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 24, 2008

Name: Rocinante
Posting date: 12/23/08
Stationed in: Iraq
Hometown: Virginia
Milblog: Rocinante's Burdens

If you are struggling for some last minute gift ideas for that deployed person in your life, here are a few hints:

1. Get over it. You blew it. Christmas is in two days. There is no earthly way you can deliver a gift here in time. Try harder next year. Despite the Obamanator being elected, there will be a next year.

2. Some ideas that used to be good are no longer good. Last year, flash drives were all the rage. But thanks to Chinese hackers, flash drives (USB drives) cannot be used in any DoD computer system, which includes the MWR ones. The risk of another crushing virus is too high.

3. Candy. Also no good. Speaking on behalf of the offices I have been to recently, we are buried in candy, cookies and baked goods. Plus we still get all the free food we can eat at the dining facility. Granted, some troops are more "deployed" than others, so your mileage may vary.

4. DVDs. Yes. But don't get the $5 Wal-Mart specials. They are on special because no one wants to watch them. Also don't get the $20 first run movies. Most of us have already seen the pirated versions for only $4. What we can't get are DVDs of our favorite TV shows. So record them on DVR, then burn them to a disk and send 'em. Some of those made for TV miniseries are also quite good.

5. Hearing from the folks back home never gets old. Tell us how you are doing and what you are doing. Burn some home videos of our favorite people to DVD and send those. Nothing special, just friends and family doing normal stuff that we would be doing too if we were there.

So now you know what to get. Why are you still just sitting there? Get going.

Oh... rum balls also are a tasty treat, appreciated by everyone but the Baptist chaplains.


Merry Christmas! Good suggestions for next year. I lived in Frankfort, KY, during the peak of the Vietnam war and somehow the local candy shop was able to send some bourbon balls to the combat zone. Maybe used dry ice for packing to get it there as more than a puddle. And yes, there will be a next year.

Thank you for the wry humor and good will. The dvd suggestions are great. Be safe and hope to see more postings while you are representing the rest of us over here in the good old USA. I will be visiting my 81 year old mother in the hospital today. With a little luck she will be weaned off the ventilator in a reasonable period of time and walk out of there.

Thanks Kathy.

Merry Christmas to you, too.

noticed that the plug has been pulled on your blog. not sure you will see this, but hope you got home safe and with all your paperwork in order.

Very interesting on some of the unique gift ideas out there. I noticed this blog that has nothing but edible gift ideas. Kind of cool.

We wish all our troops a Merry Christmas and a safe journey back home soomer rather than later.

Merry Christmas to all the brave soldiers.

Merry Christmas! oticed that the plug has been pulled on your blog. not sure you will see this, but hope you got home safe and with all your paperwork in order.

Thank you so much Sir. The add-on is so cool.

Develop your own standards and your own judgment.

It is my great pleasure to visit your website and to enjoy your excellent post here. I like it very much. I can feel that you have paid much attention for those articles, as all of them make sense and are very useful. Thanks so much for sharing.

Quería darle las gracias por este gran lectura! Sin duda disfrutar de cada pedacito de ella tengo que marcado para ver cosas nuevas que publiques.

Merci Sir tellement. L'add-on est tellement cool.

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