Sunday, November 28, 2010

Soldiers' Christmas Care Packages Update

The last two packages we sent out to the soldier, Mike ____, assigned, to me by Soldiers' Angels, have been delivered. I received tracking notification from the post office about the deliveries because this time around I paid extra for delivery confirmation. The reason I paid extra is because I got no feedback from Mike ____ on the first package we sent. (Sorry, by the rules, I cannot give his last name without his consent and he has not contacted me at all.) I still have no way of knowing if package one was delivered. Apparently the second set of packages at least made it to the APO.

I am a bit concerned about this situation. In the past, all of the soldiers, to whom I sent care packages, with your help, replied to me to say thanks and to let me know they received everything. They were quite grateful. This time around, Mike has not sent me one bit of communication. He has not replied to a few emails I sent to him, has not answered a couple of letters, and has not contacted me in any way to say thanks for the care packages or even just to say he got them. I have to wonder: Is he actually receiving them? I have half a mind to hold off on sending anything else until I get some kind of email or letter from him letting me know he has received all that was sent to him.

For now, I am gong to contact Soldiers' Angels and ask their advice on this. First of all I do not want to be wasting your and my money by sending out packages that we do not know were received. Second, I am wondering if I should ask for another soldier, to be assigned by Soldiers' Angels, to whom we can send future packages since I am not sure these are being received. Hopefully, Soldiers' Angels can help with some insight on this type of situation. I certainly do not want to screw a guy who may not be able to answer me because he cannot, for some reason, get email or regular mail out to us. They may know if this is a thing that happens or not. If not, then I am going to assume it is just a soldier being ungrateful, bashful, shy or just plain unresponsive. If that seems to be the case, then I will find another who will either appreciate the packages with some thanks or at least let us know he received them. Otherwise, I will cancel sending out further packages this year and give you the refunds. Of course, I am hoping my current assigned soldier is alive and well and have been searching his name on casualty lists (because of his unresponsiveness) and thankfully I have not found his name on one of those. With luck he is receiving the packages but just cannot get back to us right now but will do so soon.

I will keep you apprised, but for right now, at least until I get some advice from Soldiers' Angels, I am putting additional packages on hold. If it comes down to it, I will refund your money right after the holidays if this is not straightened out by then. I will eat whatever I have already paid for packages that went out and will refund 100 percent of your money to you if I cannot get a reasonable solution from Soldiers' Angels. If anyone who has already given a donation may have insight on this type of a thing, let me know. If you are ansty about this and want a refund right away, let me know; since I have been paying for the items on my credit card, except for one I may have used PayPal for, I have most of the money still in the PayPal account and what little I used already will be easy to make up. I am hopeful though this will be worked out by this weekend.

For your information here are copies delivery tracking I got off of the the post office website (please note the numbers of each delivery confirmation have been deleted)

Label/Receipt Number: 0309 2880 0002 0283 XXXX
Class: Priority Mail®
Service(s): Delivery Confirmation™InsuredDelivered-->
Status: Delivered
Your item was delivered at 3:31 pm on November 20, 2010 in APO, AE 09338.

Label/Receipt Number: 0309 2880 0002 0283 XXXX
Class: Priority Mail®
Service(s): Delivery Confirmation™ InsuredDelivered-->
Status: Delivered
Your item was delivered at 3:31 pm on November 20, 2010 in APO, AE 09338.

If any of you, who has already made a contribution, wants to see the actual tracking on the USPS site, please send me an email requesting the tracking numbers. I will gladly make them available so you can see 100% of the info on the packages to include from which post office they were mailed but I will not post that info here on my blog.

All the best,
Glenn B


Soldiers Angels said...

Hi Glen
Thank you so much for your great support of troops!!!
First please remember they are at war.
Many do not have time to respond or for some reason do not feel they can at this time. Many wounded many KIA in Afghanistan these last 5 months and it doesn't look like it is easing up anytime soon.
My son was horrible at communicating!! Till he got back home.
Tracking of packages ONLY tracks to the US Post office.
They do not track in a war zone :)).
You were provided an email for this hero. Have you tried that.
I had a soldier I never heard from until they got home.
Then just a short note
Thank you Maam,
I could not have made it some days without you.
That was it. :)).
It is important for you to know,
you ARE MAKING a difference.
Thank you for all you do.

Ellen Stanford said...

My son receives his packages in about 8 days in the stan. he is on a large base right next to an airbase. He is Logistics and is one of the guys responsible for delivering the mail to the FOB. Those guys may only be visited once or twice a month. If you must get a response, include a self addressed envelope and stationary with instructions to write you to let you know that your package was received. He may not have access to a computer, internet, or PX to buy a card to send to you. If he is at a forward FOB, the turn around time to get a letter back from him may be a month or more. My son has sent a couple letters which no one ever received, so he may be trying.
When I send a package to my adopted Marines, I send them off without the expectaion of a reply. It is only a gift if it is FREELY given, without strings attached. IMHO. Ellen

Leslie said...

I send packages out all the time and never receive any feedback. Some of these guys are in areas where they can't respond and many of them are working 18+ hours a day. One thing that will encourage a response is to include a pre addressed post card that they can just drop in the mail to say they received it. this doesn't even mean you will get a response, but it makes it easier for them.
Hoping that your guy is safe and sound,
Cheers from a Colorado Soldiers' Angel

Mezzo SF said...

About your soldier not replying...

Glenn - I stumbled across your blog today and first want to say "thank you" for volunteering with Soldiers' Angels and thank you for caring about our troops. I have been an Angel in the past, but I also have a loved one currently on deployment #2. I am commenting here for you (and other folks who, as per your post, have contributed with support for Mike) and urging you all to keep supporting Mike.
Speaking with experience on "this side" of deployments, I know how frustrating it is to not hear from your soldier. However, many times, the soldiers do not have regular - if any - email or phone access, especially if they are in the more remote outposts, and depending on their job description, may not have the downtime to sit and write a letter. In the case of MY currently deployed loved one, work shifts are at a minimum of 12 hours, and after that, food, hygiene and sleep are priority in a combat zone...not writing me a letter and falling asleep on it (that and - sometimes USPS mail is infrequent, especially if it has to be flown in or out at night on a helicopter, due to safety reasons). I would urge you not to take the silence from Mike as rudeness! If it is any consolation, we (family & I) have had ONE email in the past couple months from our loved one since he deployed, and we have sent countless letters, boxes, emails to him. But he is not a rude man.
Quite simply, it is often the ones you don't hear back from that need the most support. Those soldiers have very little contact with "the outside world" on any sort of regular basis, and letters, boxes and words of encouragement from folks back home are WONDERFUL. I know this from my own soldier (not an adopted soldier, but someone I know and love and worry about every single day I sit here comfortable in my warm house with hot food and I'm not getting shot at or rocketed). SO, please, consider that being a Soldiers' Angel is about the Soldier...and know that your efforts ARE appreciated. Even if a random stranger on the internet is the only who who can get a communication through to you right now. Please feel free to write me back if you ever have any questions/concerns/ideas on how to cope "on this side" of a deployment. It's not easy.

tquoosa1 said...

Hi Glenn,

This seems to be a fairly common problem. At least I know I've experienced it and if you go to the Soldier's Angels forum on Facebook, you'll hear from others who've had the same problem. I wound up sending my soldier both an email and letter and told him that I was concerned he might not be getting the packages, and I was going to hold off sending them until I heard something from him. I received a very short although very sincere thank you and apology a short time later. Be sure you check on the Soldier's Angels website. He may have left you a message there. Log in and click on your soldier. If he's left you a message, you should find it there. Good luck!

Angel D. said...

Hello. I've been with Soldiers' Angels for over 2 years. When you sign up to get a name of a soldier it clearly says to not expect a letter or any form of contact from that soldier.Many are fighting and simply do not have the time to write.

I have had several soldiers to email me instead of writing me because they didn't have the time or the resources.And I understand that they all can't reply. Honestly,I love to hear from any of them,
but I don't expect it.
Their main objective is to stay alive,not to keep correspondence.

Please don't stop sending him packages & letters. I've had letters and things returned if they don't go to that soldier.
He could just be in a really remote base. He may not be able or allowed to contact anyone if he's on a mission. All soldiers are thankful even if they don't say the words. They thank us for supporting them by keeping us free and safe.

-Angel D.

Laurie said...

How dare you say this about Soldiers Angels and and a true hero for our country? Why don't you stop to think that this soldier is fighting a war and he does NOT have to thank us. These men are not sitting at a computer like you. Get off your high horse and respect our soldiers. For all you know he could have given the ultimate sacrifice. Get over yourself. Mike is a hero to all of us REAL angels. Too bad you have to write slanderous things in a blog. It's people like you who give a bad name to the rest of us who truly care about our soldiers.

Anonymous said...

One of the things SA tells those who adopt soldiers is to not necessarily expect any communication from their adoptees. Think about it - they are in a war zone with a job to do, first and foremost. Plus, some of these individuals are quite young and might be insecure about their writing or communication skills, mis-spellings, etc. I can most definitely guarantee that they DO appreciate anything that is sent to them, whether they write back to you or not. If you need a letter back or a "thank you" for all your efforts, then maybe you are doing it for the wrong reason. Just please don't be so quick to judge. It took over two months for me to get a note from my adopted soldier, and a friend of mine has never received ANY response.

Anonymous said...

It may be that the boxes have not yet been picked up by the servicemember. My husband had a box waiting on him for almost a month..that is how long it took for him to get back to the "pod" he was living in.

It is hard to send off goodies only to never hear anything. In the event that you never hear from Mike...may I please say thank you for him, and for the guys who he may have had the opportunity to share the things you sent?

I remember once that my sailor sent us an email about a shipment of sox and knit gloves that had been sent. They were so happy to get a fresh clean pair of sox and the gloves were the stretchy kind that fit perfectly under their leather ones. He had no idea who had sent the box...but said to tell everyone back home "Thank You".

Best Wishes to you and yours!

Glenn B said...

"If you need a letter back or a "thank you" for all your efforts, then maybe you are doing it for the wrong reason. Just please don't be so quick to judge."

I have not judged anyone. That is why I have contacted Soldiers' Angels for advice and why I asked for feedback from my readers. As far as expecting thanks or even a simple acknowledgement that a package was received, that has nothing to do with my reasons for sending packages but everything to do with how I was raised to have good manners and to respect others. It also has to do with practicality and with me respecting those who have donated. Why would I continue to send packages to someone I do not know is receiving them? People have made donations to this effort. Should I spend their money and then tell them I have no idea if the packages were received but I just kept spending their money and sending more packages because I willy-nilly have faith all was delivered? So I asked for advice from Soldiers' Angels.

I was questioning not judging. I was considering the possibilities, not judging. I have not arrived at any conclusions, I have not taken any definitive actions except to await a reply from Soldiers' Angels before I spend other peoples and my own money to send out another package. I kind of thought I was being reasonable by doing so and that I was being respectful of they who have made donations.

All the best,

Glenn B said...

Hey Laurie,

Next time read what I wrote and then read it two more times so you get the whole idea of what I am saying correct before you leave such a ridiculous comment. Then look up the meaning of slander versus libel even though I did neither to anyone.

Have a nice life, next time you leave such a nasty piece of junk comment on my blog I will delete it.


booleybooley said...

People How can you write to Glen like this..? GB wasn't saying that she wanted a thank you or anything like that.. she sent packages and hadn't heard that it got there or not..I don't believe she was asking for a thankyou. this is her soldier i'm sure he told her everytime that it got there safe and sound. That is nice of him to do. I sent packages to a soldier and she said she never got them I sent letters to her she didn't get them so what is the point of sending anymore right? I mean I can't afford to just send packages over there to find out they didn't get there I dont' have the money to do that...You all missed the point of what this person was saying and I agree with her You'd better re read before you make statements.. I'm so proud of my self i read it only once and I caught on...its not a date line either but I sure have read letters and comments on a supporter and soldier hooked up so you going to hang them too.? Its nice to know you box got to the person it was going to that way you know the address works...

Glenn B said...

By the way Laurie, I understand how a very emotional person, with a short attention span, who pays little attention to facts, might think I somehow said something negative about Mike_____ and that has me wondering are you that type of person? Read it again and tell me specifically where I actually wrote anything negative about Mike ____. You will not find it.

I do not write things for you to infer, imply, guess about, or make up your own interpretation that is not actually what I wrote. I write quite literally and meant what I wrote. There is absolutely nothing negative said about Mike, though I do question what is happening and ask if anyone can give some meaningful insight to help me decide what to do. I did not ask for hysterics or how dare yous but asked for help in figuring out what I should do. How is it you seem to have missed that?

Then again, how is it you seem to have also made up an accusation that I said anything negative about Soldiers' Angels? Show even one iota of me saying anything negative at all about Soldiers' Angels. It seems apparent to me that you are jumping at conclusions based on something other than the actual words that I wrote. Are you being a bit emotional, or were you abit impaired when you made your comment, or are you jsut a flamer or is there some other reason you would attempt to twist what I actually said and make it seem I said otherwise?

My goodness, how dare I try to make sure the packages are making it to their intended destination and how dare I expect common courtesy of an acknoledgement. I must be one of those really nasty conservatives - don't ya think!

Glenn B said...

Mezzo SF and Annonymous Number 2,

Thank you both so much for your helpful insightful comments. You two have shed a lot of light on the situation and what could be happening and what I will guess is probably happening. People like you make it a pleasure to make inquiries and ask for help. I am still awaiting an answer from Soldiers' Angels but am now much more sure that the packages will continue to be sent out. My guess is Soldiers Angels will reply within another day or two at most, they are quite good that way, and am now tending to think they will tell me much the same as did the both of you. Thanks again, you two are truly my level headed, informative, insightful, helpful angels with regard to this matter.

All the best,
Glenn B

Glenn B said...

Soldiers Angels, Ellen, Leslie, Tquoosal, Angel D, BooleyBooley,

Thank you all very much also.I did not realize you guys also left insightful and very helpful comments because you were on the 2nd page of my emails today and I just did not imagine so many people had replied. It is really nice to hear from folks who are trying to help out on this. You all have added to my certainess that I should keep sending the packages.

One last note, there was a person who left 4 comments. They will not appear here. She had the audacity to question why I was doing this and asked if it was because I wanted to meet soldiers to date them. Well lady, I am not homosexual, I am straight, and no I do not want to date my assigned soldier Mike or any other soldier. I am already married, have been for well over 20 years and do not need jerks asking much such moronic questions. My goodness how corny and obnoxious can the comments become all because I asked for help trying to figure out what was happening and what I should do? I beleive the energy of those leaving comments that jump to conclusions and leaving nasty comments would be better spent actually doing something to help.

All the best,
Glenn B

PS: By the way - who is David. See what I mean about people not paying attention, somebody replied to me and called me David. Go figure, must be a code word or maybe the name of someone over whom there are issues in her life, but it ain't my name.