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.


December 23, 2006

Name: C. Maloney
Posting date: 12/23/06
Husband stationed in: Iraq
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Milblog url:

"If you can't eat it, or you can't wear it, we probably don't need it." That's the directive from the CO.  So, what does my husband get this year at Christmas for being a good boy?  Well, let's look at the environmental requirements (not an easy task, may I add, considering I have talked to him once, for 10 minutes, in the last month):

It's the desert and it's cold.  You know, when you think about it, a nice lump of coal might not be such a bad idea! It could help keep him warm at least. I fret, however, that efforts might be misconstrued and seen as not in the spirit of Christmas, so I guess I'll pass.

Hmm -- something he can wear. Well, it must be green. And not Army green, but Marine green, because believe it or not, even their t-shirts have their own distinct shad of drab. I'd send underarmor or some kind of long underwear, but it can't be made from polyester or other synthetic fabrics that melt when exposed to flames. I don't want anything melting on his skin -- he's too young to need any sort of skin peel just yet. Maybe once he's a real "leather neck". What options does that leave me? A nice pair of socks. Good thing I live on base and have access to the right kind, in the right shade. Look out cutie -- you got a sweet pair of socks coming your way!

Now -- something he can eat. Wherever he is, I know he's eating MREs at least once a day. My husband doesn't have a big sweet tooth (disappointing I know!), but he does like Sour Patch Kids -- so those are in. My mom sent him some canned oysters out of the pantry last time he was in Iraq, and he raved about that. I am firmly against sending him booze; I hear weapons and alcohol don't mix, so that's out. My man likes MAN food, but pork is a no-go in the country, which means Slim Jims are out. So what's he getting? Oily stinky canned fish, all beef summer sausages, and a can of Cheese Whiz. Sounds terrible to me, but might just beat having to eat another unsavory MRE.

And that's about it. My baby has socks and man food coming his way. A few pictures of our house with the lights I put up, a note to say "I love you", and a promise to celebrate whenever he gets home.  Don't worry, sweetheart, Santa will find you, and we'll make sure that this Christmas is as merry as it can be. 

Salam. Peace.


Heres a little something I wrote and posted on another entry, but I thought you might like it too:

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the barracks, not a creature was stirring, not even a sand-flea.

The stockings were hung by the steel-gate with care, In hopes that Supply- Sergeant-Nicholas would soon be there.

Solders were nestled all snug in their bunks, While xmas-cards from family sat on their trunks.

While grunts in camo, and Captains with bars, had just settled down for a well deserved snooze.

When out on the perimeter there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bunk to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the newly caked mud, gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, when, what to my wondering eyes should see with luck?

But a miniature tank, and eight tiny trucks, With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be Sgt-Nick.

But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Merry Christmas to all serving in Iraq.

Good news -- Slim Jims are actually chicken and when my brother was there, we sent them a lot.

You know what else works really well? Beefaroni. It was a big request from my nephew when he was in Afghanistan.

Stores well, has lots of carbs, easy to heat up, you can share it with the locals, and best of all... it tastes like home.

Don't worry, sweetheart, Santa will find you, and we'll make sure that this Christmas is as merry as it can be.

Look out cutie -- you got a sweet pair of socks coming your way!

Nice post. I've been trying to catch up on some of the events and happenings since I landed on the island. Are you sure about Visser not getting a lot of votes.
What is your footnote a reference to? The asterisk is missing from the main body of the posting.

That makes it on the right moment. Perfect timing my friend.

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