Posts Tagged ‘Soldier support’


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Mandolin range

In the midst of Eddie’s hospital drama, my niece sent me this photo:

Lt. Mark Greenlief, the executive officer for Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, takes a break from his duties in Marjah, Afghanistan, on Saturday, March 20, 2010, to play a mandolin sent to him by his in-laws in the United States. From http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com/kabul/2010/03/scenes-from-marjah-madness.html#ixzz0jCO4p262

It totally made my day, because I am the in-law who sent it! Well, I sent it, and my dad donated it.

My dad met Mark at Thanksgiving, and they bonded over a shared love of music. So when Eddie and I started asking around about a ukulele, maybe, to send Mark in Afghanistan, my dad offered the mandolin that had been in my family forever. He played it, my mom played it, I played it, etc. A great idea!

I was worried about sending an antique instrument into combat, but I must have packed it up well enough for it to make it in one piece. YAY!

So that’s why I was so thrilled to see that photo. It made everything better this week.

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A new cast member?

We went to visit my niece at Camp Lejeune last weekend, and came home with this:


When my niece got pregnant, she found a new home for Mocha. But last week, the dog was back at her house thanks to the microchip. The new owners, who never changed the chip info, apparently let her get pregnant, took the puppies, and left Mocha on the side of the road.

Because my niece is about to give birth and already has a toddler — all while her marine husband is in Afghanistan — we decided to take the dog home with us and try to find a good home for her.

It is looking like that home may be ours. Someone stop me before I adopt again …

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My niece, Nina, created a list of things soldiers need. For most of us in our comfortable homes in our comfortable lives, it is hard to image that the troops need such simple things. Get ye to Walgreens (I hear they give you a discount on purchases for soldiers)!

  • Robitussin (single dose, box of 10)
  • Hot hands (hand warmers)
  • Wisps (disposable tooth brushes)
  • Charmin travel rolls
  • Small compact mirror (for shaving)
  • Cough drops (with Vitamin C)
  • Protein bars (meal replacement)
  • Granola bars
  • Pop-Tarts
  • Mini bagels
  • Travel packs of tissue
  • Tuna in foil packaging (not canned)
  • SpaghettiOs, ravioli, etc., in pull-top containers
  • Instant mac and cheese
  • Ground coffee (Dunkin’ Donuts)
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Alka Seltzer
  • BC powder
  • Aleve
  • Immodium
  • Carmex lip balm
  • Medicated foot powder
  • Candy and gum
  • Ziploc bags
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sewing kits
  • Bengay
  • Beef jerky and summer sausage
  • Dried fruit
  • Gatorade or Propel (singles)
  • Instant drink mix
  • Eye drops
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Trail mix
  • Deodorant
  • Mouthwash
  • Dental floss
  • Nail clippers
  • Socks
  • Dog food pouches (there are lots of stray dogs around)
  • Books and magazines

Remember: Happy and healthy troops can make progress and get home soon!

Lt. Mark Greenlief tries to make friends with the locals

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Now that I have your attention about supporting troops (I hope), here is what you can do:

Send packages and letters.

That’s it. It is easy! In fact, there are organizations that will do it for you.

Here is a list of Marines and Corpsmen in the Operation PAL program. Here is a list of thousands of soldiers in the armed forces in the Any Soldier program.

If you want to do more, you can organize a care package drive. This site tells you how.

You can do more. It is all up to you.

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This post has nothing to do with chickens, grammar, superheroes, or any of my usual topics. I won’t even talk about my dissertation proposal defense right now. All that stuff pales in comparison to this:


Searching an empty house Feb. 18 in Marja, Afghanistan

The Marine on the right is my nephew, Lt. Mark Greenlief (my husband’s brother’s daughter’s husband, if you can follow the dancing apostrophes). He is executive officer of Bravo Company, part of the 1st Battalion of the 6th Marine Regiment.

Mark and his troops are dealing with a new edict in the war in Afghanistan: no airstrikes unless troops are about to be overrun, or they can prove that there are no civilians around. The reason for the edict is that the Afghan people were starting to withdraw support for the fight against the Taliban because of the civilian casualties. For more information, read this article.

Fine. But that is scary shit (if I can be so crass) for the Marines who are on the front lines.

I don’t care who you voted for or what your political leanings are; there are good people laying their lives on the line because some elected officials told them they had to. No, they didn’t have to join in the first place, but they did because they thought it was the right thing for them to do. And we should be thankful for what they are doing, regardless if we think they should be there in the first place.

Thank you, Mark, and everyone in the armed forces.

Thanks also to the families they left behind. How would you like to have one toddler and be seven months pregnant with the second son, and your husband is off in a sandbox being shot at for who knows how long for people who don’t even seem to know or care about the war? That’s my niece’s life in Camp Lejeune — far away from all her family and his. She’s got her act together enough to manage this Facebook group, which is pretty impressive.

Thank you, Nina, and all the families of the troops.

If all that doesn’t give you a knot in your stomach, then I don’t know what will.

Semper Fi.

Photo credit: http://www.fotoglif.com/f/3ec1v4zmvtfh

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