Saturday, September 30, 2006

American Soldier on YouTube

Nod to Blackfive (as usual) for pointing me to this new YouTube Space. There are a bunchaton of videos, you should browse through them, but the lyrics to the song accompanying this photo montage are something you should listen to - even without the pictures. Just close your eyes and listen and then open your eyes, at random, and look at what your "letters from home" are doing.

Then sit down and write down to send a letter from home. If you don't have anyone in Iraq (or Afghanistan) to send a letter to, there are lots of places to get a name--the Barfly Baking Brigade has 3 POCs who each have dozens of others who'd love to get a letter, some cookies, some books, some contact (one of our 3 POCs is on an aircraft carrier--there's 5000 people all at one address, how easy can it get?) If you don't want to join the Barfly Baking Brigade Yahoo! group, that's fine. Contact Soldiers Angels and volunteer to penpal with someone--they have lists and lists of names and addresses!!

If you're not American or want to support some of the other allied forces defending the Iraqui people from the dictatorships waiting to spring up, try one of the following (for British and Aussie soldiers, there are generic addies and you can trust the local chaplain to get your letter to someone who really needs the pickmeup at the time your letter arrives).

British Soldiers in Iraq:
HQ MultiNational Div (SE)
Basra, BFPO 641

British Soldiers in Afghanistan:
HQ Helmand Province Task Force
Camp Bastion, BFPO 792.t

Australian Defense Forces (watch this awesome video of the ADF at work) uses one generic email box to reach all ADF'ers on the lines. You can specify a person's name in the subject or at the top of the message and it will be printed out and delivered to them (in case they don't have net.access where they are) or if you want to write generically, don't worry, the Aussie chaplains are good at reading who needs a pickmeup, too. Someone who needs your note will get it. Read over the ADF page of Current Ops to decide where your letter can do the most good, then send an email - FREE of charge! - to and specify (in the subject line or first line of your letter) where you want it delivered (or to whom). Could it be any easier?

If you would rather chat "live" or get to know someone before just writing a blind letter, the Canadian Forces have a bulletin board setup - login, post a note, chat with a few of the CF folks over in Iraq or Afghanistan who are online at the time. Be sure to remember, if you post to the CF bulletin board, that it's a military forum and your conversation may be recorded (I am not saying this in jest, but pointing out that it might seem casual or friendly but it is an official pipeline of communication so watch your mouth...erm, typing ;-))

On paper, you can write to the CF in Iraq (no enclosures or packages! just letters) at "Operation Archer"

Any Canadian Soldier
PO Box 5058 Stn Forces
Belleville ON K8N 5W6

Check the CF list of op names if you want to write to some Canuck in a location other than in Iraq. See Related Post on Red Friday (see also Red Shirt Friday for support of the US Troops, a program by the folks at Freedom is not Free)

No matter whether you write to someone specific or anonymous, to an American, Canadian, Brit or Aussie - just write to someone. You don't have to send "stuff" just send your time and effort to write a letter. It really will mean much more than you might think or realize. Until you've been there, you just don't know what a godsend it is to receive a letter "from home" (that is, from some human being who gives a damn that you're alive). Once you've been "there" you really never forget, esp. the letters from home.

See Related Post on Accountability.



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