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.


April 06, 2009

Name: Vampire 06
Posting date: 4/6/09
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Hometown: Folsom, CA
Milblog: Afghanistan Shrugged

In jujitsu there’s an action referred to as tapping out. It’s when your opponent has reached a position that is so advantageous that you must submit. You indicate this by tapping them or the mat three times. If the Taliban could see this they would simply tap out:

Framed Vampire JUJITSU 1

A while ago I complained that the food here at the FOB was almost non-existent and of extremely poor quality. "Crap" would be a generous term to describe its consistency, quality and desirability. My buddy Troy, from Bouhammer, put out the call for support. On top of that, Soldiers Angels, Web of Support and Operation Cookiejar picked up the gauntlet to support us. Let’s put it this way: Tons, and I mean tons, of people started sending us stuff.

Now, let me step back for a second and put this into perspective. I’m sure some of you by now are saying, "Vampire 06 has lost it and I have no idea where he’s going with this." Well, welcome to every day of my wife’s life with me. Most days she just watches me in pure wonder that I can function in the grown-up world without hurting myself.

Operation Enduring Freedom has been going on for about eight years, and the war in Iraq for six. So the American public has been supporting a huge number of troops for quite a while. Food, hygiene goods, movies, and books; lots of stuff has been sent to show deployed troops that the American public supports them.

Enter Team Vampire and our food dilemma.

It is absolutely amazing, the amount of stuff we’ve been sent. As you can see from the photos, we could open a 7-11 in our house. In fact we received so much stuff that we’ve been passing it on to the rifle company located with us here on the FOB.  And it just keeps coming!

I have two Romanian officers here with us and they’re shocked by all of this. They continually ask if we have to pay for any of this stuff. When we say no, they skeptically ask, “So Americans you don’t know just send all this stuff to you?"

Yeah, Americans we know and don’t know send this stuff!

Framed Vampire JUJITSU 2

You've sent us clothes, toys, books and a myriad of other items for the Afghan people and children we’re attempting to keep free. We’ve tried to explain to some of the population where all of this stuff comes from, but to them it’s totally beyond comprehension. On most days it’s beyond our comprehension.

More people than I ever expected in my life purchased Team Vampire shirts to help us give back to Soldiers Angels. I’m floored by the number of shirts we sold -- so many that they’re now on a several-week back order.  

We have another plan up our collective sleeve. It will be coming in the near future to benefit another great organization. It’s something near and dear to many of us and we hope to have a big impact. More to come...

So, where does the Taliban fit into this whole deal? Well, if they could see the support that people give us they would think twice about doubting our commitment to seeing this mission through here in Afghanistan. Little did they know when they attacked us on September 11th that they would not only be fighting highly skilled and determined US troops but the American public themselves.

It's your support that humbles us so much; that eight years later so many people continue to give their time and resources to support us and the Afghans. We can’t think of enough ways to say thank you for what you’ve all done for us.

All that we can really say is that when we step off this FOB into battle we take each and every one of you with us, symbolized by the Stars and Stripes we wear on our right shoulder. You’re here with us showing the entire world that the United States of America is the greatest country this planet has ever seen.

Thank you from Team Vampire, and God Bless America!

(P.S.  Mr Taliban, that strangling sensation you have right now is the American public with a rear naked choke on you. Just tap now, before they really hurt you. Really, just tap!)


Oh, yeah, tapping out big time. Fantastic pictures and story. Thank you,

Enjoyed the post! Glad we can be of some help. You fellas are in our prayers.

Amazing. What do you guys need and where do I send it?

That is awesome…my Dad and brother stocked up a bunch of food right before the election (ridiculous, I know) and now have several months of canned food between them. I am going to show them this post and get them to send some food where it is needed.

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