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Gift For Someone Going To Iraq

joshua1joshua1 Registered User regular
edited August 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
A close friend of mine is headed to Iraq in a few months, Mechanised infantry. (or some such thing that we Australians have. All I understand is that he gets to tool around with AUS-Lav's) I want to get him something, but i've no idea. He's going for 6 months. Any help?

joshua1 on

Posts

  • SnakeSnake Registered User
    edited August 2007
    A handful of friends of ours have been deployed over the last few years at one time or another.

    Very helpful things, pending Australia's limitations (not sure how they compare to the US restrictions which seem pretty light):

    -high quality toilet paper
    -lots of books (if he's a reader)
    -one of those spice shakers you can buy at a camping store (equivalent to the US's Academy, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's, etc.), has a small plastic canister divided up into pie-shaped sections that each contains a different spice
    -disposable, individually wrapped "wet naps" (wet napkins like you use to wipe your hands off after eating ribs, hot wings, etc.)

    These were great according to friends of ours. Good luck.

    The Cat wrote:
    ...I don't want tomorrow's topic to be "My nuts got stuck to a tray of steaks and I had to pull them off the meat, how do I stop the bleeding?"
  • clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Last time I was in Iraq, we had wipies (wet naps) coming out the wazoo. I'd recommend some of his favorite foods, that he won't be able to get there. I was fond of receiving Arizona Green Tea w/ Ginseng and Honey.

    Good books were also appreciated. Maybe some movies, or a favorite CD.

  • KVWKVW Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Broken leg or other useful limb so he can stay home.

    Seriously, Im not sure on protocal, but Ive seen images of people in Iraq with iPods and other mp3 players. If hes allowed, that would make an excellent gift in my opinion.

  • TrippyDKTrippyDK Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Seriously, Im not sure on protocal, but Ive seen images of people in Iraq with iPods and other mp3 players. If hes allowed, that would make an excellent gift in my opinion.

    Especially if its loaded with music/movies/podcasts...anything to help him fight off the boredom.

  • aesiraesir __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    high quality body armour?

  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    A Sony e-reader if he likes to read. This way he doesn’t have to lug around a bunch of books on top of all the other stuff he’ll be stuck with.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    When I was there the stuff in high demand was quality electronics and the software to use with them. Toiletries were pretty easy to get a hold of, but stuff like a DS with open ended or particularly long game or the e-reader mentioned above would make excellent gifts. Boredom is a person's worst enemy over there.

    If you do get him anything electronic it would be wise to also get some sort of covering for it as depending on where he's at it could get pretty dusty.

  • joshua1joshua1 Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Well, boredom seemed to be his biggest problem when he was deployed in the solomons. He's getting me to help him buy a laptop, so I guess video games *could* be a good idea. He's not the biggest PC user, but he's a fan of the battle for middle earth games (he's got them for his 360. Wait, can he take his 360?) and guess rts's are open ended enough. I really like the idea of the seasoning shaker though, sounds practical. But im not sure what the australian mess is like.... I guess I will have to subtly raise the question. Thanks for all the help, its much appreciated.

  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    aesir wrote: »
    high quality body armour?

    Well it is a morbid thing to say, but i remember reading an article about how people were trying to buy soldiers' wishlists for them through donations, and it was pretty much all comprised of requests for better body armor than they were being issued, (and for some, any armor at all apparently) as well as things like better canteens, boots, etc. That stuff isn't cheap and the army sure isn't giving it to them, so i don't see how it's such a horrible gift other than perhaps rubbing it in their fce that they're going to be needing it, but when someone's going to Iraq, i think it's both the thought abd practicality that counts.

  • clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User
    edited August 2007
    When I was leaving Iraq we had just got in side SAPI plates, as well as ESAPI plates standard.

    SAPI = Small Arms Protective Insert. Very handy, and not cheap.

    Also, when I left, the PX was selling XBox 360s. Yes you can have them.

  • spookymuffinspookymuffin ( ° ʖ ° ) Speicher, GermanyRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    My last trip out there, I was bored bored bored. There were things to do, like go to the gym and stuff like that, but when you're back in your tent/room, there isn't much to do. Seasons of TV shows on DVD are a great item to have, you can burn through a season in a few days. This time around, I'm taking all of the shows I didn't get a chance to keep up on with me, plus some that friends like and have recommended. That and games, I'm stocking up on all the RPGs I didn't have time for lately. I'm taking my PS2 and GC, because you can get a lot of good games for pretty cheap. Anything that'll take up large chunks of time.

    XBL: Mega Spooky // 3DS: 3797-6276-7138
  • joshua1joshua1 Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    so there are available tv's? I mean, would he need to provide his own? I guess I really should be asking him these questions.....

  • spookymuffinspookymuffin ( ° ʖ ° ) Speicher, GermanyRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    There should be a TV around. Most bases have a MWR (morale, welfare, recreation) area with TVs, phones, internet, games, etc. Even if not, all the places I've been have power outlets, so a portable DVD player will work. I used to see guys laying in bed watching portable dvd players resting on their stomachs. That is definately something I'm taking with me this time. If you can find one that plays data discs, you can throw a ton of avi and mpeg files on there.

    XBL: Mega Spooky // 3DS: 3797-6276-7138
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    clsCorwin wrote: »
    Also, when I left, the PX was selling XBox 360s. Yes you can have them.

    Unfortunately, you cannot download things from the Marketplace with an APO address.

    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    When I was there I had an actual 13" TV, and I was far from alone. Most people I knew actually had larger TVs. Even on relatively remote FOBs (where four-man hooches were the norm), there was enough living space for smallish televisions. Seriously, it was almost like a college dorm...every motherfucker seemed to have at least one gaming console...I had both a GameCube and an Xbox. And we played the fuck out of them. "Party" type games might not be a horrible idea, helps one be a little less solitary. Super Smash Brothers was a favorite of ours.

    Obviously, that kind of shit will have to wait until he sees where he'll be living.

    As far as the mess goes, it varies. Again, you might want to wait until you see where he ends up...I was at a decently equipped airbase for the majority of my time, and our mess hall was more than adequate. I rarely bothered to eat anything else, and the spices provided were adequate.

    TV seasons are fantastic. As time goes on, if you're savvy enough to do so, providing current episodes (say, a DVD full every couple weeks) for him of the shows he follows might be much appreciated...there's not much access to "current" TV there.

    And yeah, open-ended games would not be a horrible idea. Civilization 3 was a favorite of mine while I was there (4 wasn't out yet).

    Spoiler:
  • spookymuffinspookymuffin ( ° ʖ ° ) Speicher, GermanyRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    clsCorwin wrote: »
    Also, when I left, the PX was selling XBox 360s. Yes you can have them.

    Unfortunately, you cannot download things from the Marketplace with an APO address.

    All the more reason to have a credit card with an address based in the continental states. Parents' houses are usually the safest bet, because they don't tend to move.

    XBL: Mega Spooky // 3DS: 3797-6276-7138
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    Sam wrote: »
    aesir wrote: »
    high quality body armour?

    Well it is a morbid thing to say, but i remember reading an article about how people were trying to buy soldiers' wishlists for them through donations, and it was pretty much all comprised of requests for better body armor than they were being issued, (and for some, any armor at all apparently) as well as things like better canteens, boots, etc. That stuff isn't cheap and the army sure isn't giving it to them, so i don't see how it's such a horrible gift other than perhaps rubbing it in their fce that they're going to be needing it, but when someone's going to Iraq, i think it's both the thought abd practicality that counts.

    Its not really necessary for Aussie troops, they seem to patrol quieter areas. We've had no combat deaths, only a few injuries. You'd be better off supplying him with entertainment stuff - and maybe something group-oriented as an alternative to books and videogames (poker's all the rage, right?). Oh, and you probably can't go wrong with Iraqi language-learning stuff on the practical front, although I don't know where you'd get it.

    If you wanted to be pointlessly morbid in here, something like "buy him a giant poster of Steve Irwin so his mob don't get mistaken for the enemy by the US troops" would be a bit more topical :? don't bother with a flag, they probably won't recognise it...

    tmsig.jpg
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Its not really necessary for Aussie troops, they seem to patrol quieter areas. We've had no combat deaths, only a few injuries. You'd be better off supplying him with entertainment stuff - and maybe something group-oriented as an alternative to books and videogames (poker's all the rage, right?). Oh, and you probably can't go wrong with Iraqi language-learning stuff on the practical front, although I don't know where you'd get it.

    Also while I can't speak for Australia the US has more or less caught up on the body armor front. The guys don't necessarily have the latest and greatest (such as Dragon Skin) but everybody has Interceptor vests and SAPI plates, and just about everybody in my Battalion who left the FOB had ESAPI plates...and we were Guard, so basically at the ass-end of the supply chain. The whole body armor thing is largely, I suspect, old news that just never quite faded away.

    Now vehicular armor, at least for US forces, is a whole different story. But I don't think you can afford that by a long shot. ;-)

    And yes, even with videogames multi-player stuff is a pretty good idea...it's far to easy to isolate yourself, which just makes time go slower. And even a deployement as short as six months blows. Like I said, SSB was popular (with four controllers and lots of shit-talk) as was Halo (we had a large LAN set up for it).

    Poker was also popular, as Cat mentioned. But that might be a bad idea if he has bad luck and he wants to spend his paychecks when he gets home!

    Spoiler:
  • Legoman05Legoman05 Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Low-tech games might be good too.

    Dominoes, Chess, Go, of the travel variety would all be good.

  • HamjuHamju Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    If he's a big fan of movies/tv you could get a little portable video player like a Zen or something. You could also load it full of his favourite movies, shows and porn.

    kekekesigshortercuzthinsacunt.jpg
  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Leatherman tool if he doesn't have on yet. What is your price range? A PSP would be fucking awesome I bet.

  • krapst78krapst78 Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    When my buddy went to Iraq for his 18 months around 3 years ago he went to the local Toys R Us and bought around 30 GBA titles. He spent close to a $1000 USD just on video games for his deployment.

    Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father prepare to die!
  • spookymuffinspookymuffin ( ° ʖ ° ) Speicher, GermanyRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Hamju wrote: »
    If he's a big fan of movies/tv you could get a little portable video player like a Zen or something. You could also load it full of his favourite movies, shows and porn.

    We're not allowed to have porn. Not saying that people over there don't have it, but don't get caught with it. The closest thing you can have to porn is Maxim and American Curves. It's kinda stupid, that we're over there and can't have that kinda stuff. I never understood the whole "We're in their country, so we have to obey their customs" thing, since every base is considered US soil. All the other UN forces can have smut and booze and all kinds of other crap, but not us. =\

    XBL: Mega Spooky // 3DS: 3797-6276-7138
  • FawkesFawkes __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Snake wrote:
    one of those spice shakers you can buy at a camping store (equivalent to the US's Academy, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's, etc.), has a small plastic canister divided up into pie-shaped sections that each contains a different spice

    Bon!
    aesir wrote: »
    high quality body armour?

    I have no idea why he was infracted for this, because it's true. Soldiers supplement their issue kit with all sorts of privately bought pieces, and plenty infanteers I know have done it with body armour, being quite important and all.

    Problems are: a) it's very expensive, thus the pools of donations that Sam was talking about (it's not morbid by the way mate, it's just the job - better that people know & talk about it than pretend it doesn't happen), and b) you've got to get the correct issue compatible stuff for whatever you use in Oz. Our lads welcome the stuff, since issue kit is totally overstretched, and even if they have body-armour, they jury rig the extra as protective plates for the doors of Landrovers etc (our body armour basically = big metal plates in a vest).

    If you want to go with the luxury stuff, suggestions here are fine or whatever staves off boredom. But if you want to go with soldiering kit, ask your mate, he's the best one to tell you what he needs.
    TheCat wrote:
    Its not really necessary for Aussie troops, they seem to patrol quieter areas. We've had no combat deaths, only a few injuries.

    Er, one, it's necessary, believe me. Two, check out what they mean when they say 'a few injuries'. Decent protection means the difference between a large bruise & a Life Changing Injury. Both are classed as 'a few injuries', but that wee difference might matter to the poor bastard with the LCI.

    Three, and most importantly, you have had combat deaths. Last time I looked, two of your soldiers had died in Iraq. Nobody who does this job much cares whether they were killed by enemy fire or not. They died on deployment serving their country, and whatever your personal opinions about the war or the military, the very least you can do is acknowledge that.

    jclast wrote:
    Well shit. To the edit-mobile!
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