Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How Should One "Support" US Troops?

...Send over booze and dipping tobacco, and not what usually gets sent over.
Sometimes, a care package is perfect. Once -- I won't say where -- I watched a tentmate open up a box that contained a bottle of Skyy vodka, and the look on his face rivaled the boy's in A Christmas Story when he is finally united with his Red Ryder Carbine-Action Range Model Air Rifle. Of course, that came from a friend, not an anonymous patriot, but other, more licit luxuries can be just as welcome.

Why, though, would anyone send a big stack of AARP magazines to teenage and twenty-something soldiers in a war zone? Or a box full of Sensodyne prescription-strength toothpaste tubes? Or a powder blue "Hello Kitty" t-shirt? (All of these are things I've seen troops puzzle over in Iraq or Afghanistan. The lucky recipients of the AARP magazines were members of the 2-106 Cavalry Squadron last year in Helmand province.) Maybe not the same people who send those supermarket romances, but someone with a similarly well-calibrated sense of what deployed soldiers most miss.
Burning Koran's might not help the cause, either.

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