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Old 06-02-2018, 02:54 PM
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,488 posts, read 6,428,655 times
Reputation: 9380


Late '70s, early '80s, I never got anything, no one knew where I was.
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:09 AM
Location: north narrowlina
740 posts, read 221,120 times
Reputation: 3015
wowza, just remembered how we, as a family, had adopted a guy in the Gulf War...remember that one,???? lasted all of two weeks or something....we got his name from some organization and sent out a care package almost immediately....gosh darn it if he didn't return stateside before the package arrived, LOL..... and most amazing thing???? we were actually there, at the airfield in Massachusetts, when he got back!!!! i mean, what were the odds? i instilled in my children a great respect for honor and duty to country.... am proud of that. i am.

before my son died in 2005 in Fallujah, i sent him a "care" package everyweek.... we had a local little 15 page town newspaper, it often had blurbs about some of his classmates, some of those he really got a kick in.... like when Joe-Shmoe got arrested AGAIN, or when the major employer in town (a blueberry/apple farmer and local turkey supplier) had their turkey sign stolen once again by most likely suspects from the senior class that showed up on the top of the local water tower...... (he never copped to it, but i know he and his friends did that a lot, like it was a challenge to irk Sgt. "Boy-oh" -( Boy-oh you are razzing me now ain'tcha? Boy-oh, you better not get me on a bad day") to put it in the worst place possible to really get him going....

i'd send a pack of cards just about every week, those cards got worn to a frazzle or stolen regularly, lol... poker chips were always needed... paper decorations for holidays

gum. gum. more gum. and more. more. more

balsa wood airplanes

canned nuts were crazy popular, they keep well in any climate.....as were his favorite candy bars.... try to buy for the whole darn platoon really. it makes everyone's day. tins of homemade fudge or cookies.

well, pictures from home were always sent... sometimes i would go down to the highschool and past teachers would love to write him a quick note, same with his old boss who would throw in some chewing tobacco or bag of jerky

a book.... he always loved science fiction, so every month i included another paperback book.

pens and pencils...jeesh, what was up with the army, he never could find a pen or pencil????

once i sent a harmonica..... the non-musical types got kazoos. they had a lot of fun with those....

i coulda, but i never woulda used amazon.... it meant more to him that i packed it up, i would decorate the outside of the box before encasing it in brown paper, there was always a white napkin with a big red lip smacker inside of a honking big heart on it with x's and o's all around the outside, i would throw in some of the most simplest things..... holiday stickers. omg, those stickers would be emblazoned all over the barracks..... OH and games!!! OMG pocket connect four!!!!! checkers!!!! chess!!!!! (DON'T FORGET to try to send replacement lost parts) Yahtzee!!!!!! I got his whole damn battalion hooked on this really esoteric game i played as a kid, Mille Bournes ..... they had more fun playing that than with anything....

Lol...stoopid things. hot wheels. the paddle with the attached ball you would boing boing boing as long as you could.... they had tournament games for gawdsakes!!!! those little plastic bags with figurines inside.... farm animals, dinosaurs, army guys, lol..... nothing was too juvenile, nothing would ever NOT EVER make 'em smile.... instead of money (oh i forgot, a simple of roll dimes was great for poker night) they could use those little pieces for chips "i call a cow and raise you a brontosaurus" LOL

i would send golf balls, baseballs!!!!! Smurf footballs!!!! water guns, omg, they loved those......

even after K died, i kept sending his "brothers" stuff. You can never ever send too much. i loved them as my own son

the nicest thing that i think ever happened to me? after he died, his platoon leader sent back to me every single one of those napkins with honking red hearts.... he had saved every single one sent..... every year on his birthday i take out a napkin, draw my x's and o's and that big honking heart with a red ker-smack inside of it.... and add it to the pile..... and i shall be buried with those, piled right atop my heart. love never dies. love is always forever

Oh. and P.S. : Sgt Harvin, if you are still in North Carolina, I send you all my love too. We never forgot you.
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Old 06-03-2018, 03:20 AM
10,403 posts, read 7,478,326 times
Reputation: 18335
^^^^Military mom of all times. Very inspirational. He certainly knew you loved him. Semper fi.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:06 AM
5,106 posts, read 6,064,394 times
Reputation: 9677
Oh ceili

You get supermom #1.

Your story resonates so much. I was not alone in having such an affection for my troops back in the day and your story of their downtime sounds so much like it was. You can rest assured that someone in his leadership felt the same way.

Soldiers can be so inventive "I raise you a brontosaurus". hee hee

Bless you
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:59 AM
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,138 posts, read 38,883,622 times
Reputation: 28109
ceiligrrl, good post! I was drafted in 1968, which was before cellphones, and expensive if not impossible to make long distant phone calls "back to the world" as it was called. Your post reminded me of soldiers getting homemade cookies from home. "MARS" amateur radio operators sending and receiving messages to and from "Stateside".

Now I feel real old, but ceiligrrl, thank you for everything...
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:31 AM
Location: Hawaii/Alabama
1,595 posts, read 2,969,104 times
Reputation: 3983

Hooah. XOXO
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:45 AM
751 posts, read 215,350 times
Reputation: 1010
Damn ceiligrrl , you made this cynical old Army Vet tear up on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. What a wonderful thing you did for your Son and his buddies. Best thoughts and peace for you.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:07 PM
Location: Forests of Maine
29,723 posts, read 47,495,927 times
Reputation: 17577
I made deployments in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

On our deployments the only thing that could be 'sent' to us were 'family-grams'. These were 20-word and then later they grew to 40-word text messages. Each crewman is handed 6 Family Grams before deployment, that we can give to anyone [parents, wife, girlfriends, etc]. They could fill-in whatever they want to tell us, and they get mailed to our squadron. The squadron folks review them to redact any politics or anything that is considered might affect our morale or patriotism, then the messages are encrypted and radioed out to us.

When a sub receives a bunch of Family Grams, the chain of Command reviews them [again for anything that might affect morale or patriotism] after any offending context is redacted they are given to the crew.

My mother never sent in any of the Family Gram forms that I gave her.

After I was married my wife was very good about sending me one every two weeks.

My last duty station was 97-01 in Italy / Kosovo. We had regular FPO mail service, the big thing among our guys was to get VHS tapes of Beavis&Butthead or Southpark. Also a big one was audio tapes of Car Talk and the Prairie Home Companion.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:29 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,712 posts, read 21,760,954 times
Reputation: 27762
Holiday window clings and Pez dispensers. I sent two boxes of stuff to my nephew's best friend when he was in the Middle East, and they were the things he liked the most.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:10 PM
Location: Texas Hill Country
639 posts, read 336,964 times
Reputation: 1704
70's thru 90s. Mom sent Gebhardt's Chili Powder, Ranch Style Beans, and Wolf Brand Chili. With that lineup, we were good, after the commissaries started carrying Pace Picante Sauce. We raised jalapeños in pots on our balcony in Germany, sharing the product with our local neighbors, and eventually had half the village eating far spicier foods than they ever had before.
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