I was in the 786th, I would probably be jumping now and then). I just do my job and am happy I can serve in some fashion.

If you have a problem with that, too bad.

RussP
11-15-2007, 12:49
Unlike most here, I live in the real world, not on glocktalk. The expression of my opinion of MrMurphy was just that, an opinion. I'm halfway through my second deployment this year. I know what MrMurphy does for a living and I know BS when I read it.slaytera666, this is what Eric says about behavior in the Military Forums. Guidelines For Military Forums - Read Before Posting <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

<HR align=center width="100%" color=#8c735a noShade SIZE=1>

<!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->Hello and welcome to GT's Military forums area. These forums are dedicated to current and former members of all of the nation's military branches. You do not have to have served in the military to post here, but I want everyone who does post here to be polite and respectful towards this nation's military and those who serve or served in it.

[SNIP]<o:p></o:p>

These forums are not here for people to bash or ridicule this country's military, or any member or branch of it. If you don't like the military, keep it to yourself or post it somewhere else. I did not create these forums to debate the military's role on the world stage or as a place to run down the people who serve our country. If it is your intention to do so, you won't be here long.

[SNIP]<o:p></o:p>

I am a veteran of the US Army and I have the highest regard for those who choose to serve our nation. Welcome to the military forums and God bless. Eric
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=500078 May I strongly suggest you read and adhere to Eric's wishes.

AUG
11-15-2007, 13:41
baby wipes
chap stick
socks
candy
a better pair of boots
sun screen
magazines
a small dvd player
dvds
high quality flahlight and batteries
bore snake
tactical gloves
toothpick flossers
good sunglasses
knife or knives
multitool
books

ICHI
11-15-2007, 13:44
Send a T-Rex 450 or T-Rex 600 electric RC Heli to him. I know guys are flyin em over there.

RussP
11-15-2007, 16:34
baby wipes
chap stick
socks
candy
a better pair of boots
sun screen
magazines
a small dvd player
dvds
high quality flahlight and batteries
bore snake
tactical gloves
toothpick flossers
good sunglasses
knife or knives
multitool
booksGreat list...

And another thing about duplicates - The art of barter is alive and well.

KateKrueger
11-15-2007, 19:26
Wigwam socks are a BIG hit... along with those personal items like baby wipes, toothpaste, etc... and calling cards. Our son is over there and will be through the holidays and one of things that we found is that they like to share with their military brothers & sisters so send things like magazines (of most kinds), puzzle & crossword books, reading books. For the holiday we are sending a package tomorrow with a foldup turkey and games. If they have a PSP send movies.

We are getting ready for Christmas packages too... Folding Christmas tree in a box with decorations (found that at a bookstar (B&N))...more magazines, disposable cameras, .... I can go on... Our #1 rule is when packing a box no packing material just more good stuff... no wasted space =) OH and keep the goodies coming...

Proud Brown Water Navy Mom... and Thanks to all who serve

deadday
11-15-2007, 19:43
Solar powered battery charger and some rechargable batteries will be worth more than gold to guys that are on the move alot or in areas with little support....


drew

pangris
11-15-2007, 20:42
Unlike most here, I live in the real world, not on glocktalk. The expression of my opinion of MrMurphy was just that, an opinion. I'm halfway through my second deployment this year. I know what MrMurphy does for a living and I know BS when I read it.

So you are stationed in the sandbox right now?

If so - would you like us to send you anything?

RussP
11-16-2007, 11:30
So you are stationed in the sandbox right now?

If so - would you like us to send you anything?I'm ashamed not to have thought of that myself.

You're a good man, pangris!!

RussP
USAF COMDOC
1/67 - 1/71

Bren
11-16-2007, 14:19
SWAT huh? So I guess you are EST right? No I seriously doubt it.

You know what Murphy? I've met a bout 100 guys just like you since I've been in. Guys in their late 20s joining up because they just want to "serve".
Yeah right. You failed at life and the military was your last resort. You chose the AF, the path of least resistance. Don't try to bull**** me either because I do the same thing you do only better. Keep it up with your pelican ipod case, big ass "tactical wallet", and 6 dull knives you gear queer. And the only thing you need good socks for is to walk to and from the dining facility.

Are you mental or what? You got that much freakout because a guy in the military gets copies of SWAT magazine - a shooting magazine they stock in my local grocery store? Get a grip.

MrsKitty
11-16-2007, 17:37
sun screen


What about aloe or other sunburn treatments?

Single use vials of eye drops for both contacts and normal eyes.

MrMurphy
11-16-2007, 18:25
At least where I am, contacts are specifically forbidden for wear (people still do it, but they're not supposed to) because if you get in a sandstorm etc without eye-pro and get your eyes all scratched up? I guess from the sand/vs/contacts mix, they have no facilities to treat that without going to Germany or somewhere else out of theater. But the wind does dry your eyes out pretty bad somedays, even with eyepro.

I spend most of my days on aircraft ramps and runways if I'm not on a perimeter patrol and the wind can be bad when you're out of a vehicle.

SpookyEight
11-16-2007, 19:29
One thing that I'm surprised not to see is Copenhagen snuff. All that's sold in foward deployed areas is an "alternate formula" in a plastic can that tastes awful (the cases are literally marked "for military and prison sale"). Stateside Cope, in the cardboard and metal can is worth its weight in gold. Even if your service member doesn't dip, as it is a powerful bargaining chip - or, it can be used simply to foster a little goodwill.

I'm a Marine, but I'm pretty sure this applies equally across the services.

SeriousStudent
11-16-2007, 19:47
One thing that I'm surprised not to see is Copenhagen snuff. All that's sold in foward deployed areas is an "alternate formula" in a plastic can that tastes awful (the cases are literally marked "for military and prison sale"). Stateside Cope, in the cardboard and metal can is worth its weight in gold. Even if your service member doesn't dip, as it is a powerful bargaining chip - or, it can be used simply to foster a little goodwill.

I'm a Marine, but I'm pretty sure this applies equally across the services.

Thanks for the tip. I'll mail a roll in the next package I send out.

Are pouches of Red Man still in demand? I have been out for a long time.

Thank you for your service, and stay safe.

KateKrueger
11-16-2007, 20:05
Put things that might melt (like chapsticks) in Ziploc bags so it doesn't melt into anything else. I usually send Blistex or Carmex in the small tub with cover because it doesn't matter the temperature...

SpookyEight
11-16-2007, 20:13
Are pouches of Red Man still in demand?

Chewing tobacco doesn't enjoy the following that moist snuff does. Copenhagen is definitely the drug of choice among 90% of the tobacco users in the military (this is just my estimate, YMMV).

SeriousStudent
11-16-2007, 20:19
Chewing tobacco doesn't enjoy the following that moist snuff does. Copenhagen is definitely the drug of choice among 90% of the tobacco users in the military (this is just my estimate, YMMV).


Thank you kindly, I will remember the advice.

It's nice to see some traditions in the Corps are still observed, decades later. ;)

slaytera666
11-17-2007, 01:57
So you are stationed in the sandbox right now?

If so - would you like us to send you anything?

While I honestly appreciate that, I have everything I need here. If you want to send some gereral items to the troops, www.anysoldier.com is a great place to check out. It is a pretty good organization.

MrMurphy
11-17-2007, 04:25
I agree on the dip (I don't, so I didn't think of it) but the dippers around here hoard their metal cans worse than smokers do cartons.

deadday
11-17-2007, 07:53
Homebaked chocolate chip cookies....Make them a small, so they will fit in a Pringles can to keep them from getting crushed...Cheap cigarette lighters too...We always lose the damned things and the shopettes are always out of them....


drew

SeriousStudent
11-17-2007, 08:24
Homebaked chocolate chip cookies....Make them a small, so they will fit in a Pringles can to keep them from getting crushed...Cheap cigarette lighters too...We always lose the damned things and the shopettes are always out of them....


drew

Those sound like great ideas. Thanks!

Does anyone know if the USPS will let me ship the disposable butane lighters? I looked on the USPS website, and all they said was no pork, porn, guns or booze.

Sam's sells a big box of 100 for about $20, I think.

The chocolate chip cookies in the Pringles can is an awesome idea! :)

deadday
11-17-2007, 09:38
As long as they're empty...I guess I should've been more specific, the cheap, knockoff zippos are the best to send, as you can send them with no fluid easily, and the fluid is somewhat easy to get...Hide the porn in other books/magazines or unlabeled DVDs/CDRs


drew



drew

SeriousStudent
11-17-2007, 12:03
Sounds good, I'll start hunting Zippo's.

deadday
11-17-2007, 12:08
Not zippos, that'd be a bit much to send a couple of 'em, but the 3-4$ knockoffs you buy at the Stop'n'Robs...



drew

bartog17
11-18-2007, 01:52
The best items that I received while overseas was just plain old letters from home. Phone cards help a lot.

ArodJohns
11-18-2007, 04:16
SWAT huh? So I guess you are EST right? No I seriously doubt it.

You know what Murphy? I've met a bout 100 guys just like you since I've been in. Guys in their late 20s joining up because they just want to "serve".
Yeah right. You failed at life and the military was your last resort. You chose the AF, the path of least resistance. Don't try to bull**** me either because I do the same thing you do only better. Keep it up with your pelican ipod case, big ass "tactical wallet", and 6 dull knives you gear queer. And the only thing you need good socks for is to walk to and from the dining facility.

This post is nothing short of appalling. Regardless of what you may think, each different person and MOS is a gear in the war machine. Also, I find it nothing less than entirely offensive that you would presume to insult someone over the internet.

Unlike most here, I live in the real world, not on glocktalk. The expression of my opinion of MrMurphy was just that, an opinion. I'm halfway through my second deployment this year. I know what MrMurphy does for a living and I know BS when I read it.

We all have opinions. Opinions are like noses, everyone has one and they all suck. Try keeping your's to yourself if all you're going to do is attack and try to humiliate people over the internet.

While I honestly appreciate that, I have everything I need here. If you want to send some gereral items to the troops, www.anysoldier.com is a great place to check out. It is a pretty good organization.

This one really made me wonder. I've not talked to a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine that would not appreciate something from home. Kind of interesting when you think about it. You're asked if you'd like anything, and instead of saying "Yeah, I'll PM you though" you defer to a website. That's pretty interesting.


Just from your posts, I'm really beginning to wonder about the authenticity of you alluding to the fact that you're in the military. Especially that last one. Who's your CO and in which branch?

deadday
11-18-2007, 07:21
In a different thread, Slayterra posting pictures of AF personnel operating small UAV craft, said he was a UAV Operator at Bagram. I have no reason to doubt that yet, but his claims that he does the 'same thing' as an AF SecFor guy are preposterous. That would be akin to me claiming my job was similar to Laundry Specialist. While we both do some laundy in the Army (I do mine, he does everyone elses, Slayterra is in the AF, so is Murp), we are not operating in the same capacity.

What really apalls me is this statement:<i>
"You know what Murphy? I've met a bout 100 guys just like you since I've been in. Guys in their late 20s joining up because they just want to "serve".
Yeah right. You failed at life and the military was your last resort. You chose the AF, the path of least resistance"</i>

I joined in my early/mid 20s Slay. After being a succesful retail manager, attending college, graduating the Police Academy, I could go on. I joined just because 'I wanted to serve'. I got tired of watching the war on TV, losing friends, and came to the realization that it was my time to serve. What's wrong with that? Maybe that paragraph was just a look into your life? Are you shamed of your choices? Wish you had better options? Hey man, you're not the only one. But you are doing a good thing, no reason to be bitter...



drew

Krueshoot
11-19-2007, 03:57
I Believe this thread is titled "What's a good gift to send a friend in Iraq?".
I also believe that the petty BULL***** some are throwing here isn't wanted or appreciated by many. So if those of you who want to have a PISSING contest would take your little "weewees" some place else so the rest of us could get back to sharing ideas on what we can send our loved ones.

slaytera666
11-19-2007, 04:17
This post is nothing short of appalling. Regardless of what you may think, each different person and MOS is a gear in the war machine. Also, I find it nothing less than entirely offensive that you would presume to insult someone over the internet.



We all have opinions. Opinions are like noses, everyone has one and they all suck. Try keeping your's to yourself if all you're going to do is attack and try to humiliate people over the internet.



This one really made me wonder. I've not talked to a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine that would not appreciate something from home. Kind of interesting when you think about it. You're asked if you'd like anything, and instead of saying "Yeah, I'll PM you though" you defer to a website. That's pretty interesting.


Just from your posts, I'm really beginning to wonder about the authenticity of you alluding to the fact that you're in the military. Especially that last one. Who's your CO and in which branch?

Appalling? Really? I see where you are coming from though. Maybe I was harsh. Your last comment is exactly what I'm driving at though. You ever meet some old guy that makes wild claims about being special forces or something like that while serving in Vietnam or the Gulf? Do you hear the story and know it is total bullsiht? Yes, it is noble that Mr Murphy is serving his country but it he is no Pat Tillman either. Guys who check TASS alarms all day and guys who get on a chopper not knowing if they are coming back demand two different kinds of respect. I'm no exception. You can wonder about my service all day long. I don't need people to know I do my job.

ArodJohns
11-19-2007, 04:22
Appalling? Really? I see where you are coming from though. Maybe I was harsh. Your last comment is exactly what I'm driving at though. You ever meet some old guy that makes wild claims about being special forces or something like that while serving in Vietnam or the Gulf? Do you hear the story and know it is total bullsiht? Yes, it is noble that Mr Murphy is serving his country but it he is no Pat Tillman either. Guys who check TASS alarms all day and guys who get on a chopper not knowing if they are coming back demand two different kinds of respect. I'm no exception. You can wonder about my service all day long. I don't need people to know I do my job.

Barring the ability to find pictures of nearly anything I want and post them as my own, I don't really see too awful much of a difference between your job and his. Look at this way, he's going a job to make the machine run just as you are. It doesn't matter if he's a pogue who shuffles papers in the morning and hands out volleyballs in the afternoon. He's still doing a job that needs done, the same as you are.

slaytera666
11-19-2007, 05:26
Barring the ability to find pictures of nearly anything I want and post them as my own, I don't really see too awful much of a difference between your job and his. Look at this way, he's going a job to make the machine run just as you are. It doesn't matter if he's a pogue who shuffles papers in the morning and hands out volleyballs in the afternoon. He's still doing a job that needs done, the same as you are.

Right. I just said that.

deadday
11-19-2007, 05:43
Barring the ability to find pictures of nearly anything I want and post them as my own, I don't really see too awful much of a difference between your job and his. Look at this way, he's going a job to make the machine run just as you are. It doesn't matter if he's a pogue who shuffles papers in the morning and hands out volleyballs in the afternoon. He's still doing a job that needs done, the same as you are.


****! Thanks for that, I forgot the obvious! Footballs, any of you guys ever tried to get a football, let alone explain what a football is while overseas? Send over some sporting equipment, make sure to include a pump with extra needles as well. Volleyballs and nets, table tennis...We had some wicked pingpong tournaments, usually turned into full contact pingpong by the final round..


drew

RussP
11-22-2007, 11:28
Okay guys, obviously suggestions of gifts, presents, needed items, desired items, useful items for our service members in Iraq and Afghanistan are far less important than member bashing.

Please, knock it off!

Time is getting short to get items purchased and boxed and into the mail system to get overseas in time for Christmas.

Get back on topic - If you are in-country, tell what other Airmen, Soldiers, Marines, Sailors are receiving that are really wanted/usefull/fun.

Eric asks for respect in this forum. Do not disappoint him.

Thanks

And Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!!

MrMurphy
11-22-2007, 23:38
Some of the younger (come to think of it, the not so young too) guys at my base have the disposable income and apparently, the room, and have Xbox's and/or PSPs, etc. Tossing $50 and getting them a good game or two would go over well, if they're in an area like mine where it's feasible. Since we are a support base and housed in regular buildings, etc with commercial power and all the fun stuff, they basically have it made. Ask whoever you know where they are, what the setup is, and what they want, because how one guy is set up at one FOB may be completely different from say, where I am or some other guy is.

axel
12-02-2007, 06:23
My pastor's son is shipping out after the first of the year and I bought him a Surefire G-2with four extra lithium batteries. I'm not sure if he's heading into direct combat but I figure he could always use a good flashlight.

SeriousStudent
12-04-2007, 19:39
Not zippos, that'd be a bit much to send a couple of 'em, but the 3-4$ knockoffs you buy at the Stop'n'Robs...



drew


I just got home from a little store that had Ronson copies of the steel Zippo lighters on clearance for $2.50! I cleaned them out. :supergrin:

Thanks again for the tip, Drew!

Biscuitsjam
12-07-2007, 14:20
I've posted various versions of this many times now. Here it comes again though (care package suggestions):

Really, what you ought to send depends on the kind of base that your soldiers are in. Older bases typically have libraries of donated books, while newer bases have virtually no reading material. Big bases have PXs with american food and good chow halls, while smaller bases have neither. Bases in safer areas typically have access to hajji markets, where pirated DVD movies can be cheaply purchased, while dangerous areas (and especially remote areas) do not have them.

The key to a successful care package, I think, is to make it memorable. Include things that no one else has.


Entertainment:
Most soldiers have laptop computers, but a handful don't. We had one guy ask his office for their old laptops, which he then sent to us. The recipients were excited beyond belief.

DVD movies are one of the primary sources of entertainment. HOWEVER, most soldiers have access to the local "hajimarts" where they can buy pirated movies for ridiculously-low costs. I wouldn't recommend sending them unless they are asked for.

Computer games are in very high demand but were not available for purchase anywhere while I was over there. Almost everybody has a laptop and we all played lots of video games, but the only way to ever get new ones was to have someone ship them to us. I'd recommend asking for recommendations out of the bargain bin. You can get good games that are a couple years old for $10-20, instead of the $40-50 for brand-new games. Since most of the laptops aren't top-of-the-line, the older games are ideal anyway.

Playstation, Nintendo, and Xbox games and controllers are also popular. Unlike computer games, console games are usually carried in military shoppettes (at full price). Many "hajimarts" also have pirated versions of these games at steep discounts. I'd ask before sending any type of console game, mostly because there are so many types of consoles out there. Computer games are cheaper, more popular and accessible for more soldiers.

Most everybody does a lot of reading over there, even soldiers that have never read a book for fun before. Over time, established bases usually end up with a room somewhere full of donated books. Unfortunately, the best books are usually held onto and only the least-desired stuff makes it onto the shelves. Romance novels, murder mysteries, and lawyer stories are very plentiful, but fantasy books, war fiction, nonfiction books, horror, historical fiction, and science fiction are almost entirely unavailable.

Magazines are also very popular. Since the majority of people sending care packages are women and they usually send what they have lying around the house, that means that we all got to keep up with the celebrity gossip. EVERY magazine got read and usually multiple times. The magazines like Maxim, Stuff, and FHM were the most popular, but I'd also recommend Reader's Digest and Guideposts. Those contain numerous short stories that are generally uplifting.

Board games go over well also. However, I'd stick to established favorites, like Chess, Checkers, Risk, Stratego, or Axis&Allies.

Playing cards are great too. We spent a lot of time playing spades, hearts, hell, and other such games.

It might be nice to throw in a local newspaper from home also. I especially liked the comics, but it was also nice just being able to keep up with daily stuff also. I didn't like when people tried to censor news to keep morale up.


Food:

Access to food depends on location. Bigger bases have better chow, but even that can get old pretty fast (smaller bases have army cooks, and that usually means weight loss). Importantly, soldiers often miss meal times because of erratic schedules - they have to go on patrols, guard duty, or other assignments at all hours of the day or night, sleeping when they can. Snack food that can keep them going is very important.

Granola bars, peanut-butter crackers, and cheese crackers are wonderful, but just about everyone sends them. Try to be a little original and send something unique. Fig Newtons, Cheese-its, Summer Sausage, German candy...

Microwavable food was very popular. Believe it or not, most soldiers have access to a microwave. The Iraqis sell them, and a few enterprising souls managed to bring them in their duffle bags. When a unit leaves, the microwaves get passed on to the replacement unit. I had my folks send me stuff to make bean burritos and pizzas. Other people sent prepackaged microwaveable meals of other sorts.


Phone cards

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend sending phone cards, unless you know they are needed at that particular base. Some bases use commercial payphones that require phone cards. Other bases use DSN (special military phonelines) or VoIP (computer and headset) phones that do not. Everybody wants to make phone calls home, but a large percentage of bases have ways of doing so that do not involve phone cards.


The locals

Candy and toys. I had three churches and numerous individuals sponsoring me while I was over there. I mainly asked them to send us stuff for the Iraqi children, which we regularly gave out on patrols. It always put a huge smile on the kids faces to get something and it put just as big of smiles on ours to give things out. We actually had so much stuff to give out that we set up a special patrol where we loaded up two humvees all the way up with stuff and brought 30 dismounted soldiers to the Yusufiyah marketplace just to distribute everything we had.

Soccer balls. This is the national pasttime in Iraq, but the locals often don't have decent balls to play with. We distributed hundreds of balls, and they really helped build goodwill. Don't forget to send a pump to inflate them, also.

Polaroid camera with film. The Iraqis almost always got a huge kick out of having their pictures taken. Cameras are rare over there, and they think it somehow makes them special to be in a photograph. If you can take their picture and give them a copy, it goes over HUGE.

"Freaky Freaky" Magazines (anything with a picture of a woman in it, even fully-clothed), soap, shampoo, and shaving cream were great trading items with the Iraqi army and police. Unfortunately, they didn't really have anything to trade in return, other than illegal contraband.


More popular stuff:

Moisture-wicking shirts are VERY popular. The most popular brand is Underarmor, but some of the alternative brands like Coolmax are pretty decent too.

Socks are often in short supply. I'd recommend military-style bootsocks. However, even white cotton socks will be used.

You might also want to consider sending sealed packages of underwear.

For those soldiers with Checkmate-brand pistol magazines, it would be advantageous to send Beretta-brand pistol magazines. The Checkmate ones are extremely unreliable but are still being issued to many units. If you are unsure, don't send them. You especially don't need to send rifle magazines, since the soldiers that need them can usually get as many as they wish to carry.

Ballistic glasses are issued, but they often become scratched and unuseable. Simple safety glasses are pretty cheap, but they work well and you can send a lot of them. Make sure they are impact-resistent rated! I'm especially partial to the Uvex XC glasses. Soldiers need clear lenses for night ops and tinted lenses for day ops.

Baby wipes. Everybody uses them and everybody needs them. They are also included in every care package. I'd include a few, but I probably wouldn't devote the bulk of the package to them, since you have no idea how many other care packages that unit has received.

Boresnakes let soldiers clean weapons much faster and with less effort than if they used issued weapons cleaning kits. The most common military calibers are 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and 9mm, roughly in that order, but you ought to check which caliber your soldier uses before sending this type of item.

Militec oil. Some love it, some hate it. Personally, I thought it worked great if you followed the directions. If you didn't, you'd probably end up with a mess on your hands.

Bug spray is sometimes available and it is sometimes not. It is certainly needed though. Avoid aerosol cans. Either wipes or pushbottles work.

Tobacco products are always in very high demand. Soldiers want their personal favorite brands of cigarettes and dip and they want it as fresh as possible. However, I never asked anyone to send any since I didn't use the stuff. Copenhagen dip was probably in the highest demand.

Photographs.

Hygeine products are really hit-or-miss. We got a ton of toothbrushes and shampoo (we have no hair!), but nobody ever sent us deoderant or toothpaste. We gave what we didn't need to the Iraqi army. Iraqis seem to go nuts over any kind of hygeine stuff (just watch Iraqi TV sometime).

Some folks back home sent things like flags and stickers of favorite sports teams. We also flew a pirate flag from our tank for a while. I kept trying to get one of my friends to send me a school flag to take a picture with and send back to him (to hang at the fraternity house), but he'd never do it.

I built a regulation-sized ping pong table out of scrap lumber right after we got over there. The folks back home sent ping pong paddles, balls, and a net. They also sent a basketball goal, basketballs, and pump and of course, footballs.


Big Ticket items (check before you send anything like these):

Wireless routers are very desireable. We all played video games, but we needed a wireless router to be able to play against eachother.

12v or 24v power inverters (depending on the vehicle) make life a whole lot easier for those soldiers that go out on patrol. Also, I'd recommend throwing in a few fans to cool things off (very few vehicles have airconditioning). Fans that can work on both 110v and 220v are best, since the electrical outlets inside the barracks can be either voltage.

A snowcone maker. Yes, I installed a snowcone maker in my tank.

I managed to find a great deal on image-stabilized binoculars before I left. They're nice for using on a moving vehicle.

A lot of soldiers always carried really nice fixed-blade knives and small pocketknives.

GPS devices were popular, particularly the Garmin Rino (it also has a radio built-in, which often came in useful). The maps usually aren't available for our areas, but you can kind of make your own by saving "trackbacks."

Most soldiers try to acquire an MP3 player and a portable DVD player at some point, and handheld gaming systems are highly popular.

It was a real pain to get gamepads or joysticks for soldiers that wanted to play certain types of computer games.

Nice compact flashlights are almost impossible to find over there, so if yours breaks, you are SOL. Also, my folks bought me a reading lamp, which saw a lot of use not only for reading, but also for stumbling around in the dark when getting ready to go to guard duty or getting back from patrol.

I wore out my boots while I was over there, but I never did manage to convince anyone to send me a replacement.

Every soldier needs a digital camera to take pictures.

Most of us tried to find external hard drives and memory sticks to store all the music, video games, and photos that we shared.

Real sheets, lightweight blankets, and foam pillows were also pretty nice to have.


Contraband:

Porn - it's a UCMJ violation to possess pornography in certain countries, including Iraq. Almost everybody has some, though, and very few leader-types will object. Still, it's probably not a good idea to send porn.

Alcohol - Alcohol is prohibited to all U.S. soldiers, even though civilian contractors and soldiers from every other country are allowed to drink. Even the Iraqi Army is often intoxicated. This is a common contraband item, often hidden deep inside packages or inside other types of containers because of the slim possibility that a box could be searched or accidently opened in front of a senior NCO/officer. Don't send alcohol, ESPECIALLY if it isn't expected on the other end.

deadday
12-07-2007, 14:31
I just got home from a little store that had Ronson copies of the steel Zippo lighters on clearance for $2.50! I cleaned them out. :supergrin:

Thanks again for the tip, Drew!

No problem! They'll be greatly appreciated! Take a Sharpie and write some brief words of encouragement on them, or just Merry Christmas!




drew