From the Soldier side: Sorry, no photo today... the computer I'm using doesn't have my stash of digtal images. Over the years, and in the last few weeks, many people have asked: "What kind of stuff should we send the Joes and Janes in places like Iraq."
If you know what camp or FOB (Forward Operting Base) they're at, you may find out what size of PX they have...if any. I was at some places where all they had for a PX was an empty room. If they're at a place like Camp Victory in Baghdad, it's like a friggen Walmart with machine guns.
If they are without a PX, then almost anything you need for everyday life will be in short supply. Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, snacks, porn, beer, etc. (No, forget the porn and beer, it's a violation of General Order #1, which states: "All military personal and attached civilians will have nothing that would allow them to have fun.")
Even though the PX may have beef jerkey, don't be afraid to send it...Cliff bars were good becasue they don't melt. Letters from kids etc are great too.
My savior was the folks who sent me fresh coffee beans and a grinder. I ran my own Starbucks.
Christmas story, Falluja 2004, Part 2.
So, we gathered all our gear and were setting it out by the M1114 Up-Armored Humvees. We were riding into Falluja with the unit we were replacing. They had a "team" in Falluja helping the USMC and we were to ride there and get a "Hand over" and take over.
The LT from the outgoing unit was the convoy commander. He did a PCI (Pre Combat Inspection) of my team and me. We had everything we needed, except a basic load of ammo. I had one 28 round magazine (I always loaded the mag 2 round short to reduce jams) for my M-16...and 5 rounds of 9mm for my M-9.
The LT almost sh-- his pants. He asked if we came to Iraq with no ammo...and I just looked towards our idiot captain and shrugged my shoulders. Into the vehicles we went...and on the convoy to Falluja, Iraq.
to be cont.