The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

A FEW CHOICE WORDS |

November 16, 2006

A FEW CHOICE WORDS
Name: Army Girl
Posting date: 11/16/06
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog url: http://desertphoenix.blogspot.com

I would like to say a few choice words to some people back home who think it good form to send soldiers alcohol while they are on deployment. We're not talking about a couple of cans of Guinness, we're talking bottles of liquor: vodka, rum, whiskey. I realize that you're trying to be "understanding" and "cool" when you send that stuff, or are trying to help the soldiers unwind or relax. I realize that some people think that the soldier they're sending the alcohol to will be responsible about it, and not get themselves in trouble. But you have no idea. There are people here who are responsible about it, but there are some who are not. Let me tell you guilty people something: alcohol and loaded semi-automatic weapons do not mix. I'm furious about this. It is my soldiers' lives, my friends' lives, my comrades' lives, and my mother's daughter's life you are putting at risk.

So please stop making things more difficult for us here. We are guests of a country whose religion professes to not tolerate alcohol. We are here on a mission, in a combat zone, and need all of our faculties and clarity of thought at every moment. If drinking alcohol is not going to be allowed for all and done responsibly, then it shouldn't be done at all. Soldiers can lose their rank, their careers and possibly so much more.

I thank you in advance for having the intelligence and compassion to not send alcohol to deployed soldiers. Save it for when they get their boots on U.S. soil. Then, when you run into them celebrating being back safe and sound, you can buy them a couple rounds and send them home in a cab.

Comments

Thank you for saying this. I can't imagine why anyone would think it's a good idea to send alcohol to the troops (whether or not they might ask for some). I'm a fan of sending Girl Scout cookies instead. ;)

Analise

Cookies mold, Scotch ages...

At least that's the way it worked during 'Nam. ;)

I too am surprised that people are sending alcohol, I guess not enough people are aware about rules against sending certain materials to soldiers. There's a good list at AnySoldier.com No pork products or sexual items (like Playboy) for example. Also, I would recommend not sending chocolate, as it melts all over everything. If you want some ideas of what TO send, try reading soldiers' specific requests at anysoldier.com

I go hunting, and I hate it if other hunters drink before they go out. I've been shot at with a shotgun by some idiot more than once (luckily they just barely missed), can't imagine what it's like being surrounded by drunk idiots carrying even more firepower...not referring to soldiers as a whole, but to the individuals in any group who just don't deal well with booze, especially in stressful surroundings.

God bless you for having the courage to speak up in a situation that affects the lives of our brothers- and-sisters-in-arms. We,
the citizens of the United States of America, want you to be able to perform your duties under the best possible conditions. Thank you to a "leader".

THIS was actually an unpopular post! I got more hell from it than I did compliments.. so it was nice to see these comments here!

You have got to be kidding me! I spent 2 years downrange and one of the things all the guys looked forward to was the extra bottles of "Listerine". I remember taking Kandahar, c17's all over the place all kinds of junk coming in. While waiting on our stuff to come in from Pakistan the Kiwi's were downloading their PALLET of beer. Booze doesn't make things bad, idiots make things bad, and if you don't have enough fortitude to help your drunk friend NOT get into trouble I frankly wouldn't want you down range with me sober!

agreed glenn,
If your an idiot when drunk the odds are that your an idiot when sober. For the grownups in the room its probably a good idea to have a drink after a mission. the sound of bullets screaming past me tends to get me a bit wound up. This post sounds like the words of a supply clerk. Or someone that works in admin.

This is a bad part in the bad social habits and is also part of the health problems consumed this combined with bad eating habits and obesity problems in society.

Has to be someone without much weapons experience. Either that or the military started issuing semi-auto only weapons to our soldiers. I image soldiers are out there bumpfiring their m249's lol. At any rate my family is all military, my friends are mostly military and they are heros, if they ask for a little bottle of "Listerine" than I have no qualms sending it.

If your daughter can not be trusted drink,then you sure raised her badly. I guess it's better for the troops to find something else to relax with. It's not all shootem up combat. I served in VietNam for 2 tours as a combat soldier(paratrooper scout) and the rules put the emphasis on the individual. Of course there was no drinking on a mission. But we were treated as adults, "if you can't handle it, don't do it" Granted the muslims don't get up with alcohol, but we are there to save them, we bring our culture with us. As long as we restrict the use to within our perimeter, whats the problem? Your offspring probably is embarrassed by your rantings. Remember it's a WAR they are involved in, people die, people get maimed, and all the stuff that a war brings to the table with it. To treat our fighting men and sometimes women, like children will only result in them becoming such sissies, regardless of combat, etc. I also have no qualms about sending lil bottle of alkie to my friends over there. I trust them to use it as adults. Trust being the operative word. Go to ANY of the HQ billets and offices of Any of the command structure in Afganistan, and I'll GUARANTEE you'll find more than a few bottles around.

The Chick that posted this is probably a FOBIT (stays on the base and never goes over the wire). Im in Iraq and I see people like her all the time. Go out on a mission then talk

Reading this post all these years later and the comments make me laugh. Here are a few facts to clear some things up.

I spent much of my deployment on a FOB... after I was blown up by a suicide vehicle borne IED in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province BEFORE we sent in the Marines. After a similar incident exactly a week later, my team was recalled to Bagram where I was grounded for pretty much the duration of my deployment. Rumors were that the Powers That Be believed that I'd had two strikes and they were a bit superstitious about the third strike being a charm.

Additionally, I was an NCO which meant that I looked after and was responsible for the welfare and safety of soldiers. This post was written not about my SOF buddies, who could more than handle their alcohol, it was written about soldiers who thought they could still handle their alcohol intake after several months dry. In particular, one who pointed a loaded M16 at the forehead of another soldier and flipped the safety off while they were "just messing around."

I will respectfully request that before anyone make ASSumptions about the impetus behind this post, you consider that maybe, just maybe, it was written by someone that had the best interests of his/her soldiers at heart.

I am the last person to begrudge anyone a cold bear or a glass of wine after a long day... but deployments are deployments and every single person on that deployment volunteered to serve in the US Army - where we don't drink on duty anymore. Especially not in a combat zone where you're on duty 24-7. No one, under my watch, is going to make themselves an added burden on the team because they wanted to get stupid. There are enough things to worry about out there.

Why should anyone give a shit about the country who bombed us based on their religious preferences, being offended when our soldiers drink? Should all soldiers be required to practice pedophilia like their 11 year old girl marrying gigolo "prophet" (read meglomaniac) because of religious preferences? What about consuming opium? Fuck their preferences...tell it to the people in the twin towers.

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