THANK YOU SO MUCH for volunteering to send care packages, toys, school supplies, letters, to the 1/2. Our contact person is Chaplain Michael Tomlinson.
I have an FPO address for Chaplain Tomlinson but -- he wants to verify that address one more time. As soon as he confirms the address for me I will forward it to you.
Chaplain Tomlinson will be traveling to the battalion's forward operating positions in the very near future. When he returns to his base he will let me know what the Marines in the outlying areas need/wish for. I sent a list of possible care package items to Chaplain Tomlinson and he will review it with the outlying Marines. More as I know it.
Chaplain Tomlinson tells me that at the main base "we have plenty of food, our laundry is done for us and there is plenty of ice cream and cake."
Chaplain Tomlinson stressed that what the Marines at the main base, at any base, really appreciate is individual serving size packages of snacks. He tells me that when they receive a large container, say a large container of peanuts, they use spoons to scoop out peanuts. They will not put their hand into a container to grab some peanuts if someone else has already had their hand in that container.
So -- Chaplain Tomlinson's FPO address willl be coming your way. He will distribute package contents to 1/2 Marines and Sailors at the main base and send them on out to the forward operating positions. A list of what the Marines and Sailors would appreciate receiving will come your way just as soon as I have it.
This is not "your father's" Iraq. Conditions are much improved. I reassured Chaplain Tomlinson that the 1/2 will be held in prayer -- the dangers have diminished but are not gone.
In contrast, our Marines in Afghanistan are in need of everything we can send their way, and of course are in need of prayers. Afghanistan is a very dangerous place to be right now.
THANK YOU!!! Karen
PS -- Jeff, I will let you know when you can start mailing to our nephew Sam.
PPS --- About to click on "Send" and I received this message from Chaplain Tomlinson -- hot off the press!
Please let everyone know how much we appreciate their support. I’ve been telling everybody how much y’all want to do and just telling them that brings a smile to their face and makes them happy.
I was talking to our Medical Officer and he wondered if you knew of a group that collected unwanted prescription glasses? It seems the Iraqis really need glasses and this is a way to make friends.
I start traveling this week and will be able to let you know what is needed from your list. I think your kindness means more than things.