G.I. Woodshop Inc.

February 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

G.I. Woodshop helps bring a little bit of home to troops overseas by shipping hobby and woodshop items to deployed service members. These tools are difficult to obtain in combat zones, and for troops to do something as simple as hanging a picture they have to search for a nail and a hammer (frequently a combat boot!). Warfighters also can use the materials to build common objects such as chairs and reading tables that often are missing in budgets focused on battle needs.

Normally, G.I. Woodshops fulfills request lists with items such as screws, nails, saw blades, drill bits, hand and power tools, glue, sandpaper and other woodshop supplies, but at military members' requests, they also send other hard-to-get, useful items. These include waterproof sunblock and bug repellent, fly glue sticks, gel shoe inserts and body powders. The group even has sent liquid coffee flavors at chaplains' requests for use in their coffee shops.

Deployed troops can sign up for packages by sending a letter or e-mail with their wish lists to the G.I. Woodshop. Contact as well as donation information is available on the Web site.

The programs listed on these pages are not affiliated with our publication or association. We highlight these independent efforts as a service to our military and our readers. For more information about these programs, please contact the organizations directly.

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This is awesome! Thank you for featuring the G.I. Woodshop! We need all the help we can get in getting the word downrange to the folks who need our packages.

We have already identified a couple problems with logistics and e-logistics (is that a word?) when trying to get stuff/info to Afghanistan. If you are still in the Tampa area could you get with the correct people who can get things done? They might not be aware of these problems...

First, any and all emails that originate from a yahoo email account and sent to any account domain used in Afghanistan that is @afghan.swa.army.mil will be bounced back by Mailer Daemon as undeliverable or timed out. ( I have many copies of these messages if you need them ) So in order to work around this problem, I resend info from a hotmail account with no problems. We have heard that some troops in Afghanistan also have had problems sending us their woodshop wishlists to our email account - but I can't confirm that.

Second, there seems to be a huge lag in packages getting into Afghanistan (and the other -istans) in Central Asia. Seems the MPO somehow "lost" about a dozen packages last summer there. Other FOBs have accidently stumbled over several months' worth of packages waiting for them at main bases. We understand that the logistics involved with ANYTHING getting into/out of Afghanistan can be nightmarish. Especially if we lose Manas AB and any other ingress/egress routes. Also, since flat-rate USPS packages and "surface" or "space A" mail is not a priority, often when helicopters and convoys do resupply runs to the remotes, our packages are left behind. Repeat that over and over, and you can see why some packages get "lost" over there. (Or worse, they "fall off a truck" and some tribal clansman is butchering his goats with a new Ryobi recip saw intended for our troops...)

My question would be to any one who can answer, is there a way to get normal flat-rate and space A packages (its all we can afford) that we send via USPS and MPO to Afghanistan, re-labeled and handled - over there in the AOR - as a semi-priority? So they won't be left behind and get into unintended hands? Plz note that there has been absolutely NO problems with Iraq and other countries. This is just an Afghanistan problem due to hard logistics.

Thank you so much! God bless and HAMMER STRONG!

for our troops,
Richard "reeko" Ireland

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