Hello everyone ---
I am in communication with 1/2 Chaplain Michael Tomlinson. 1st Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment deployed to Iraq 2 weeks ago. Included among the Marines serving with 1/2 is our nephew Sam.
At this time we are looking for people willing to send care packages to Chaplain Tomlinson for distribution to 1/2 Marines and Sailors. I have a message in to Chaplain Tomlinson confirming his FPO address. If you wish to send care packages his way, school supplies and/or toys for the Iraqi children please let me know. I will then send his FPO address to you. You can volunteer to send packages throughout the deployment, to gather and send new school supplies and/or toys, or to send a one time package. I would encourage anyone sending care packages to include letter(s) to individual Marines and Sailors. You might want to enclose a pre-addressed envelope in which a Marine or Sailor can place a return letter to you. No stamps are required on the envelope coming back to you. Do enclose paper and pens in your care package as well.
We will help you with a list of items you may want to send, instructions re packing the boxes and completing customs forms.
I have been unable to participate in the last few 1/2 chats on marineparents.com. If any of you have participated in the chats and have ideas for care packages please share them with me. If you wish to share an FPO address for a 1/2 Marine or Sailor feel free to do that as well.
Chaplain Tomlinson's wife had this input for us: Apparently, at the moment, they are craving salty snacks -- popcorn, planters peanuts and cashews, pretzels (if bagged must be packed to protect them). He also reminded me to bag items separately -- they got some bubblegum-flavored tootsie rolls, so he reminded me that strongly flavored items such as bubblegum, mints, etc., should definitely be separated from other items.
And I received this from Chaplain Tomlinson: if you know of someone wanting to donate school supplies or toys we could use them to build bridges of friendship with the Iraqis. The war is moving into a new phase as our success produces greater stability and its paramount we succeed in a war where the kinetic response is not always the best response.
As for Marine care packages individual portion things are a real plus. For hygiene reasons we’re reluctant to dip our hands in say a big can of nuts after one another.
We have had a wonderful response to our request to send packages to 2/7 (Sgt. Nathan Guite) in Afghanistan. I hope we will have an equally wonderful response to our request on behalf of the 1/2. Again, let me know if you wish to send packages and I will give you Chaplain Tomlinson's address, care package ideas and mailing instructions. Thank to those of you who are sending packages to LCpl. Daniel Hodges and Sgt. Mike Sicard. We may have other individual Marine's addresses for you in the near future so stay tuned.
PS -- 1/2 will be in Iraq for Christmas. 2/7 should be, better be, home in time for Christmas.