Although it was a brief conversation, it made his Dad’s and my day. He said he was going to try to quickly call his girlfriend, and one or more of his brothers if time allowed, but he could only tie up the phone so long before he had to surrender possession and go to the end of the line. I cannot hide the happiness in my voice at how glad I am to hear his voice and get some information while his Dad lobbed questions to me in the background. We spent the rest of the day remarking at how great it could make us feel to get a simple phone call!
Then today, I was working at organizing the piles of papers in my home office that have been replicating and cloning themselves while I sleep, when my computer “Moo's” at me. "Moo," it said clearly. Now, “moo” in itself is a sound that would make a person smile if it came from any source other than a cow. But this particular “Moo” is special because it’s the noise my computer makes when my youngest son logs on to the instant messaging program he uses and set up on my computer for me before he left. (For those not familiar with “instant messaging” it’s the ability to have a conversation by typing – in real time. I type and hit send. He types a response and sends.) I look intently at the screen and, sure enough, there is his screen name!
I tentatively type his name with a question mark and ask if it’s him. He replies, “Who else would it be? LOL” At first I thought it might be one of his friends using his screen name. But it was he! Him.
In the next few minutes he adds Militec-1 gun lubricant to his list of things he would like sent and hand lotion for badly chapped hands as his are so dry after a week that they are cracked and bleeding. Upon questioning, he says he is sleeping and eating better than he has in a long time – except, he admits, when I was squiring him around to the restaurants around his U.S. base. So I add hand lotion and Militec to the list of things to put in the first care package later this week.
I tell him that I have made contact with a sergeant at the forward operating base (FOB) he’s about to inhabit (I came across his email address while googling the name of the FOB and didn’t hesitate to email him to ask about conditions and the specifics of the base as far as comfort needs, access to phones and internet, etc.... he was extremely helpful). This soldier told me that the phones at the base belong to a contractor to the Army (I had never heard of the company), that the phones are ip phones and that they only take that particular company’s calling cards that can only be purchased on their website. Armed with that information, I tell him I bought him the calling card the night before and proceeded to provide him with the dial up number and password. I believe he may have been genuinely surprised (maybe a bit impressed) with old mom…
Due to time constraints (they have PC access for 30 minutes and you must relinquish access promptly), it is a brief “conversation” but it is once again filled with information (he sleeps on a cot in a tent but it is comfortable) and proclamations of missing family and love in each direction. He closes with “mwah” and he is gone again. Later I email one of his friends and ask what that means and am told it is the noise you make when throwing a kiss… mmmwah! His Dad and I are thrilled again to have had this contact and we quickly share what we have learned with the large group of family and friends in the “news” group. It was a good day.
In closing, I would like to say that I have no intention of casually promoting companies or goods in my blog. However, Militec deserves a hearty mention here. Militec, Inc. is a company that produces Militec‑1 Firearms Lubricant that in most soldiers’ opinions (and civilians that shoot) is the best lubricant you can get, it performs especially well in the sand and dust of the Middle East and saves American soldiers’ lives. While in theory soldiers can acquire this lubricant through the Army supply system, that’s not always the case.
So today I called Militec to place an order with them for a case to my son and his company – and while Militec gladly accepted the order, they wouldn’t accept payment for it! Although they are a for‑profit company – it’s the American way! -- they send the lubricant to those who order it for “in theater operations” for free. Out of their own pockets! Now that’s what I call putting your money where your mouth is in support of our troops. I should also mention that the oil is not just for guns – it has many uses including for various pieces of mechanical equipment. People should patronize this business. You can read about their products, read the many hundreds of testimonials from the soldiers and place orders at http://www.militec.com/