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update on Music for the Troops (which needs a better name)

A good news/bad news/good news sort of thing.

So I get home and finally get into my Yahoo mailbox after not accessing it all day. The first thing I see is notices from Paypal. I've collected over $100 already for the Music for the Troops project. Thank you to those donaters.

The other five emails are from people saying things like:

This is a really stupid idea. As stupid as your Pizza for the IDF idea.


Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. It's never going to work. Stop pushing the issue. Do something uselful with your time, like getting a life. Stop supporting Bush's terrorism.

Anyhow, fuck y'all. I'm just trying to do something good here and I don't need your negative vibes. Didn't your mama tell you if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?

I think there are people around here who are just not happy unless they are bullying someone.

Anyhow, I've received some good ideas to put in the packages besides CDs. If I get enough donations, I'll add some comic books and coffee to each package.

Four people have come up with specific addresses to send the stuff to, so we don't have to mark it "Any Serviceman," ensuring it will get there.

You can send me anything you want that's appropriate to put into the packages. The CDs are the main thing but other than that, I'm getting lists of stuff we can add to the boxes. If you donate through Paypal, drop a little note with your donation if you want your money to go to either a specific CD or something else, like coffee, aspirin, etc.

If anyone wants to check and see what MP3s are available to download - the ones out in the public domain and legal to download - that would be great.


I have some support the troops links on my site that will give you some info on what else to send as well as who to send it to.

Check out operation USO Care Package in particular.

As a former Marine thanks for doing this.

You know, I may be branded as unfair and an extremist for saying this, but the more and more I read crap like those emails that were sent to you, the less and less I care what those WORTHLESS PIECES OF FUCKING SHIT think. I truly believe anyone who would send you an email like this:

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. It's never going to work. Stop pushing the issue. Do something uselful with your time, like getting a life. Stop supporting Bush's terrorism.

Would be the kind of person who'll gleefully clap and laugh when they hear on the news that American servicemen were killed. Or stand at the bus stations and airports waiting to spit on a military person returning home. I am beginning to close off all emotions and regard for the opinions of little dingleberries like that, and will think of them as less than human from now on. Dogs, they are - mangy, toothless dogs too weak to bite, nipping at the heels of anything decent which passes their way. Regardless of how they feel about the war, taking it out on the Servicemen is about as low as you can go. Shitty intestinal worms. They can all go fuck themselves long and hard, preferably with one of those strap-ons like John Doe had in Seven.

You are worth a hundred of those assholes, and don't you ever forget that. I'll send you along something when I get paid.

Kevin is wrong, you are worth a hundred thousand of those slimes. Keep up the good work, I'll get some money in there soon too.

yeah and double fuck y'all.. It will work and it will be great! So many people will be so happy

Pizza for the IDF was your idea? That one was going strong last I heard. Your should be famous. I even once read a post from someone who ate one of those pizzas.

You should be all proud.

No, no. I worded that wrong I guess. I just held a Pizza for IDF fundraiser on this site during the winter. We sent a ton of pizza to the IDF through the Pizza for IDF site.

The three things I needed most when I was in the gulf in version 1 of this unpleasantness were books, batteries, and kool-aid. You have no idea how awful it is drinking that much bland water every day.

a wonderful idea, but check with the DoD about exactly what you can send through the mail. With all the anthrax paranoia they may not allow you to send any foodstuffs, and i would imagine coffee, with it's naughty-odor masking abilities would be a definite no-no, no matter how much the troops would greatly appreciate it.

Your idea is great, Michele. I sent a bunch of emails through the SALTS site, and am now a penpal with one of the guys who got one of my emails. And I heard back from quite a few of the others. They were thrilled with just a simple email, so I'm sure getting stuff from strangers who care will make the week of whoever gets your boxes.

I'll ask my nephew what kind of stuff they miss when they're at sea. He can be my technical consultant [g]



Great idea.

I would also think that sending birthday cards to trooper's kids (I hear they may be getting some flack from teachers) with a "we're all proud of your mom/dad" would be great too.

I think this is a GREAT idea & I'm excited that someone is taking the initiative to do something like this. Thank you so much! Thomas Jefferson once wrote that the tree of liberty must be nourished, from time to time, with the blood of tyrants & patriots alike; unfortunately our liberty is incredibly expensive. I appreciate those who sacrifice to protect our liberty & I hope that tyrants shed more blood than brave Americans. I just visited paypal & made a donation but no opportunity to comment was available. So, when you add my name to the list when you mail the package please also include this:

Thank you for protecting the national security of the United States, & for liberating 26 million people who can only imagine what freedom feels like. This war is lawful, it is moral, & it is just. Those who insist otherwise look at the world with irrational simplicity. You are doing a wonderful job & your country is so proud of you!! AND I'm a college political science professor, so please don't think all profs are lefties who sound like the French! Come home safely.

Soldiers have access to Armed Forces Radio and AFFES (i.e., the PX - make shift or not) when it comes to buying new CDs and such. Also, the Red Cross maintains big inventories of books, videos, recorded music, board games, etc., etc. That is to say, the soldiers aren't starving for music, news, etc. What's productive is sending donations of these things to the Red Cross.


I know this sounds sort of crazy but one of the most valuable items troops can recieve are baby-wipes. They are something always in short supply and infinatly useful

Through the Instalord I was at a website by an officer in the desert.


For security reasons, unless a package is coming from a family member it will not go through. He suggests making a donation the USO.


When I was in Vietnam, I wanted the packaged tea with lemon and surgar. Ditto on the comment about batteries & kool-aid.
Also, in my unit, peanuts, pistachios and sunflower seeds were big.

After this, can we set up something to buy testicles for the French?

This from http://lt-smash.com/ :
If you can't find anyone you know, you can still donate a care package to "any soldier" via the USO. Operation USO Care Package allows you to write a personal message of thanks and purchase a $25 care package for a deployed servicemember. It's a little less personal, but will still be appreciated.

Link: http://www.usometrodc.org/care.html

The USO does good work. They also get bulk discounts and can better leverage your bucks.

Me, I just sent a couple of huge packages out to a spec/4 from my old high school...

Michele, I don't agree with your politics or your Gung Ho attitude about the upcoming war. But, I love your writing and passion for what you write about. So, as someone who's not entirely happy about going to war in Iraq, I thing this is a great idea!! Supporting our troops who go where they're told to go and do what they're told, all to keep us safe, no matter how poorly they're used, does not mean you support the cause for which they were deployed. It means you're supporting the men and women over there risking their lives. So, whoever sent that Dumb, dumb dumb e-mail is just that. Keep it up!! It's a great idea!


CDs? Comic books? Coffee? Good ideas all, but they've all missed the one thing you can include for our folks on the front lines that would rise above all. What's more, it would cost you next to nothing; in fact, you've given us a number of them already, right here on your blog. You know what I'm talking about...


"y'all' - You actually said (well, wrote) "y'all"? We'll make a southerner out of you yet! (Glen would be proud). This whole TroopTrax idea is great. You will have to find some way of getting them there though, since unaddressed or 'Any'Soldier' mail is no longer allowed. I'm sure there are ways. If I'm not snowed in I'll check at the Pentagon tomorrow and see what I can come up with.



Love the idea about birthday cards for soldiers' kids. Hopefully, there will be a listing of kids/birthdays.

There are many bands that allow their fans to record their live concerts, and explicitly permit the non-commercial copying and free distribution (as in trade or give away) of those concert recordings. A good, highly available and completely legitimate source for many of these concert recordings is the internet archive's audio site:


Click the link and select "browse the live music archive." There's a wide variety of live concert recordings there by a large number of bands, all of which may be freely downloaded, burned to CD, and distributed noncommercially. Check the link:


for more information about the practice.

I've found that the vast majority of these recordings are of extremely high audio quality. These are not illegal or poor quality bootlegs. The audience recordings are made in full view, with the blessings of the artists, on multi-thousand dollar taping rigs, and sound very good! These recordings are sanctioned for non-commercial distribution by the artists themselves. You mentioned that soldiers could get in trouble for MP3s, presumably due to copyright issues. As long as they were distributed noncommercially, these would be legal to distribute.

The list is heavily weighted towards jam bands, but there are some rock bands in there and some bluegrass and jazz as well.

Hope this helps!

- John

Michele--contact me if you could use a few thousand comics.

Not all the soldiers are able to buy things like cd's, DBT. My brother was stationed on Diego Garcia which is a tiny island in the Indian Ocean. Not exactly great shopping possibilities.

Great job, Michele!


FYI, I amin Afghanistan, and I can tell you we have plenty of pogie bait (a Marine term but we use it in the Army, too) over here. Magazines are generally appreciated, especially if they're not ancient (as most of them are.) We have tons of novels but not much other reading (I majored in history in college and brought a bunch of history books over with me to pass the time.) I think the Troop Trax is a great idea, though, since almost everybody here has a walkman. What would surprise some (esp. those who were in Desert Storm) is that, at least over here, most of us have internet access, at least at the bigger bases.

As has been pointed out, the best way to get stuff to the troops is to have an individual person to contact. One note: It's been taking up to 4 weeks for mail to get here, and I'm guessing it's at least as slow to the Gulf.

I'd give you my name but I'm leaving here before too much longer. But don't worry, if you (and other bloggers) just put out a call on your web site for deployed service members to contact you, I guarantee you'll get a lot of responses. I'm not the only one over here who reads blogs, believe me!

Good luck, and thanks again for all the support. Knowing the folks back home really care makes the hardships and the deprivations worth it.

Bagram AB, Afghanistan

Great idea, Michelle. Please let me know where I can best funnel some $$ to this thing. I work on Wall Street and I can rally some bucks in a hurry for something like this (we raised a bunch for the NYFD families). Let me know.

I think this is a great idea. Thank you so much for putting this together!
To all the people who think it is dumb, try putting yourselves in the shoes of these amazing men and women who are serving your country. Try thinking about what it must be like to be far away from home, away from your loved ones, your family. Think of what it must be like to be in a country where you are not always welcomed, where you are a foreigner. Got that feeling in mind? Good! Now think what you can do to make it just a little bit better for these people who are risking life and limb. Now go do something about it!

Another suggestion:
Tunes2Troops - it kinda rolls off the tounge

Good idea that will be greatly appreciated. However; please no comic books. That would be demeaning and I wonder if they were suggested in good faith. Paperbacks would be appreciated and passed around, as they were when I was in a line company in Korea in 1951. Your karma must be blooming.

I think that's a beautiful idea.
Not having read all the posts: do we know there are resources for playing cds out there?

ditto on the USO, you cannot send anything to "Any Servicemen"...it will not go through the mail for security reasons. You must use family members that you know or go through the USO.


SUGAR-FREE Kool-aid - my ex-husband BEGGED me every time I talked to him during Gulf War I to send him more. It was perfect for him to use because he didn't need to add sugar to it.

Books, they can't get enough books. They will read anything they can get their hands on.

Can I go to my local half-price books and buy books to send to you to send to them with your packages? I'll send money via PayPal too to help with Kool-aid and postage. :) Let me know...

Great idea man. F*ck these commie fascist America / Bush haters. (you know who you are A-holes) I will be sending you some some $$$.

I would rather be able to send some metal-head fighter some CDs myself. Someone please send me info if you know it.

Death to Sodumb Insane!



CDs, CD players, and encouragement to be sent to members of military over seas.

April 29, 2004, Tempe, AZ— Black Dog Promotions and Buy Indie Music are proud to sponsor Music For The Troops an effort to lighten the load of those men and women protecting our country and the world.

Over the next several months, we will be shipping to troops stationed in Iraq, the Middle East and elsewhere, CDs, CD players, ipods, etc. The purpose is to share great music and encouragement for the troops that need it.

Black Dog Founder, Scott Kelly, explained, "This idea developed as I was speaking to a friend whose son was just told his tour in Iraq was to be extended and how his wife and family sent packages to him to keep his spirits up. I mentioned to him that we get plenty of CDs from artists and record labels that I could send to him thus Music For The Troops was born. We are really excited about the opportunity to support those men and women protecting our freedom.”

Artists and fans can learn more and offer their support here: http://www.buyindiemusic.com/troops.htm

Buy Indie Music provides an opportunity for independent musicians to sell more music and CDs online thru an easy to navigate website and aggressive online promotion. Visit http://www.buyindiemusic.com

About Black Dog Promotions
Black Dog Promotions is an international music promotion and management firm that provides radio promotion, street team development, online promotion and management services to record labels, independent musicians and music events internationally. The company operates GreatMusicSites.com, Arizona Music Club.com, MusicMarketer.com and Musiciansbookstore.com. Details on the company’s services can be found at http://www.blackdogpromotions.com

Contact Black Dog Promotions at 480-206-3435 or via email at music@blackdogpromotions.com