Yep, something else alright; absolutely, positively unbelievable.
I can't be certain of the Army situation, but for perspective, I will tell folks that my Marine brother stationed in Fallujah is in charge of the logistics of convoys for supplies, weaponry, vehicles, and includes mail for Marines for the 1st Division.
Because of continued IED's and gunfire attacks on convoys, he expressly discouraged us and anyone we knew from sending packages. His feeling was that the more material sent, the more his trucks have to go in and out, and the more deadly risk his men are in. They've already lost men in his battlion (he's only been there ~ month), and his 1st convoy out, the last vehicle got hit with a bomb.
So his advice is: Please don't send stuff, at least med/big packages. He even insisted I not send him a movie (VHS).
He repeats to us that they are provided with all they need comfort-wise, they truly aren't "short", and the food is very good (and he's fussy). He scolds my mom for wanting to send toiletries, fuming: Don't you think the marine corps has toothbrushes, shaving cream and TP for us, mom?!
I know this isn't from a grunt's POV, and people stateside want to feel like they're contributing, but keeping the volume down does help with safety. Practicality can stink, admittedly.
He does encourage sending one thing: international calling cards
- they don't take up any room in an envelope and are the one thing that are highly
treasured by every man and woman out there. Even if it's just enough for one phone call - they really, really, appreciate that above all.
Edited by Nittany Lioness, 10 November 2006 - 10:12 AM.