A YOUNG MARINE IN AFGHANISTAN
My Grandson shipped out for Afghanistan on November 11, this year. We receiveda call from him while he made a stop in Turkmenistan, There are a whole pot full of those istan country’s over there, He told us he was about 1,000 miles from Afghanistan at that time. We received a call on Nov. 30, from his station in country, for my wife’s birthday on the 1st.
He is limited to what he can tell us about the situation over there. They are billeted on a British base of some kind in the Helmund Providence, located in the southern section of the country. I have tried researching the Internet for maps of the area. I can find a number of them that really do not show much of any thing in which I am trying to find, I can find maps of the opion areas , refugee’s are, and pure water deprived areas. but not much else. One map did show some of the military bases for the British, so I have some Idea as to where is right now. Being on the British base everything is in pounds and pence’s. The phone cards are in pounds and must be purchased there. If you are wondering,the phones are satellite phones.
He does have Internet access and has his laptop with him. We have been able to exchange several E-mails with him as a result. When we or his Dad (our son) receive anything we forward them to each other. He told us that they monitor the phone and E-mails to maintain security. He told us thet they have experienced IDF ( indirect Fire) in the form of moter and rocket attracts on occasion. He is ancy to engage in a firefight, as is any first time Marine. They have been called out for support of engage infantry. He is in a weapon’s company. They have vehicles with mountes Two Missile’s and the Automatic grenade launcher and the big M2 .50 cal. machine gun and the smaller 6.6 mm machine guns. Jer. is the outfit radio operator, and has to know all the codes and jargon.
He alerted us to the fact that they are due to be out on a long range mobile patrol for what maybe a period of up two months, so he maybe out of Internet and phone contact. He wanted us to know so we would not worry if we did not hear from him for awhile.
Ok on the home front my wife and I have been compiling stuff for them over there. The grandson told us that what ever we sent he would be sharing it with his squad which consists of seventeen guys. So we have been trying to buy accordingly. This past Wednesday, we shipped off Three 12x12x5 1/2 and two 8 1/1 6x 5 1/2 boxes of material for the guys. We sent Jerky, trail mixes and boxes of candy bars and granola bars. Jer. had requested triple edge blade razors so we sent him a pack of 8. I had got a coupon deal at Costco for a large pack of double edge razors (52) so included34 of them. not able to afford enough for all we sent a dozen chap stick, a bar of dial soap for each 12 pair of socks shave cream in tubes and ect. telling them they would have to share as best they can. In on of the smaller boxes was 11 paperback books and several magazines. We probably spent over $300 in all over a month trying to gather it all up. The flat rate postage on the five boxes ran $63 .
The lady who took us on at the post office was very gracious to us. As it turns out her husband is a Marine who was in Iraq last year, and is being sent to Okinawa now. She said she sends about a box a month. While we were handling our five boxes a young woman at the next teller was over heard getting a bigger box for Iraq for her husband, she was going to send pillows and blankets. Ain’t it a shame our government can not provide stuff for our guys?
On son, Jer’s. dad works at the port of Long Beach as a maintenance worker for the big cranes. Rob made a fly er to post on the dock matinance room asking for donations to help send material to his son’s unit. On of his friend there who also has a son in the Marines and is a old Jar head himself Gave &100 and challenged the others to match him, several have and the others have ponied up a total of over $900. Hooray, for the patriotic Dock Workers. I have been giving my son tips on what and how to send his stuff. Just need to build a little fire under him, he is so over worked he really has not much time for his self.
Anyway folks that is they way it is here. I have been struggling to finish a chapter on our trip to the Grand Canyon. I just seem to have a lack of ambition these days, about half through so maybe seen.