Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Better Than A Stupid Ribbon On Your SUV

Last night I got an email from tata about a thing that's being done by Coalition of the Swilling. It seems that they are "adopting" a unit of Marines that are stationed on the Syria/Iraq border. Go read their posts.

This is an excerpt from the email I got from Coalition of the Swilling (egad, I love that name!).
It is our second year taking care of this unit as best we can. Lemme tell you a little about our kids ~ we took care of them last year through the holidays (and by that i mean from before Thanksgiving until the mail cut off end of Feb) and we're adopting again this year. Yep ~ you heard that right ~ SAME Marines, same station. They run the unmanned drones and, since there's only two units PERIOD, they rotate in and out of country every 6 months. (one of their young captains is on his FOURTH tour.) So they left Iraq in March and got back there mid-September. That's a LOT to ask of anybody, but they just pack up and go, bless their hearts. (And NOW our Sara is being transferred to a camp a mile from the Syrian border ~ absolute nasty, back of beyond real estate ~ and we'll be looking for more friends for the half dozen or so Marines stuck out there.)

Our aim is to get everyone's name called at mail call at least once in a while. We try to shoot for at least a couple names per leatherneck, that way cards and packages get pretty evenly distributed.

Please don't hesitate to ask any questions if I've forgotten something. I'd be delighted to send you a Marine ( or two or three if you can hook some friends up {8^P) if you're sure you'd like to sign on. I look forward to hearing from you!

They are assembling packages that contain little things to make life in the boonies a bit easier for the kids. I have told many "I support the troops" folks about something that happened while I was in Viet Nam. One year, out of the blue, my unit received a big package from Clover Valley Elementary School, Oak Harbor, Washington, Mrs. Grove's 4th grade class. It contained hundreds and hundreds of packages of Pre-Sweetened Kool-Aid®. That was big stuff for us boonie rats. Better than dope (actually the dope over there was way better than stateside but I digress). The pills (Halzone) that we used to "purify" the water we drank (and there was some totally funkatized water over there) made it taste very bad. The Kool-Aid helped a lot. Along with that was the reminder that somebody back in the world knew where we were and was thinking about us. We wrote them letters of thanks. They wrote us back. It was a little bit of sweetness from home that touched parts of us we had buried deep inside during our little vacation in hell's half-assed acre.

I'm getting me a couple of Marines, I'm encouraging everybody I know to do the same. Something like this only takes a moment and will give a homesick, scared kid a little bit of home and hope.

You have your mission troops, carry the fuck on and stuff.



Blogger Tata said...

Thank you, MB. You completely and utterly rock.

12:21 PM  
Blogger jurassicpork said...

Hey, how's your golden retriever doing?

11:31 PM  
Anonymous shades of blue said...

This is great.
Thanks for the heads up.
p.s. I thought I was the ONLY person in the world who read more than one book at a time.
Different rooms/different moods demand different books.

8:39 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

I have always been the type to read more than one book at a time. sometimes, especially with the weighty stuff like history or physics i just need a break. other times, a good fiction book, like cormac mcCarthy's "the road" or recently "thirteen moons" by the same writer as "cold mountain." a good fiction book will take over and i will drag it around room to room, or give in and read all right then and there.

jp: jackie the golden retriever died in september. she was at home with her head in my lap and a slimy tennis ball right by her head. she's buried here on the property out by the barn. her marker says "jackie was a damn good dog" and has the logo from Therapy Dogs International (she was one of 'em) on it. i was ready to give myself time to heal and stuff but then a friend called who told me about a golden puppy. anyway, when i saw the pup i realized that the thing missing in my heart and in my house was the sunny disposition and kindness of the goldens. her name is katie, she's 11 weeks old. i love her a whole lot. thank you for asking. i haven't written about jackie and stuff, partly because i'm not good enough of a writer to do her justice, partly because it's all so raw still, partly because i'm bone ass lazy.

cyn: the clapton/king version is great. it's a classic blues song. i still like the scratchy, almost 100 year old version of big bill's best.

9:22 AM  
Blogger litbrit said...

MB, I'm so sorry to hear about your lovey passing away. We have always had a small crew of labs, lab-mixes, and pitbulls out here at the country house; the number fluctuated between 4-12. Since 1987, when I met R. Of course, there were always the special ones, and I am not one to pick favorites, but you know how you just bond with certain animals? Well anyway, I lost Rosie, the dearest and greatest yellow lab of all time, the day after Angelo was born. She'd been ill all summer, and that was the summer I lost my best friend, too. It was as if Rosie fought to hang on just until she knew the baby and I would be okay.

Damn, I miss that dog. I was thinking about doing a semi-regular Big Dog Blogging Friday, since so many cats and small dogs get their spot in the Blogosphere sunshine; big dogs, not so much. We have a pack of four siblings that have recently hit their full size (18 months). At least I hope so: they're fucking HUGE! Their mother, a wild lab-pit mix, came to our gate one day, wobblingly pregnant. She gave birth to the four, nursed them for a few weeks, then ran away. Hmmm...I think I know that impulse ;) Two are black lab/pit mixes (Daxter and Shnookums), and two are Shepherd/lab mixes (Carmine and Vito). Carmie and Vito are already 110 lbs. They are the lovers of the bunch.

I will forward this post to friends--I think corresponding with our soldiers and making sure they know they're appreciated is a lovely and important thing to do. Thanks for putting up the info.

p.s. I have my own pumpkin pie recipe that I've developed over the years (we actually cut up, steam, and puree all the Hallowe'en pumpkins as opposed to using canned), with homemade crust, of course. But I borrowed your idea of putting chopped crystallized ginger on the top. Gorgeous flavors!

p.p.s.: What I do is Cuisinart all the steamed pumpkin and store the puree in freezer Ziploc bags, 2 cups per bag. That way we have real pumpkin for pies (or cake, or bisque) all year. It's a morning's work, but worth it; Robert took care of it this year, with Dante helping and changing the CD's as required.

7:26 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i promise to have my recipe for crystallized ginger up soon. the homemade stuff (unless you have an indian or thai market handy) is sublime. and (to coin a phrase) nook U lar.

re: big dog blogging. yes, let's us do that. kitties are wonderful and stuff (although i only have barn cats who are lead by the noble "barn monster") but i love the big guys. right now the pack is (in order of seniority) butch: english mastiff, 12 years old, he's battling a lot of ailments right now and has retired from garage duty. he used to be the first line of security over the dragsters and the sand toys.

abbie: german shepherd 8 years old, retired air force bomb sniffer, ball player and all around top dog of el rancho harpo right now.

maggie: 6 year old doberman pincher, seldom comes in the house, doesn't like to play games but keeps a relentless patrol about the fence line. she does love her some jerky treats though. and she fiercly defends her running mate

lucy: standard chihuaua, 6 years old. for those who don't know, a standard chihuaua is a small dog, but not a toy or a miniature. lucy is about 25 lbs of pure ass courage and heart. she can make coyotes and stray pit bulls cower at the ferocity of her defense. her motto is: crazy beats big every time.

11:17 AM  
Blogger litbrit said...

Okay, then, I will start with a photo of my Carmine when I arrive at the city place later on (probably tonight).

Big Dog Blogging--I love it!

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Vervet said...

Minstrel Boy-
I have never heard of a standard chihuahua before-maybe that's what my Willie is. He's 15 pounds of love and "big dog" attitude, not as big as your Lucy of course, still he's big for a chihuahua. We've also considered that maybe he's a chihuahua-corgi mix (he's a humane society dog found wandering the streets of St. Augustine). I'm a complete sucker for little red dogs.

12:48 PM  

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