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A little music goes a long way: Help us support the troops

UPDATE 3: People are concerned that any packages sent to non-specific servicemen (as in "ANY SERVICEMAN) will not be opened due to anthrax issues. I am in the midst of compiling a list of specific people who are already over there, so the packages will be shipped to them and shared with their platoon. If you know of a service person who might want to receive and share a package of CDs with his troop, please let me know.

I hope I have addressed all of your concerns. Some of the email I received today has been downright nasty and dismissive concerning this project.

UPDATE 2: Several people have suggested using Half.com to buy cds for as little as 5 dollars a pop, or raiding your own cd collection. Both those ideas are worthy.

I was thinking that this would have been a great thing, because I would have sent packages to a few different platoons and they could have opened a huge box filled with CDs.

So as long as you people trust me, and I've never given you a reason not to, we can work this two ways:

1. Deposit a few bucks in the Paypal tip jar with a note as to what CDs or type of music you would like it to go towards.

2. Buy the CDs from Half.com and have them shipped to me. I really like the idea of sending out entire packages from the blogging community.

I would still do the whole thing with the lists of names and notes from everyone who participated.

Is this workable? What do you think?

To the two generous people who already left money in the PayPal account this afternoon, I will use that money to purchase CDs if that is ok with you.

Comments, suggestions?
UPDATE: The road to hell, etc.

Obviously, this (deleted post) was not a good idea as I have been informed that the soldiers could be court-martialed for having MP3s.

If anyone else has another way to show our support for the troops, let me know.

Excuse me while I go feel dejected.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A little music goes a long way: Help us support the troops:

» Let's Twist Again ... from Curmudgeonly & Skeptical
    The "small victory" michele is encouraging sending music to our boys overseas.  A problem, of course, is that [Read More]

» Troop Trax from Internet Ronin
Michele at a small victory has come up with a great idea for those of us sitting comfortably at home [Read More]

» Name that tune from Ain't too proud to blog
Sending music to our troops stationed overseas 1. Link 1 2. Link 2 3. Link 3 4. Link 4 [Read More]

» TroopTrax from KateSpot
In response to the questions in the comments of my previous entry: Apparently, soldiers are not permitted to have MP3s [Read More]


A worthy project.
If I were working I would contribute cash.
As I am not I would gladly contribute any mp3's you need. I have a decent size collection and I can either send you a cd or put them up on one of my other web sites for you to download. Most of what I have is 50's through 80's with the 60 and 70's really being the bulk. I do have some from the 40's though.

I've got 3000+ mp3's totalling over 27 Gigabytes (I'm in the process of burning my CD collection so I can listen to it all at work). They are at your disposal.

Hopefully the RIAA won't come over and try to use the Patriot II act on us.

Great idea! My nephew is on the Nimitz, and I'm trying to figure out what to send him as far as music. I'm still not used to being able to burn CDs, but that makes more sense than me trying to decide what CDs to buy him at the store.

Now if I can just get him to tell me what he likes to listen to! [g]

A lot of CD players can play MP3s directly. I'd think that for a soldier, one CD with ten hours of songs would be cooler than eight CDs uncompressed.

First song suggestion

Lee Greenwood - Proud to be an American

You may actually being more harm than good if the MP3 songs are not in the public domain. The soldiers and sailors could get into trouble for accepting your generous effort. See the link below:


See Blogs of War post
"When I'm gone" dated Feb 26
The band 3DD toured the Persian
Gulf last October.

I am on a dial up modem so if I tried to send a MP3 it would take forever! Maybe I can help in another way. This is such a wonderful idea! Great site, I come here daily or should I say many times daily!

You have SO MUCH more energy than I do, if you're going to take on this project.

I say we send them the CD's. Then, we tell all the lawyers for the RIAA that our own troops are pirating music.

Then, when all the lawyers head over to Iraq to hand out subpeonas, we "accidentally" confuse them with Human Shield members and bomb them.

(and I'm talking about RIAA lawyers, not ALL lawyers).

Michele, John's right...those kids are facing COURT-MARTIAL. Let's just buy them CDs instead. Half.com lists thousands upon thousands of used CDs, many for less than $5.

Or we can raid our own CD collections, either worry about replacing them later or rip copies for ourselves. After all, we can listen to MP3s and ripped disks without worrying about being raided...at least fo now.

Roger that. Ripping cd's may get troops in hot water. IIRC, some navy dudes are getting court martialled for having pirated CDs. Also, you may get the attention of RIAA lawyers which could cause headaches beyond belief.

please, please include some Buffett. and not the usual top 40 stuff, either. my suggestions:

"That's What Living Is To Me" --(i'm not sure what album this is on or if it's even on an album. if you want it, i've got it. gimme a holler.)
"Far Side of the World" --Far Side of the World*
"Blue Guitar" --Far Side of the World
"Mexico" --Barometer Soup
"The Night I Painted the Sky" --Beach House on the Moon

*this song was written and recorded mere months after 9-11. you can hear the echoes of it in the song, but it's so hopeful and world-inspired. upbeat. i think the troops will like it. ;)

(ah. redact that comment. i just saw the v. logical and well-thought sentiments above.)

What ever you decide to do will be great!
If I can be of any help let me know, I like the idea of getting music to the troops no matter how it is done!

Another alternative is to donate to the USO care package program. Individuals or groups can pitch in and buy a care package, with a message, and have it sent directly to the troops. Since the program is DoD approved, there are no hassels gettting the stuff there, and the items come from a wish list gathered from the troops themselves. Here's a link if anyone is interested.


Hrmmmm, in fact, the USO care package program may be the only way to do this. Here's a quote from the website I listed above:

"Due to the threat of anthrax following September 11, DoD suspended its practice of forwarding personal care packages and correspondence by the American public to “Any Service Member.” In its place, USO created a care package program. Through sponsorship of an “Operation USO Care Package,” an individual’s personal greeting will be transcribed onto an official postcard and included in the care package going to a service member."

Anyway, that seems to rule out general care packages except through this program.

I've been trading emails with a friend about a mutual friend who is over there now. This is the list of the kind of stuff they need.

What to send: warm socks, boot insoles, magazines, books, hot chocolate mix, ookies, dried fruit, black stocking hat, envelopes, letter pad homemade cookies or the like, you get the idea. If you can put what ever you send in a plastic box that is reusable that would be top notch. A card
or a letter with words of encouragement are good to and remember to put your return address in the note so that he can write back and thank you. "

Personally, I think several hundred or thousand pairs of wool socks would be a useful, and fun thing to send! Another thing - you can no longer send mail to "any soldier." They stopped doing that back during the anthrax care. So, you will need actual names and addresses.

Not sure what happened to my name - that is me above though.

When I was overseas I was starved for magazines from back home. They get all the popular ones like People and Time, but the offbeat ones like Popular Science or PC Gamer don't seem to make it. When my son was in bootcamp, I printed out and sent him all the internet forwarded jokes I could find. Finally some good use for those.
Food and tobacco products are always a hit as well. It the soldier receiving the package doesn't like what you send, he will almost always know someone who will appreciate it.

Also, include a self addressed stamped envelope so they can write back and request more if you arre looking to turn this random package into some kind of "Adopt a Soldier" deal. (Stamps and envelopes also make good items to send in a care package)

A little off topic, but if anyone wants to write to a servicemember, Operation Dear Abby is a great way to do that. Because of the anthrax scare only email is accepted now. And yeah, they really do read these, I had a pen-pal when I was in the Navy that started off as an Operation Dear Abby letter. Here's the link: http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/About.html

great idea michele! i have a few songs i can either give to you to download or get a copy of the cd.

Having been in the infantry before, add these things to the list:

Tabasco sauce, or any hot sauce, small bottle of such

Tins of good coffee, creamer too!

Big economy sized asprin, acetomenophen, ibuprofen.

Cheap cough drops

A pack of cheap pens

Dinty Moore Beef Stew (preferably in a can, you can heat it direct off the turbine exhaust of an M1 tank), or packs of Ramen noodles. (What else is the tabasco good for?)

Cheap smokes, even a can of "dip". Someone will love you for it, even if yer against it

Cocoa and sugar

AA and AAA batteries (some supply folk are stingy assholes)

Sheets of black velcro (you have no idea how useful velcro can be to the inventive soldier)

A roll of multiple ply aloe coated toilet paper. You will be thought of as a god.

Old novels, but not romance novels. Comic books work too.

Socks! Shoe pads! Moleskin! Any foot repair item that's small and fits in a pocket

Dark green or black bandannas. (Don't try for camoflage, they'll make you take 'em off. Olive drab or black is okay. These things are great for sweatbands or just keeping the dust out.)

If you pack the stuff in a box, use a current newspaper for the packing. Deity knows they could use reading material.

If you really want to make friends, splurge on a nice black thermos and send along a variety of coffees, chocolate mixes, and teas.

They could possibly get in trouble for having MP3s for CDs they don't own. However, many artists distribute MP3s over the net freely--AND those would be available for download. You could even ask if some of them want to get together to make a compilation CD....

Just to add to the list of items (non-music), my Girl Scout organization is sending Girl Scout cookies to the troops. Each box is $3 and is tax deductible. It is called "Operation Cookie Drop": The council and the American Red Cross are working together to send cases of Girl Scout cookies to American Armed Forces in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other locations.

I'll have info posted on my site as well.

Got here from InstaPundit...what a good idea! I hit the "tipjar" and vote for some 70's rock-n-roll and second the kool-aid packets.

We'd Like to donate 50 copies of the debut CD by Eschellon entitled "Numb".

The band is contributing to this effort with us.

The band's site is at http://www.eschellon.com

For those of your who want to sample the music, click on the "lyrics" button, then scroll down to the end of each song and you'll find a "buried" link for the mp3 file.

Check out "Nuclear Love Song"

Best of Luck !!


When I was over there (the first time), I was always thought of highly whenever my mother's care packages arrived.

The reason? She included homemade beef jerky. I was making about a buck per "chaw".

Candy bars, cookies, even those Jiffy Pop popcorn (which can also be cooked on the exhaust of a tank). But nothing microwavable. Those are hard to find in the field...

I think you might be surprised what troops listen too. It ain't Lee Greenwood's. CDs are shitting heavy and bulky.

I think the effort to do SOMETHING for troops is good. But... got any spare Metallica, DMX and Eminem? Don't think Bert Bacharach isn't going to cut it (why did I pick someone I can't spell? :)