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.

HOW YOU CAN HELP |

September 28, 2010

 Name: CAPT Marc Rassler
Posting date: 9/28/10
Deployed to: Afghanistan
Hometown: Livingston, MT
Milblog: To Afghanistan and Back

Almost weekly I get an email or card from a friend or family member asking if there is anything that I need or want while I am here in Afghanistan. I normally just say thanks, as I have been really blessed while here and have received a lot of care packages, and the Army provides most everything I need.
 
But I thought I would share an idea with folks who might be willing to send something. It is something that I would like share with some kids in Afghanistan. The Sergeant Major in my unit has found a team on our base that occasionally visits local schools, and in October our small team will spend a day visiting a school or two. We would like to receive school supplies to give to local Afghan children. We will take anything that you think a kid from 1st grade up through 12th grade might need or use -- paper, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, glue, scissors, etc.

Additionally I'm sure we could find a way to send out any small toys that might be included. Believe it or not, flying kites is something we often see kids doing around here, so small kites or kite accessories I'm sure would be appreciated. 

Keep in mind that while some of the kids may know a couple words of English, for the most part kids younger than high school age won't be able to recognize English writing. Additionally the one thing that I ask, for any who might be tempted, is to not send any religious-themed materials. Feel free to send God's love with the package you make, but I think that it will cause more problems than it would help if were to share anything Christian-related with them.
 
It was interesting and exciting to see a bunch of children, mostly girls, walking down the street the other day as we passed by in our vehicles. What was interesting was that the young girls were all carrying small plastic chairs, for what appeared to be a good distance. Our Terps said that some schools, especially girls’ schools, are so poor that if the children want to sit down they have to bring their own chairs. So in addition to any books or supplies, they also carry a chair to and from school.
 
Education is the hope and future of this country. When children and later adults are able to read and write they will be able to understand the corruption or perversion of the groups like the Taliban or Al-Qaeda.
 
We plan to do a school visit sometime in October. The only bad part is that I may be on leave during that time period, enjoying my vacation. Should you decide you want to send a school supplies package please put somewhere on the address a notation indicating that it is school supplies. I will tell my friends that it is okay to open any box of mine labeled that way. Obviously I will certainly write about and share pictures of any donations we hand out.

Please send supplies to me at:

CPT Marc Rassler
MN CS OMLT
Camp Mike Spann
APO AE 09368

P.S. A SHOUTOUT TO THE FOLKS BACK HOME

A couple weeks ago I came up with the idea for the video below. I wrote the script for it, and with the help of the PAO on Camp Mike Spann we shot it. I thought that it would be cool to send a "Go Vikes" message from Afghanistan for the team's first game of the season. The public affairs folks did all of the work putting it together and publishing it. We were just the pretty faces in front of the camera. Unfortunately one of our guys, Joe Christenson, was home on leave and wasn't able to be in the video.

For those that have never been to a Vikings game before, the cheer we yell at the end of the video is “Skol Vikes!”

 

 

Comments

Kite flying is the national Afghan pasttime ;)

Marc
I have a buddy with a huge stack of back issue mags, ,Surfer, Surfing, Long-boarder, Eastern Surf, Guitar Player, Guitar World, and Vintage Guitar.If these could be of use I can get them shipped. Let me know
Alan

Marc,

You make a pretty compelling and common sense case. I copied your letter into an email and hope it generates some packages coming your way.

Stay safe, and thanks to you and your fellow soldiers for your service.

I send bi-weekly care pkgs to my own son in Afghanistan and always try to include something for the children around his base. I sent little party favor sized bottles of bubbles last time---it was during Ramadan, so doubly welcome since candy and such would be a problem at that time.

I am glad the folks there are thinking of the local children.

Sounds like a noble cause. An opportunity to give something to those less fortunate than us. Way to go, Marc!

Your blog is so funny that I can not help to finish it front and back. It is of help during my boring work.

Decent piece if information. Great to know such.

Nice post. Appreciable Step to help the school children of Afghanistan. Thanks for sharing video of soldiers troops who were in Northern Afghanistan. Wish you best of luck and return home safe.

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