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Jack Tarlin
12-19-2004, 21:58
If anyone has a few extra dollars to spend this season, I just found out about a wonderful program the USO is sponsoring.....they've got a special Holiday fund whose purpose is to supply servicemen and women who are serving in forward-deployed areas (i.e Iraq and Afghanistan, primarily) with phone cards so that everyone, especially those with limited funds, can speak with friends, family, and loved ones over the holidays. I think this is a terrific idea.

If you go to their main page of their website (www.uso.org) and scroll down,
you'll find out more information on what they're doing. Donations, in any ammount, are happily accepted, so I hope some of you with a few extra dollars will consider this. A guy I know who just got back from Afghanistan said that there is no greater morale builder that for soldiers to have regular contact with the folks from back home.

Sometimes the best gifts you can give are to people you'll never know.

P.S. If any of you think this is a good idea and a good program, feel free to
forward this to your friends.

SGT Rock
12-20-2004, 09:28
Good idea. The best thing I ever got in Iraq was a phone call home.

Bloodroot
12-20-2004, 09:55
The best thing I ever got in Iraq was a phone call home.
So true.


"Sometimes the best gifts you can give are to people you'll never know."
Actually for those of us over here, "The best gifts you can get are the people we never know." Sincerely, thank you.

TJ aka Teej
12-20-2004, 11:17
Thanks for the heads up Jack. And thanks Rock and Bloodroot, especially. Here's what I found on the USO site about Operation Phone Home;

USO Operation Phone Home
They have sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and friends who are with them in spirit and silently supporting them from the other side of the world. But it would mean so much to our service members to be able to hear their voices. Far from home and lonely, they are defending our flag and our freedom. The USO is working hard to bring home as close to them as possible.
Please join us in USO Operation Phone Home, a campaign created to make it possible for Americans to extend this touch of home to the men and women of our armed forces.
And we will continue this effort until every one comes home.
There is an URGENT need for phone cards for those serving in forward deployed locations. Please join us in supporting our men and women in uniform during this holiday season.
How to Donate to USO Operation Phone Home:
via the USO website:
https://www.uso.org/donate/default.cfm?action=donate.step1

via phone: 1-800-901-1501
or send a check with O.P.H. written
on the memo line to:
USO World Headquarters
PO Box 96860
Washington, DC 20090-6860

oyvay
12-21-2004, 01:05
I woman I know has a son over in Iraq and to him and other soldiers the most welcome thing they could receive is food. Apparently Halliburton has a long way to go before their food is as good as spam! Liptons, ramens, and any trail-like food will be most wanted.

SGT Rock
12-21-2004, 10:26
LOL, that is funny. On my campwe would have killed to have a Halliburton dinning facility.

Bloodroot
12-21-2004, 12:03
Actually the food here is great. At times we get lobster tail, steak, shrimp, crab legs..pretty much the works. I know when I first came here this wasn't so. We actually get alot of food in the mail like ramen, however we have no way of cooking it. Nevertheless, it usually does go to a good cause because the unwanted food always goes to the Iraqi's on the street.

The only problem with the phone cards that are sent is we only get half of the minutes. But there is catch, usually most posts that I have been to have installed a seperate phone facility using a DSN line. The DSN line allows soldiers to use the card minute for minute.

SGT Rock
12-21-2004, 12:21
We had a method of calling the Staff Duty NCO back at Polk, then he would use the DSN line to make a call using the card number the soldier gave him so the long distance charge was only from Ft Polk to the final number, not from Iraq. Another technique was to call Staff Duty, get them to patch through to a local number someone like me with unlimited long distance, then get the party on the other line at the next place to make the call for the soldier using three way calling, and then hang up.

Bloodroot
12-21-2004, 12:38
Yeh it pretty much works under the same principle as the first method you mentioned. For some reason the Army and Air Force joined up and both branches use the Air Force DSN line. Using the DSN line here is the only way to go, the problem is they have very few lines. I believe the DSN center at my camp has like 10 phones. Kinda difficult to use sometimes, especially evenings when the other 10,000 on camp are wanting the same thing.

SGT Rock
12-21-2004, 12:40
Yep, dialing DSN for us was like playing a slot machine. You dial and dial and dial until you get lucky, sometimes it would work on the first shot, sometimes it took hours of dialing.

lobster
12-21-2004, 14:30
The guy sitting next to me on a plane flight in 03 was just returning home from Iraq. He had been wounded in the arm. I had a problem with my calling card during a stopover in Las Vegas and he gave me his. 480 minutes left on it out of 500. He said the military gave it to him. I hope he made it back to the plane for his next leg to Michigan because he took off to hit a bar!

SGT Rock
12-21-2004, 15:05
That was also one of my first stops upon getting home. ;)