The first of what I suppose will be at least 3 and maybe as many as 5 holiday packages for Bob S. and his unit at FOB Bagram was sent out today. Thanks to all of you for your donations and help to date. By the way, yes this is a picture of Bob and three friendly locals in Afghanistan who work with Bob and his unit. I thought it would be nice if you got to see the soldier who will be receiving the packages for himself and his unit. No spring chicken, he is married and has teenaged children - yet he is over there in Afghanistan doing the right thing for his country (and that would mean for us). I can not tell you all how surprised I am that this package thing has worked out, and that so many of you have been as generous as you have been to date. It is nice to know there are AMERICANS who give a damn regardless of political viewpoints, religious affiliation, ethnicity, race, gender, national origin, and all other types of stuff that sometimes gets in the way of doing the right thing. You my friends have done the right thing by donating, and or helping with links to the donation icons. I don't think soldiers like Bob and his unit will soon forget how nice you all have been. I certainly will not.
Here is a copy of the email I sent to Bob S. to let him know to expect this package:
I sent out one package to you and the guys today. Please let me know when you get it. It is a 28 pound box (I think that was the weight), it is loaded with spices and has some flashlights inside of it. I don't know if you have seen my blog about the lights, as I recall when you tried to view my blog it was blocked by the military. If you have seen it though, then you know what you are getting. If not, let it be a partial surprise, and let me just let me say for now - you are getting some very nice lights courtesy of StreamLight company who donated them to me absolutely no charge. As for those lights, there are 12 of them, one for each guy in your unit (I hope I got it right that there are 12 of you).
I also have other items and goodies for you and your unit. I will send something else out - probably tomorrow - don't use the spices until you get the other package too - you will know the one when it gets there by what is inside. I'll keep you informed as I mail them out. After that there may be one or two other packages in the near future - sent before Christmas, but who can tell when they will arrive; I imagine a lot of mail is being sent to you guys this time of year. I think you will like the contents I have planned for the other packages, and I hope you will be able to share them as much as possible among your unit and with other units. Right now I need to go shopping for a few more things for the packages.
One other thing before I go: I did not put any note or anything like that in today's package. I forgot. I wanted to add a holiday card from all those who made donations toward the package. I will do that with one of the other packages. For now let me just say there have been about 16 - 18 people so far, including myself of course, who have donated quite a bit, about $525 to date; and of course StreamLight who donated the lights. As for the money, all of it is being used to buy the contents of the packages I am sending, every penny of it. The postage is being taken care of separately. I am only saying something about this so that you and the guys in your unit realize this is a group effort, and there is a bunch of really nice people involved who are all thinking of you guys and wishing you the best, wishing you Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays, and hoping you will all be home soon both safe and sound. They realize the sacrifice you guys are making by being over there while we are here, and they are trying to make things a bit easier for you. By the way, thanks to the folks at StreamLight - you are getting a whole lot more than I had originally planned - those lights are not cheap - so their donation allowed for money that would have otherwise paid for the lights to go for other things. They did a really nice things, I was amazed, and I hope you guys will be too.
All the best,
I'll keep you all informed as I send out the packages, and I'll fill you in once I get a response from Bob and his unit about them.
All the best,
The HMS Prince of Wales
5 minutes ago