Monday, September 22, 2008

Former Student Coordinates Care Packages For Troops

For several years, Brad Blauser ’92 has been a shining example of the kind of selfless service that all Aggies should strive to emulate. As a civilian contractor in Iraq, Brad has coordinated the donation and delivery of care packages for troops, wheelchairs for disabled Iraqi kids, and study bibles for soldiers. The following is his latest request for assistance in sending care packages to the troops:

Here's a list of commonly requested items for care packages (feel free to deviate and get creative), and the address where to send the boxes:

Brad Blauser
DLS Corp
APO, AE 09342

1. Comfort foods! Twinkies, doughnuts, cupcakes, Little Debby snacks, sweets, no chocolates (they'll melt on the way over), other things off the snack aisle. Health foods go over well also with the athletic/health conscious crowd. Any liquids need to be in sealed zip-lock bags or we end up with soggy boxes.
2. Pictures of yourselves / your kids and a hand written note of encouragement to / kids drawings for the troops. This makes each box personal for each of them. Troops will stop and read the letters before they'll even check to see what's inside the box. Maybe even include a self-addressed pre-stamped envelope. BE SURE to include a return email address of the donor - you're much more likely to hear from them as mailing letters takes much more effort here than sending a thank you email.
3. DVDs of the top 10 movies at Blockbuster.
4. Packaged coffees – ground up.
5. For the ladies - if you're doing gender specific packages - anything from Bath and Body Works or someplace similar.
6. Blade replacements for the Gillette Mach II or Fusion razors.
7. White crew socks.
8. DEET pump spray repellants.
9. PX Gift Cards from AAFES.
10. Re-hydrating drink mixes to add flavor to bottled water.
11. New toothbrush (SOFT).
12. Long Distance Phone Cards.

Now's a good time to start organizing groups to gather funds and items to send care packages to the troops for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. As the time gets nearer, I'll post the addresses of Chaplains / units in areas who will need them most. Contact me with questions or ideas if you'd like to run them by me!

For more information about Brad’s multiple missions and to get involved, visit the following links:

Invite WFIK to be your MySpace Friend!
Invite WFIK to be your Facebook Friend!
Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids
CNN Report (Article) on Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids
CNN Report (Video) on Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids
Study Bibles for Soldiers

Opposing the Bailout

Below is the text that I've sent to both my senators today:
Dear Senator,

Please do all in your power to oppose the Paulson-Bernanke bailout plan. I understand that there are arguments against the plan from all different sides: from Democrats who think the bill lacks enough regulation as well as from Republicans who are opposed to the expansion of our government as well as our debt. I identify as a Democratic Socialist, but think that the plan proffered does not establish safeguards against another crisis, nor does it give the taxpayers who will fund the bailout any share in a fiscal rebound.

Bad mortgages are only one part of a larger economic downturn, and issues such as the evaporation of industry and jobs and the high cost of healthcare need to be addressed as part of a comprehensive solution. The companies responsible for creating a financial disaster through insufficient vetting of borrowers and predatory lending practices should be held accountable and, if necessary, be allowed to fail. The American public needs an economic and cultural wake-up call. We need the long, painful process of a depression to re-learn fiscal responsibility, the value of strong industry led by empowered workers, and a sense of frugality but also a sense of generosity.

I hope that you will be proactive and passionate in your opposition to this legislation, as well as look for sound ways to guide our country through the financial crises yet to come. Thank you for your service!

Jonathan Kotinek