To Thomas Walker:
Upon reading your extremely misinformed letter to the editor of the Iowa State Daily on December 5th, 2011 I feel the obligation to provide you with a rebuttal to your remarks.
The College Republican Care Package Boxing Event that was held this past weekend was done in partnership with the Iowa Troop Pantry from Iowa City Iowa. Since its inception on July 26, 2010 we have sent over three tons of much needed supplies to deployed service members from Iowa. We take pride in our ability to provide support and care for service members who have volunteered to be in the Armed Forces.
In your letter you state, "Doesn't the U.S. Army victual its soldiers? Don't their families send them yuletide goodies? Aren't GIs paid enough to buy what they need, and even what they want?"
The U.S. Army does not provide it's service members with adequate supplies. We have had requests from units who only receive one meal per day. Additionally, they do not have adequate hygiene supplies (including, but not limited to: shampoo, body wash, deodorant, shavers, shaving cream, etc.). Last Christmas, a unit of Marines was overrun with vermin and requested mouse traps from us that they could not obtain from the PX. Clearly, they aren't given everything that they need.
Not all service members receive "yuletide goodies". In fact, some of them receive no mail at all. It is for this reason that we send multiple packages to unit leaders to disperse to service members who receive nothing.
As for financial compensation to buy what they need -- do you think that they can just take out their debit cards and walk down to the local Hy-Vee over there? They are limited by location and supply of items available. Some of the locations of Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) are located high in the mountains. Not to mention the fact that leaving the confines of that FOB is extremely dangerous.
You may not have any respect for the men and women that have volunteered for the Armed Forces but there are many more citizens of this country who will continue to support them despite public opinion.
If you should ever feel the need to gain some real-life knowledge of the importance of care packages and supporting the Armed Forces, please feel free to contact me. We would be happy to have you volunteer to pack some care packages.
A. Maria Tyson
President, Iowa Troop Pantry
P.O. Box 3032
Iowa City, Iowa 52244