Web access down & school supplies drive needs shipping $$

From Liisa, SMSgt Temple’s wife: So the Wi-Fi Internet service for the troops that allows Rex to use his laptop in his B-Hut cubicle went down AGAIN. Luckily Rex managed to get through on the telephone to WUSF’s Bobbie O’Brien after waiting for 1.5 hours; the line for the MRW computers was also another 1.5 hours so no blog entry from him tonight. But if you live in the Tampa Bay area you can hear him on the radio on 89.7 FM around 5:30 pm during “All Things Considered.” (The piece will repeat tomorrow morning during “Morning Edition.”)

Marine Lt. Col. Brian Christmas listens as an interpreter translates the concerns of Marjah residents about opening a school. Local people fear the Taliban who have remained in the area, hidden among the population. Some residents have received "night letters" — notes from Taliban fighters threatening them with death if they deal with NATO or Afghan government troops. Photo by Corey Flintoff/NPR

Rex did want me to post this excellent piece titled “Fear Of Taliban Hinders U.S. Efforts In Marjah” by NPR’s Corey Flintoff.

(March 10, 2010) U.S. and Afghan troops are now in the second phase of an operation to hold the ground they gained last month in the former Taliban stronghold of Marjah in southern Afghanistan. The operation involves building relationships with the locals, who have lived under Taliban control for the past two years.

For the rest of the story and to listen to the audio,  click here.

Pilar takes Sam & Charlie for a run.

Meanwhile, the “boyz” and I have been busy. I’ve had an interesting month after a bad fall at the dog park and today was my first opportunity to take the “boyz” to the dog park by myself. An awesome dog sitter named Pilar Gonzalez has helped me ever since the accident in early February left me on bed rest and part of Pilar’s gift to us was teaching the “boyz” how to run next to a bicycle. (My warmest thanks to all of our great neighbors, all of our friends and especially to Suzy Bogdan and Joe Burns and many others at MacDill Air Force Base who have helped keep our house running while I recovered from my injuries. )

Back to the “boyz” and the trip to the dog park.  On the way there I drove by the UPS Store on Platt Street to send off the latest bunch of school supplies that have been dropped off at our house in the last few weeks. Majority of these supplies were donated by the members of  the

Can you see Sam & Charlie behind all the boxes? Majority of these donations came from the Junior League of Tampa. Thank you so much!

Junior League of Tampa who gave at least 8 very large bags of supplies and one gigantic box full of brand new backpacks. Big thanks to my dear friend Kristin Arnold Ruyle for getting the ball rolling with the League!

UT volunteers can barely be seen behind all the donations.

We’ve been incredibly blessed with amazing community support here in the Tampa Bay area as well as across the nation. A couple of weeks back volunteers from University of

Ready for the trip to Afghanistan.

Tampa came out to pack and ship more than 150 boxes of supplies; the same group of students from UT’s Peace Center is also doing an active collection at the dorms and around campus for us. I also got a call a few days ago from Broad and Cassel, a law firm in Tampa, telling us that they’ve also done a drive for us and are now ready to ship to Afghanistan. And later this week we will get supplies from Environmental Consulting & Technology, a Tampa company that started its drive for Rex back in September. Our warmest thanks to  Chelsie Vandaveer who started this drive after hearing Rex talk about it on WUSF Radio.

All this shipping takes money and we are pretty close to running out of donated funds. Those of you who read this blog regularly know that we accept tax deductible donations for the shipping fund under the Holland & Knight Charitable

Unloading all the boxes at the UPS Store.

Foundation, a licensed 501-c-3 charity. Each box we send gets the special military shipping rate: $12.50 per box. If you think you can help sponsor a box, you can donate online via credit card by clicking here. Just be sure to indicate you want your donation to go toward Afghan School Supplies (don’t donate to the general fund.)

Charlie and Sam and 33 boxes of donated school supplies.

Sam, our younger Goldendoodle, tries to make a run for the park ... no such luck.


2 Responses

  1. […] , a Tampa company that started its drive for Rex back in September. … Continued here: Web access down & school supplies drive needs shipping … Share and […]

  2. I am glad you recovered from your fall,.. You and Rex, and all the volunteers and donors are doing such a Terrific Job,..this is such an important and needed project over there,..You ALL make America Proud !!!
    AKA Army Infantry Mom

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