Alpha Company Sponsors Unit in Ramadi

In the months we've been here, we've flown to all corners of Iraq. Places with varying degrees of available services, from installations with a PX, coffee shop and even traffic court, to remote locations where a radio call is required several minutes prior to landing so the landing zone can be secured and marked. The latter are lucky to have a bathroom.

With these varying levels of service, Alpha company has adopted a unit in Ramadi, where there is neither a PX nor a gym. Noting these deficiencies, we have started to share with them our wealth of baked-goods-filled care packages. The unit we've adopted recalls the hard-nosed soldiers of Stephen Ambrose's "Band of Brothers." It's a group accustomed to hardship. We have flown there a few times and as our relationship developed, we realized they were perfect candidates to share in our good fortune.

With the help of our families, we've been able to afford 1/506 the opportunity to enjoy a taste of home. The 1/506 in turn has ensured future deliveries by providing a "Thank You" poster, signed by members of the unit, along with a photo of the goodies set out for consumption.

Whether it is a lift or a care package, we are glad to help!

By Bert Stover |  August 22, 2006; 8:55 AM ET  | Category:  Al Taqaddum, Iraq
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As I have read your blogs and have listened to my son relate stories of sharing "boxes" I am touched by the way all of you take care of each other!! Those of us in the USA should learn from our Soldiers!! We continue to pray for you!!

Posted by: Mechanic's Mom | August 22, 2006 06:24 PM

>where there is neither a PX nor a gym

What a stupid bunch of nonsense. America, you're in the wrong place, at the wrong time, for the wrong reason, with the wrong attitude. Get that country stabilized and hurry the hell up!

Posted by: spoiled american gi | August 22, 2006 07:33 PM

I don't know if you get enough time to read all the comments or not. But there are many helicopter pilots urging you on back in the BIG PX. Ignore the idiots commenting on political issues. Keep the needles in the green, and be safe. I am eagerly awaiting your next missive.

Posted by: D/3/5Scout | August 23, 2006 01:53 PM

I'm glad to hear that you guys (and gals if any) are sharing the wealth. I guess I'm lucky to be able to say that I don't actually know anybody currently serving over there. Nevertheless, my heart goes out to your brothers and sisters that are facing hardships we can't even start to comprehend. While I'm not rich (not even close)I would not mind sending a CARE package to some of the folks over there, especially the ones that maybe don't really have anyone back home that can send them some stuff when there aren't any facilities to get them themselves. If you have any suggestions, please let us know. If this is a possibility, please indicate what's needed. God's speed and get your head down.

Posted by: James | August 23, 2006 02:42 PM

Bert, thank you for your blogs you send back to the states. It feels like I'm in the thick of things with you and your buddies.since I don't know anyone who is serving in Iraq, how can I send a carepackage to a hero on the front? stay safe, God Bless and OOOHRAAA!

Posted by: vicki | August 23, 2006 05:32 PM

Bert, thank you for your blogs you send back to the states. It feels like I'm in the thick of things with you and your buddies.since I don't know anyone who is serving in Iraq, how can I send a carepackage to a hero on the front? stay safe, God Bless and OOOHRAAA!

Posted by: vicki | August 23, 2006 05:36 PM

My husband is heading over there in a very short time, and I thank you for posting your blogs. Reading them has given me a little comfort, and hope. I'll be passing the link along to some of the other wives in my group.

Posted by: Shannon | August 24, 2006 01:54 AM

You carrying "goodies" onboard reminds me of the (Viet Nam era) flight school tradition of covertly transporting "pogie-bait" to hard-pressed Ranger trainees from Ft. Benning, working out of Eglan AFB, duting our last phase of flight school training. "Above the Best."

Posted by: Isaac H. Suggs, Jr. CW4 (Avn) Ret, USAR ("Red Hat") | August 24, 2006 09:02 AM


Posted by: Pete Van Hee | August 24, 2006 09:10 AM

Bert, your notes are a valuable resource for many. Our daughter is scheduled to be posted to Iraq early next year and your insights help us understand what she may face.
Keep them coming

Posted by: Brian-Cave Creek,Az. | August 24, 2006 11:58 AM

Any persons so inclined as to send something to our soldiers overseas and wishing to get a soldier or unit "to adopt" should go to There is a list of servicepersons representing their units. The requests run the gamut from q-tips for cleaning weapons to moisturizer for dry skin. Usually the soldiers just want someone to write them. Whenever possible, they write back.

Posted by: Keith E. Mixer | August 24, 2006 04:27 PM

They also appreciate any homebaked goodies
you can send. I try to send cookies, etc. on a regular basis. My soldier takes a few
and gives away the rest because not everyone receives care packages which is so sad.

A Mom

Posted by: | August 25, 2006 12:18 PM

My son, active duty Air Force, will return to Iraq for a second tour, this time until 2008. Our family regularly sent packages which I know included things that were shared with other soldiers. This time will be no exception. It is heartbreaking that the soldiers have companions who never receive mail, packages or anything. I include post cards and note cards with messages to hopefully encourage the soldiers and let them know someone cares about them.
The AnySoldier website is a wonderful source for Care Package Receipients. I always choose one that has a longer return to US date to ensure the package has time to arrive. Be careful sending heavy packages, use lightweight packaging on the inside. Individual packages of items works best for sorting and sharing. But as always, just sending a box of items is most welcomed by the troops.

Like everyone else, I hope this conflict ends soon and our soldiers can return home to be with their families. May God bless and protect each and every member of our armed forces stationed around the globe.

Posted by: Edith | August 29, 2006 12:33 PM

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