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Author: retirecom Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 3081  
Subject: Send a Letter! Date: 6/25/2002 11:27 AM
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As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to support members of the military with a note of appreciation.

Once I learned the personnel on my list would be willing to distribute more letters, I thought I'd extend the invitation to Fools.

Anyone interested in sending a card, letter or care package to a member of the military (selected at random), please send the item(s) to me at:

Military Pride
P.O. Box 53965
Houston, TX 77052 - 3965

If you have any preferences (ex. someone in the army from CA), please note that on the outside of the envelope. Just be aware you may not get an exact match and could end up getting a thank you note from Ensign Pulver of FT. Meyers, FL.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For those wanting to send more than a note, here are some suggestions
from Operation Military Pride for care packages:

Batteries (AA, D Cell)
Tapes/Cd's
Stamps
Paper and Envelopes
Pre-paid phone cards
Playing Cards
Magazines (New or Used) (No Nudity, please)
Books (New or Used)
Videos
Candy (No chocolates)
Travel Games
Christmas decorations
Pens/Pencils
Personal Hygiene Items (Soap, Shampoo, disposable razors, chapstick,
toothbrush/paste, etc...)
Blank Christmas cards with envelopes and stamps
Baby Wipes
Disposable cameras
Instant Coffee/Hot Chocolate mix
Pre-sweetened, powdered drink mixes (Gatorade, Kool-Aid, etc...)
Condiments from fast food restaurants (to help spice up MRE's)
Local newspapers
Baked goods (that will hold up to days of heat inside a box)
Beef Jerky
Hand held video games

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Feel free to share this with anyone you think would want to participate. I've secured the mail box for at least 6 months.

Thanks for the encouragement and the willingness to participate!

Even if you don't feel the urge to participate right now, as you celebrate the 4th of July next week, please keep this project in mind. I'll be sending out packages as long as I have things to send.

So if you watch fireworks and get a lump in your throat, take a minute and write a few lines. Send it to me and I'll take care of the rest.

RC


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Author: moiless Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 675 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/26/2002 8:44 PM
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Instant Coffee/Hot Chocolate mix

Rather than sending baked goods that may well go bad and get moldy on the trip, may I suggest sending instant ramen-type noodles or food that can be microwaves, such as the stews/soups/casseroles in a can? Perhaps the microwaveable pasta dishes they make for kids now? Just something that doesn't require refrigeration that can be nuked for preparation....and doesn't require storage room, dishes, or a can opener.

~MLC
Navy wife whose husband HATES galley food!

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Author: Ralphieda Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 676 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/26/2002 8:51 PM
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Perhaps the microwaveable pasta dishes they make for kids now?

Please be careful with this!!! While I was overseas I must have received 4 cases of that stuff! You can get that in the Commissaries you know! I know the whole point is to make things easier for soldiers (to include financially), but man I don't think I could even look at that stuff anymore!!

R

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Author: hotfool Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 677 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/27/2002 12:48 AM
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RC,

This is an awesome thought -- I have printed it off and will take it to work at the hospital -- we may change our annual christmas boxes to go to the "gang overseas"

Thanks for the ideas

YOU'RE AWESOME

Jeff

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Author: zskii Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 678 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/27/2002 11:33 AM
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Are you 100% sure that these packages will actually go where they are intended to go? I know that a lot of shipments have been suspended due to security reasons. After all, anyone could send something pretty nasty in the mail.

For example, you can no longer send mail to "Any Service Member" / Operation Dear Abby. Messages are now sent/viewed via the internet. See http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/About.html for details.

-z

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Author: retirecom Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 679 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/27/2002 12:28 PM
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Are you 100% sure that these packages will actually go where they are intended to go? I know that a lot of shipments have been suspended due to security reasons. After all, anyone could send something pretty nasty in the mail.

I can guarantee I will send them to the addresses of the service men and women Operation Military Pride sent to me. Once they leave me, it's up to the USPS, the military and those individual service members to distribute. I have to trust that they will do as they said they would.

As for the nasty stuff, most likely, I will end up checking what comes in since everything will be coming from my address. Everything will remain intact as far as letters, addresses, inserts. I'll just be verifying it's safe to forward.


For example, you can no longer send mail to "Any Service Member" /
Operation Dear Abby.


Because of that restriction, Operation Military Pride sends letters to specific service men and women who have agreed to distribute letters to others where they are.

It would certainly be much easier for me to have just posted the "any service member" FPO's, but they will not accept anything not addressed to a specific person.


Messages are now sent/viewed via the internet. See http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/About.html for details.

This is a great way for people to communicate, too! Thanks for the link.

I prefer a hand written letter for things like this, but as long as people take action, it's all good.

Thanks for the responses. Some good questions and points have been raised.


RC

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Author: Odee Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 680 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/27/2002 12:35 PM
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RC,

I want to gather a few items and ship them to you. I'm guessing they hold the packages at the USPS office for you to pick up. Since you need to review some/all contents, as noted with magazines there are restrictions for various reasons, I wanted to offer some monetary help in the cost of shipping the items from your point to the military personnel.

You can e-mail me (with the e-mail option when replying) to indicate how you wish me to contribute towards shipping.

Thank you.

Odee
-posted/e-mailed

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Author: DL2469 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 681 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/27/2002 12:38 PM
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Just wanted to say that I am glad that you are doing this for our service members. I have never been on this board (I am posting using my husbands name as I do not have a Fool acct but would love one) but I found your post by accident and glad I did.

I am an AF spouse whose husband is not deployed at this time..but I know plenty of people here whose husbands/significant others/wives are overseas and it is very hard on them. Financially, many of them are unable to send many care packages. Many have small children that have many needs with there daddy or mommy's gone right now. It is great that people are sending items that servicemembers don't have much access to right now.

Many of the spouses groups here on Malmstrom AFB, MT are trying to send packages, letters, anything to keep the spirits up for our soldiers. Glad others are too!!

Lindsay
(Proud Military Spouse)

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Author: malibu114 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 682 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/27/2002 12:49 PM
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RC,

I followed a link that was on another board. What a wonderful idea. I have been looking for little ways to do something that might make a difference for someone else, and this is a perfect way. I will definitely do my part by sending letters/items. Thanks for doing this.

Donna

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Author: malibu114 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 683 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/27/2002 12:54 PM
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I want to gather a few items and ship them to you. I'm guessing they hold the packages at the USPS office for you to pick up. Since you need to review some/all contents, as noted with magazines there are restrictions for various reasons, I wanted to offer some monetary help in the cost of shipping the items from your point to the military personnel.

Odee


And then you wonder why I consider you my friend?

Donna


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Author: Odee Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 684 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/27/2002 1:01 PM
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And then you wonder why I consider you my friend?

You weren't supposed to read that ;) I try to do what I can, when I can.

For newbies to this board, please either mark it as a favorite or come back to visit in November as the elves gear up for Christmas time. Whether to be inspired by their efforts, to contribute or inspire you to do something locally.

Odee

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Author: retirecom Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 685 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/27/2002 1:21 PM
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Odee,

I thought about your reply and the best thing I could come up with is if you want to help with postage, throw in some extra stamps.

You can buy them at a variety of values ($.50, $1, and up) and small enough you can just slide them into the package/envelope.

All I ask is that if anyone does this, please make it clear (either a note on the outside or something inside) that the stamps are for my use and not for forwarding. Otherwise they'll just go to the service member. Not that that's a bad thing. :)

Thanks for participating!

RC




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Author: malibu114 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 686 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/27/2002 3:24 PM
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You weren't supposed to read that ;) I try to do what I can, when I can.

For newbies to this board, please either mark it as a favorite or come back to visit in November as the elves gear up for Christmas time. Whether to be inspired by their efforts, to contribute or inspire you to do something locally.


Odee, were you holding out on me?

I would never have thought to look for a board like this, until another poster on The Isle pointed out the link in the announcements section. What a great idea for a board, and not only for the Christmas season.

Donna


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Author: retirecom Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 687 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 6/30/2002 3:05 PM
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Thanks to everyone who's shown support to this new project. I look forward to providing updates as things start coming in.

On a personal note, I just found out this weekend that a friend has been called to active duty. I wasn't expecting this since he's in the Inactive Marine Reserves. According to another friend, historically the government has only called up inactive reservist during times of war.

In any event, he's leaving in two weeks for Camp Pendleton and from there, who knows. With what he does though, he won't always be able to receive mail.

So, in addition to the many others you are sending well wishes to, please send a little love to my friend, Alex.

RC

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Author: Odee Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 689 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 7/8/2002 9:51 PM
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RC,

Have my first two boxes ready to go...DW took them to the post office. A snag, each box over 1 lb (not hard to do) needs a "Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note" filled out detailing what is inside the box. As I said, it's for each box. Naturally, I taped them already ;) so I'll quickly open them and jot the info down on the forms.

Just wanted to post this FYI for anyone else sending a package. On the bottom left, you must also indicate what to do with the package in case of 'non delivery'.

DW was nice enough to wait in line only to discover she has to cart the boxes and forms back tomorrow.

Odee
-as I'm off to on a road trip to DC Wednesday morning, I added a quick note to my boxes. Will start preparing more upon my return.

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Author: Selphiras Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 690 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 7/9/2002 2:49 PM
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Ummm...I don't understand. Aren't things being sent to Texas? And then wouldn't she ship to an APO (or similar) box? It's only oversees you have to declare for customs.

Or did I miss something?

By the way, for things oversees (actually, anything non-US that is), you also have to be sure to go the right post office! At least around here, you are supposed to take them to the counters in grocery stores, on campus, other stores, etc. If you do, they don't know what to do and don't process it properly. DH was told to pay only the US rate on a package to Australia, for instance, and we just thought it was cheaper than expected. Until it was returned for postage two days later. Then, after he took it back to the same place, straightened that out, I mentioned it to someone...and then learned about the customs forms they didn't have him fill out either. She said they only take international packages at the two real post offices in town. (It hasn't been returned this time, so I'm kind of wondering if she'll get it or not.....)

Selphiras


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Author: Odee Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 691 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 7/9/2002 3:39 PM
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My boxes are being sent directly out to an FPO address. The items being sent to Texas do not require the declarations form. I should have been clearer.

I selected the "abandon" option if it can't be delivered. Not knowing the cost of shipping, I decided to pass on a possible round trip.

The post office asked DW where the guy was stationed. She told him she had no idea. He took a guess based on the FPO address - maybe in a few weeks I'll know if the postal worker was correct.

Odee

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Author: retirecom Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 692 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 7/10/2002 9:59 AM
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Thanks for clarifying, Odee.

I checked the box yesterday and it's still empty. :(

So if someone has sent anything, I haven't received it.

I'll check it again on Monday.

RC

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Author: Odee Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 706 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 7/30/2002 9:41 AM
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RC,

Still too early to tell if my packages made it to their destination.

7/10: I checked the box yesterday and it's still empty. :(

Please tell us the box hasn't remained empty.

Odee

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Author: retirecom Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 721 of 3081
Subject: Re: Send a Letter! Date: 8/2/2002 1:20 PM
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Hi Odee,

Sorry for the delay in responding. I got a letter earlier this week from Rio Linda, CA. (FYI: I'll send it out next week)


I'll continue to check the box weekly. I'll try again in October to get more people involved for the holidays.


Thanks for asking,

RC

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