Sunday, December 5, 2010

Soldiers' Christmas & Holiday Care Packages - Update 2 For Today

Mike ____ has not received one of the three packages we sent to him to date. I had thought he received them all but on further inquiry he told me he only has received two of them. I am hopeful one is still in the mail and headed to him and am also hopeful if it is lost then it is one that I insured. Either way, anyone who donated does not have to worry that any of their donations were lost. Only the first package was not insured, that was the one I paid for completely out of my own pocket. Donations to date have only been used on the contents of packages 2 and 3 and both of them were insured. I think I have to wait 30 days to file a claim, that would be on or about December 11th. Hopefully the missing package will be delivered before then. Hopefully it was not the cigars either but with my piss poor luck i would bet that is the one. Thankfully, if that is so, the cigars were one of the insured packages.

As for the next package(s), I did not get a chance to go shopping today as I had thought. I did find out from Mike ____ though that there is one woman in his unit. So, I may include something fitting of a lady in one of the upcoming packages - a tough as nails woman maybe -but a lady no doubt!

Mike ____ also confirmed for me that he and his unit are in Iraq, in Kirkuk. He is with a mechanic unit. He did not mention the size of his unit saying it was an opsec concern but I think maybe he thought I wanted to know the size of the overall unit and not of his squad, so I sent him another email asking squad size if he can tell me without it being a matter of a security breach. I am asking to find out how many of a certain item or items I would send.

In order to assure I can include something a little special in the packages for each member of his unit, something durable and lasting, I am going to assume that his squad is made up of at least 12 enlisted people and a non-com. My lucky number has always been 13, so my guess is that if I send 13 of an item that will last, there will be enough of them to go around for each person in his squad. If not, then Mike ___ will have to dole them out as best he can. Of course, if he gets back to me with his unit size and it is smaller then I need not guess. if it is larger, then maybe I cannot afford to send what I had in mind. I really would like to see each soldier in his squad get one - with no one left out.

As far as donations go, nothing else yet but I am hopeful. I have decided I can afford another $50 instead of just $25 toward the items to go into the packages (not including what I will pay for shipping). What the heck, the cruise the wife and I are going on next week is already paid for so I can afford to take another $25 of what I had intended to use on booze aboard the ship to help these guys and gal out. What about you - can you afford a few bucks. I know one thing, I believe the following:

Money is tight,
and times are hard,
but it wouldn't be right
to send them just Christmas card!

All the best,
Glenn B

Soldiers' Christmas/Holiday Care Packages - Update

First, allow me to tell you that emails from Mike ____, my assigned soldier, have come in. All of them have been appreciative of the items we sent to him and his unit. Knowing that the packages were received makes it a whole lot easier for me to spend other peoples money that I have collected toward this effort. Even had I not received his kind words of thanks and acknowledgements that he received the items, I was intent on continuing to ship more packages to him after the nice helpful replies (not the hateful ones) I got from some people to my post in which I expressed my concerns the packages may not have been received. Soldiers' Angels got back to me on that and said it was just likely he did not have the time to write which is also pretty much what Mike ____ explained to me. Maybe, I worried too much in my previous post, as it turns out, he and his fellow troops are very appreciative of what we have sent to date and apparently have received all the packages.

Right now, there is $140.44 in the kitty (don't fault me if I am off a few pennies but the dollar amount is right). If you want to help out there is still time to do it. I will accept donations up through December 20th, my first full day home after my vacation. I can still buy them some things and get them shipped in time for New Year's Day Delivery (I think). As usual, donations can be made by using the link near the top right hand side of my blog, in the red area. One hundred percent of the donations I receive, after PayPal takes their cut, will go toward items in the care packages.

To date I have received a total of $226.38. A total of $85.94 of donations went to buy items for care packages 2 & 3. An other $25 of my money also went toward that and of course I paid shipping out of my own pocket. No donations went into the first package, I paid that one out of my own pocket in total. So we have $140.44 remaining in donations for items for the packages plus whatever else I will throw in out of my own pocket (at least another $25, but probably more, for items. I will also cover shipping.)

So if I throw in $25 toward item purchases, we have a total of $165.44 for more things to put into the packages. That can buy some nice things but I m afraid that this year there will be no folding knives included as there have been over the past few holiday seasons. They are always a big hit with the troops but I don't think that we can afford them this year. That is unless some other folks decide to make donations. So I am again going to ask that you look into your pocket books and make a donation to this cause. It does not have to be a lot, 5 bucks would be great more would be nicer, but even less down to a dollar would be accepted (I do not know if PayPal will accept less than a whole dollar).

While I am talking about donations, allow me to thank those who have donated. One person donated what he could at 5 bucks, another donated 10, another donated $50 and I am very, very grateful to them all. Are you wondering how those 3 people donating added up to $226.38 when I have not been counting my own money in the amount of donations? Well it doesn't does it. After PayPal took their cut, the donations from those 3 nice folks amounted to a total of $62.21. There is another $164.17 (after PayPal) in donations that needs to be accounted for to bring the total of the donations up to $226.38. Every penny of that additional $164.17 came from one person who made donations. Yep - just one person. I don't know him, never met him, probably never will. I sold him some bullets at a good price and he reads my blog (that was how he found out I had bullets for sale). For all I know about him, he could be a millionaire. Then again, he could also be a pauper although my guess is that he is just another regular guy, a swell one at that. He sent in in three donations, one of $50, one of $60 and another of $60 for a total of $170 before PayPal and $164.17 after PayPal. Both I and the soldiers owe him a lot of thanks this year and I tip my hat to him. He is both a very generous person and a gentleman, thank you Mike S (not to be confused with Mike ____ who is my assigned soldier).

The fund could sure use a few more bucks, and it would be swell if some others could find it in their hearts to make a contribution toward the care packages. Note I said a few others. I will not accept another donation from Mike S. even if he is a millionaire. No insult to Mike, it is just I think he has done more than his share. Please note, I am not saying I think others have to give or that there is a certain amount for them to give to make up their share and I am certainly not saying in any way shape or form that the others who gave did not give enough. I am grateful for it all and I think all of it goes to a good end but enough is enough and Mike has given more than that. So I am asking others out there to please help out on this years care package drive. I figure if another $100 of donations come in, I can probably swing buying about 10 folding knives for Mike's unit. I sill am not sure how big is his unit, I'll have to ask again, but 10 is a good start and probably enough. If no other donations come in, there is still a good amount of money left over to send some really nice packages full of goodies. So far I already have a 4 pack of Spam (he asked for only one thing and that was it, but I hope he'll like the 25% less salt type because it is all I could find), a box of Nutri-Grain bars, and a bag of mixed fruit. For this package (or set of packages, as I will probably have to send at least two or three this go round, I don't like to put it all in one box, something about all your eggs in one basket) I will probably hold off on blogging about all of the contents until I think there was enough time for the boxes to have been received. would like to keep at least one of the items I include a sort of do not open until Christmas sort of a surprise. I figure it just adds a bit more fun to the opening of the packages if the guys don't have my blog to tell them what they are getting ahead of time. As usual though, there will be a full accounting posted here on my blog.

So, if you have a buck or a few bucks or several buck that you can send in toward this effort - PLEASE do so. Hanukkah has already begun and Christmas will be here before you know it. Also, bear in mind, these gifts are not just for soldiers who are faithful or who celebrate the two holidays just mentioned. They are for Mike ____ and his unit regardless of religious affiliation and regardless of whether they believe in a higher power at all. I just feel this time of year is the nicest one to start of such an effort; I happen to like Christmas and the whole spirit of the season. I will continue to send Mike ____ packages, with or without donations, after the holidays and until his current tour of duty on foreign soil has concluded.

That's it for now. If I hear anything further from Mike ___, I will let you know. I will probably post the content of his emails here in the near future. I figure those of you who have donated ought to get a chance to see what he has written. They will be edited to take out his personal info though as required by my agreement with Soldiers' Angels unless he gives me permission to include such.

Thanks again to those of you who have made donations and thanks in advance to any of you who may still decide to do so.

All the best,
Glenn B.

By the way, I have not forgotten the complainers, whiners, naysayers, accusers and nanny types who left the nasty comments for
this previous post. A few of those nasty comments I published, a few I deleted. The ones I deleted were stricken because they were either so nasty or so ridiculous as to deserve it. Makes me wonder though, since all of you nanny types claimed to be ever so passionate about our soldiers welfare and about Soldiers' Angles', in your mistaken characterization that I was bashing them, are you really as passionate about helping our soldiers as you claim to be? So, how about it, you metrosexual, wussy, sad-sack complaining nanny types - are you willing to make a donation? (No, thought not, not a donation of anything other than your useless prattle since that is all you have seen fit to give so far. Go ahead though, prove me wrong. It will not do a thing for me but actually may do the soldiers a bit of good while you puff up your own already overinflated and ailing egos.)

I Should Have Grabbed A Road Killed Deer...

...propped it up next to me with my hunting tag proudly displayed on it and then taken several pictures of me with it and my hunting rifle or shotgun. That way I could have told you all I was the great white hunter of legend and lore and that I had bagged one this year after all of my preparations for the hunt. Truth be told I squat, nada, zilch, not a thing. I had thought I would be hunting yesterday or today, my last chance day for this season but that fell through. I just have too much left to do in anticipation of the cruise my wife and I are taking at the beginning of next week. We leave on Friday for our embarkation city, spend a couple of nights there then shove off on Sunday. Oh well - there is next year for the deer. My son did not get one either so next year for him too because he did not have time to go back and try again this year.

Instead of going hunting today, like I had hoped, I will need to go shopping for a few presentable articles of clothing and a decent pair of shoes. I guess I ought to have something a bit more dressy than khakis and pullovers and my one suit with my one dress shirt that fits me. So a shopping I will go. Maybe I can kill two birds with one stone and have better luck than when I went hunting by getting some Christmas shopping done while I am at it.

Then I am going to pack my bags for the trip. Since I get home between 7 and 9 each night from work, I doubt there will be much time for me to do that during the week. I doubt I will feel like it either. Thursday is our office holiday party so that means I won't be in the mood for anything except sleep that night. Have to make sure not to overdo it and to leave the arty early if I want to be up early enough on Friday for our trip.

After packing, I have to make time to go to visit my mom. I probably will not have the chance to see her again before Christmas when I pick her up for the family get together at my sister's house. Well my side of the family anyhow, the in-laws will be over to our house the day after Christmas.

I suppose there will be other things to do today too. I have some things for the soldier's Holiday Care package so I'll probably make one of them up. May shop for more stuff for that today too since this is the last week before Christmas week that I will be able to ship one out. I may as well get em all out now regardless of my trip just to make sure they make it before Christmas and while Hanukkah is still ongoing. Also need to blog about the reply I got from Mike ____ about the packages - he appreciates them very much and thanks all of you who have helped out with them.

Gotta run, later for all of you,