OPERATION HOOAH!


               

"Whatever you dream you can do, begin it.  
  Boldness has genius,  power and magic in it.  
  Begin it now."                      ~ Goethe

NOW HERE IS THE COOL PART!     


















My
son is a Chinook helicopter pilot.   We started Operation Hooah! when he was on his first deployment to Afghanistan. Every care package sent through Operation Hooah! has been delivered directly to the FOBs by him or his fellow Chinook helicopter pilots.  

With this DIRECT LINK, we can be sure that our packages go straight to the trusty chopper pilots who fly them directly out to the valiant soldiers at remote FOBs.  My son informs me that he and his fellow pilots got really "PUMPED" (his word : ) at the chance to bring some cheer to their fellow soldiers out in the isolated FOBs.

NOTE: I'm not saying our soldiers are not being taken care of  our Military is the best in the world!  BUT, though they do receive    regular deliveries of supplies, these run out VERY quickly out in the FOBs, outposts and firebases. And of course, official deliveries have nothing fun or delightful or personal or yummy or pretty or cool or nifty or entertaining in them!

                   










Landing supplies in abandoned poppy field
 

 



FEMALE SOLDIERS NEED:  

Most important: White ankle socks, feminine hygiene products, both tampons and pads, chapstick, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, scented lotion, air freshener, wet wipes-type moist towlettes, (PLEASE send some in every package!) . Also desirable are detergent, birthday cards/greeting cards, notecards, stationery, pajamas, thermal underwear, tan or brown long & short sleeved t-shirts, panties, hair ties and bands, tooth brushes, toothpaste, Q-tips, cotton balls, combs and brushes, deodorant,   neosporin ointment, eye drops, bobby pins, razors, manicure items, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, bath powder, anything, that  would help them feel more feminine. Just because these women are strong capable soldiers, does not mean they can't be girly-girls at heart!

Good inexpensive sources for many of these items are dollar stores if  you are on a tight budget but still want to support our soldiers.



Trying to wash that sand right outta her hair?                                    

COOL THINGS TO RELIEVE THE BOREDOM:

New or used DVD movies (Drama, Comedy, etc) New or used CDs, used CD players for music, VHS Movies, frisbees, footballs, water balloons, silly string, gag items, board games, video games, handheld video games, puzzles such as rubiks cube, etc., paperback books, books for inspiration and encouragement, magazines, (fashion,   decorating for females; cars, video games, and sports for males; current events, US, People, Reader's Digest, Discover, for either gender)    Here's the nicest way to clear out all your stacks of magazines! They  don't have to be current, but current issues are more appreciated. Sudoku, crosswords, newspapers, small portable artist kits, e.g.: colored pencils & small sketchbook, watercolors and small pad of watercolor paper, felt-tip pen set and small sketchbook, workout resistance bands, ab wheel, pull-up bars, (down range teams don't have workout facilities)....small rugs, things to decorate dull and drab living areas, holiday themes at the appropriate times, postcards, posters, artwork,  ..anything to brighten the living areas.  Nothing offensive or obscene!

Supplies often fly in a sling load and can drop with a thud!
                                                                                                

 THINGS NOT TO SEND:


1. Illegal copies of anything. No copied CDs or DVDs. These violate copyright and are illegal.

2. Dangerous Items - Flammables, corrosives, toxins and other dangerous goods are not permitted. Prohibited items include perfumes, colognes, hairspray, matches, butane, aerosol shaving cream, and other aerosols, some cleaning agents, paints, etc.

3. Flea Collars - Some soldiers in Iraq were using flea collars to control insects. These are toxic. Send pump spray or lotion insect repellent instead.

4. ANYTHING THAT MELTS! If sending chocolate, best to send in Winter, or send M & Ms.    
                                               


OUR SOLDIERS TRULY DO NEED YOU! 
Please remember them.  They are doing a good work.
These are the GOOD GUYS!  

They are out there enduring long hours, cold weather, unpleasant living conditions, loneliness, fatigue and danger.  For us.  For our Freedom.  For our cozywarm beds and our peaceful

family circles.

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Please print off the LISTS OF NEEDS / WANTS so that you will  have them when you are out shopping.   

And be sure to read the IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS and the  MILITARY MAILING RESTRICTIONS below.

With gratitude for all your generosity and care on behalf of our soldiers,  
THANK YOU Sincerely,

Blue Star Army Mom and founder, Rebecca Everett ~  

OPERATION HOOAH!  

WWW.OPERATIONHOOAH.COM  

FOR SECURITY REASONS, PILOTS' ADDRESSES   
ARE ONLY AVAILABLE VIA THIS EMAIL:
 

OPERATION.HOOAH@gmail.com

 
OTHER IMPORTANT CAUSES RELATING TO THE
CARE AND SUPPORT OF OUR VALIANT SOLDIERS!
Adopt a Platoon
The Band of Mothers
Beanies for Baghdad
Cell Phones for Soldiers
DET 3 Foundation
Give 2 The Troops
Homes For Our Troops
Injured Marines Fund
Laptops for the Wounded
Military Family Support Group
Operation Care and Comfort
Soaps for Soldiers
Soldiers' Angels
Special Kindness
Support Our Wounded
SW Washington Red Cross
Troops Need You
With Love From Home
Yellow Ribbon Support Group
MESOTHELIOMA VA CLAIM ASSISTANCE
BLUE STAR MOTHERS
operation home relief
PTSD HEALING : MILITARY MINISTRIES
HELP SOLDIERS KEEP THEIR HOMES!  HOUSE LOGIC.COM!
US FORCES- AFGHANISTAN      
OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM - CJTF-82
 MILITARY NEWS NETWORK      
SUPPORT OUR MEN & WOMEN SERVING

DVIDS           
OPERATION HOMEFRONT      
A MOMENT OF SILENCE 
     
THANK A SOLDIER     

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS 
 JACKS' SNACK PACKS   
EMAIL OUR MILITARY
     
THE GRATITUDE CAMPAIGN    
SUPPORT HOMELESS HEROES      
WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT   

Oct 26-- DAY OF THE DEPLOYED       
ANY SOLDIER.COM     
SOLDIERS' ANGELS
DON'T TEAR ME DOWN: SAVE THE MOJAVE DESERT MONUMENT
OPERATION WE ARE HERE
   
TOBOGGANS FOR WOUNDED SOLDIERS
MILITARY DUTY STATIONS.COM  
MILITARY.COM   
VETERAN'S REPORT
PleuralMesothelioma.com  
 www.MesotheliomaPrognosis.net
MESOTHELIOMA.COM
http://www.mesotheliomasymptoms.com/
http://www.mesothelioma.as/
http://www.MesotheliomaGuide.com

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A grassroots effort by mothers, fathers, husbands, wives,
brothers, sisters, and friends to bring cheer and express
gratitude to our brave soldiers serving in Afghanistan with
OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM

    Dear Friends of our valiant Soldiers ~                                                                                  
    We have started a little compassionate service project for our soldiers deployed to outposts in Afghanistan. 
We have named it    
OPERATION HOOAH!" 
after the famous U.S. Army battle cry.  
It is pronounced: Hoo-uh!
    
    Much like the word "Aloha",  Hooah! has many meanings,
    some of which are:
  Outstanding!  Well done!  Way to go! 
   All right!    Thank you!    Amen! 

NEED FOR OPERATION HOOAH!

    Thousands of brave soldiers are deployed to Forward Operating Bases  (FOBs) in pretty rugged and primitive conditions. Some in remote outposts live in dugouts or hand built fort-like structures of timber, rock and mud sandbags.  In the WINTER, it is very cold and wet, and in SUMMER it is beastly hot, dusty and dry over there in Afghanistan.  Soldiers deployed to outposts and firebases are often dirty, hungry, bored, lonely, very cold, or miserably hot, and much of the time, in harm's way.  Many do not have any laundry facilities; the only water is what the Chinooks helicopters can deliver, so some only get a shower once a month.  Often, sanitary conditions are quite dispiriting.

Though the platoon FOBs and outposts are resupplied by helicopter it is    no small task to keep them completely supplied and able to function and    keep morale high when their surroundings are unsanitary, crude, hostile...   and... WAY in the HECK out in the wilderness so far away from    comfort, safety, and loved ones! The basic supplies dropped by chopper run out very fast. There are many hundreds of soldiers down  range at hundreds of FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) so we have our work cut out for us!

Many are often in need of basic things to help them keep warm and clean.  They will appreciate ANY hygiene items or treats you can send  them.  But nothing is as cheering as news, thanks or encouragement from "home".  A handwritten note or postcard is a prize.

   HOW TO PARTICIPATE
--------->>>>>>>>   

...........................................................................................

LISTS: WANTS AND NEEDS -  FOR ALL SOLDIERS:     

MOST NEEDED IMMEDIATELY IN THE NEWLY WON AND ESTABLISHED OUTPOSTS:   

HYGIENE ITEMS!!

Picture yourself out in the desert.

What would you most wish for?

AND ANYTHING TO HELP KEEP WARM or COOL!


Primitive shower facilities at outpost
    ALWAYS NEEDED:  moist towelettes. AA batteries, notebooks,        pens, stationery, pocket tissues, hand sanitizers, cough drops, vitamin c    lozenges, multivitamins, zinc lozenges, gum, tic tacs, certs, dentyne, toothpaste and toothbrushes, dental floss, toothpicks, soap, eye drops,
eye care products, lip balm, hand lotion, also in pocket size, wet wipes type moist towlettes, the more heavy-duty the better (can't have enough of these!) pump spray or lotion insect repellent, neosporin ointment, chapstick, carmex, shampoo, non-aerosol shave cream, razors, laundry soap. Soldiers are usually issued plenty of sunscreen.

    GOODIES:  Packaged snacks of any kind welcomed. Instant coffee, hot cocoa, and tea, pringles, pop-tarts, candy bars, crackers & tuna, ramen noodles, more healthy snacks: tuna packs, protein bars, protein powders, trail mix, dried fruits, beef jerky, hot sauce, condiments, microwave popcorn, gatorade mix, girl scout cookies, anything you would consider putting in a sack lunch.  Anything exotic or gourmet is a real prize.

                            Chinook heads out after dropping supplies

NOTE: Even if some things you send cannot be used by a particular soldier, they can be shared with buddies, or bartered for things that CAN be used by that soldier or at that soldier's post. There is a thriving barter system among soldiers.  Absolutely NOTHING goes to waste, and  soldiers with extra goodies suddenly become very popular!

      Operation Hooah packages arrive in Afghanistan ready to go out to FOBs

 

REQUEST FREE POSTCARDS

I have been working with postcard companies to arrange for donations or bulk discounts, that our HOOAH! Angels can request for their packages.  Three companies have already donated postcards! Please CLICK HERE to request some of these postcards. I will send out batches of 20 or 30 if you send me a large (at least "4 x 6") SASE with three stamps on it. (Self-addressed stamped envelope)         Email me here to get my mailing address:

OPERATION.HOOAH@gmail.com


IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS & PERTINENT INFORMATION! :  

1.  Best and simplest way to send is in the Post Office's very reasonable PRIORITY MAIL FLAT RATE box.   Ideally, pack items for an individual soldier into a small package.  Make sure your box is strong and secure, and pad anything breakable. GLASS must be padded, and its a  good idea to put it in a baggie.  

Click for official USPS page:    USPS FLAT RATE BOX INFO     
You can order free flat rate boxes in sets of 25 and priority address labels (with your return address pre-printed) in sets of 100,  free from the post office. I just ordered 50 of each size box to keep me going for a while.

FREE USPS MAILING SUPPLIES WITH FREE DELIVERY TO YOU  

2. It is best not mix food items with scented things in a single package.

Even factory sealed cookies taste awful when they have been in the same package with bath soap or bug repellent for a couple of weeks. Especially during the hot summer months. If you double baggie each item, it helps to keep smells from ruining food.

3. ALL items which contain liquids and pastes PLEASE  put in a zip-lock bag, and then in a second one up-side-down from the  first one. Packages are often off-loaded in a cargo net with a thud!                   

If an item can leak, it will.

4. Soldiers particularly enjoy BEAUTIFUL POSTCARDS, so your personal note that you send with your package would be doubly nice, written on a pretty postcard. There is no guarantee you will get a reply from the Soldier that got your package, due to the fact that things are very hectic in the field and getting more so. However, if you would like to increase your chances of getting a reply, pre-address an envelope to yourself, and put a few pieces of paper & a pen in your package. No need for a stamp on  the envelope. Ask if there is anything in particular you can send and that they drop you a quick note. 5. Your postage cost is only from your address to the APO AE address, NOT clear to Afghanistan! Postage to APO AE (A = Army),   (E = Europe) is only to NY, where the connection to the APO is. (APO = Army Post Office) The Military pays for the transportation from NY port to the actual soldier's post. At the time of this writing, the new Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box (12" x 12" x 5 ½") costs $12.95 flat  rate to send to APOs, regardless of how much it weighs, up to 70 lbs. 

 6.   It can take 7-14 days for a package to go Priority to Afghanistan. It takes longer during peak shipping times.  So if you want to get something to the soldiers for a particular holiday, keep that in mind. Peak mailing times can add 7 - 10 days to the usual delivery.                             

7.   PLEASE NOTE the "Things NOT to send" and the "Military Mail Restrictions" listed on the next pages below. 

8.   CUSTOMS FORMSThe complete delivery address must be typed or legibly written, with ink, in English using ALL UPPER CASE LETTERS and Arabic numerals — and should appear lengthwise on only one side of the package Complete USPS info is here:  
 

(NOTE: The online form asks for a destination phone number, Enter your own phone number, or just put all '1s'.) A detailed description of contents is required on the customs form. Don't list items as "food," "medicine," "toiletries," "gifts," or other general terminology. Be more specific. For example, list the toiletries and the food items: 1 Hygiene Kit, (can cover all toiletries, personal care items)  2 pkgs AA batteries, or: 3 boxes cookies, 6 candy bars, 2 pkgs candy, 1 box stationery.) 

9.  Certify that this is a "gift, for personal use only".

10.   
All mail is subject to X-ray so fill out the customs form accurately. Just stating that there are only a few bars of soap, and some goodies, but not mentioning you're also sending an electrical gadget, may cause an innocent package to be blown to smithereens because it looks like an explosive device.

US POST OFFICE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS MAILING INFO      http://www.usps.com/supportingourtroops/welcome.htm

MILITARY MAILING RESTRICTIONS

The following are prohibited in the region of 
OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM:
(Afghanistan)

      PROHIBITED:

Obscene articles (prints, paintings, cards, films, videotapes, etc)  Any matter depicting nude or seminude persons, pornographic or   sexual items

Non authorized political materials.

Anything alcoholic, or any ingredients used to MAKE beer, wine or spirits.

Pork or pork by-products.

Bulk quantities of religious materials contrary to the Islamic faith. Items for the personal use of the addressee are permissible. 



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Important Links
HOME    INSTRUCTIONS     JOIN ON FACEBOOK!  
 
COOL CHINOOK FACTS!
OPERATION HOOAH LABELS     NEEDS LISTS     
PASS-ALONG CARDS

REQUEST FREE POSTCARDS     SHIPPING LABELS   
 
CUSTOMS FORMS
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS MAILING INFO    
USPS FLAT RATE BOX INFO

FREE USPS MAILING SUPPLIES   
OUR ORIGINAL INTREPID PILOT
VIDEO CLIP: WHAT DO PUT IN YOUR PACKAGE
CONTACT US: OPERATION.HOOAH@GMAIL.COM

FOR SECURITY REASONS, PILOTS' ADDRESSES
ARE ONLY AVAILABLE VIA THIS EMAIL:

operation.hooah@gmail.com



Chinook with triple sling load

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

Two very simple ways to help:

* 1.  Pack items from the LISTS below, into strong and secure packages for individual soldiers, and mail to one of our pilots separately,
with a proper address,
and THIS designation in the lower left hand corner of the package:

"OPERATION HOOAH!" (generic for any soldier)  or 
"HOOAH! BLUE"
(specific for male)  or  
"HOOAH! PINK"
(specific for female)

      OR, if you would rather:

* 2.  Pack several individual boxes, each securely packaged and labeled,

"OPERATION HOOAH!" (generic for any soldier)  or 
"HOOAH! BLUE"
(specific for male)  or  
"HOOAH! PINK"
(specific for female)


into a BIG box (please, no larger than 40 pounds per large box) properly addressed to one of our pilots, (available via email: operation.hooah@gmail.com)
with THIS designation below the address on the BIG box :

FOR OPERATION HOOAH!

With these designations, your care packages will be secure until they are received by individual soldiers out in the nether regions. 

........................................

FOR SECURITY REASONS, PILOTS' ADDRESSES
ARE ONLY AVAILABLE VIA THIS EMAIL:

operation.hooah@gmail.com

    Be sure each individual package is well padded and packaged. Where territory is too rugged to land, supplies are delivered in a drop, and often land with a thud!


       Stacks of Operation Hooah packages loaded up, ready to go out to FOBs


DOWNLOAD & PRINT OPERATION HOOAH!
SHIPPING LABELS   

  
We have a nifty shipping label to use on your packages if you desire. Print them, cut them out, and tape them to your packages, making sure to cover them completely with clear tape. Most printing inks will run if wet.
CLICK HERE to go to shipping labels.



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IMPORTANT NOTE FROM OUR INTREPID PILOT:  

From one of his emails:                                                               

"One thing you might want to do Mom is make one of your Operation Hooah labels that doesn't have any address or names on it. You've made such a lovely logo to go on the boxes but I have to take it off before I deliver it. The last thing we need is for the Taliban to dig through our trash and compile a list of names and addresses of thoughtful people back home"

I have made a page of OPERATION HOOAH! labels to affix to your packages, that can be left on them when they are delivered to the soldiers.    BE SURE to put your return address INSIDE each package so that the soldier can write to you, as all personal info on the outside of the package, THOUGH NECESSARY for initial shipping, will be removed before they are delivered to outposts, for security reasons.  

OPERATION HOOAH LABELS: AFFIX TO PACKAGES IN ADDITION TO ADDRESS LABELS


Chinook offloading supplies and packages


GOOD TO SEND: PREPAID PHONE CARDS!   

Military Exchange Prepaid Calling Cards

      The Department of Defense Military Exchanges have been authorized  to sell prepaid calling cards to individuals and organizations who wish to purchase these cards for our troops serving overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. NOTE: Soldiers in remote field areas have no access to pay phones, but return to post on a rotation basis. Many are in posts that do have some infrastructure. Phone cards should be sent insured.

Click here for the official website for purchasing these phone cards:   Military Exchange Prepaid Calling Cards

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Chinook with triple sling load               

 

  
                                                                     

PACKING TIPS FROM THE POST OFFICE
FOR MILITARY PACKAGES

There are certain factors to consider when sending  packages to our troops overseas. To make sure package contents arrive in good shape, take these into consideration.

    Extreme Temperatures: Desert temperatures typically exceed 100 degrees.

    The Box: Select a strong box with room for cushioning. On recycled boxes, cover all previous labels and markings with a heavy black marker or adhesive labels.

     Cushioning: Cushion contents with Styrofoam or bubble wrap to keep items from shifting. We recommend fragile items be double boxed, with cushioning inside and between the boxes to absorb shock.

    Batteries: Battery powered items will sometimes get turned on during shipment. Remove  and wrap the batteries separately.

    Sealing: Tape the opening of the box and reinforce all seams with 2 inch wide tape. Use clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape or paper tape.

    Do not use cord, string or twine.

    Include a card describing the contents: Improperly wrapped packages can fall apart during shipment. Including a card inside, listing the sender's and recipient's addresses plus a description of the contents, helps in collecting the items.


THANK YOU FOR CARING!     GOD BLESS YOU!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!
GOD BLESS OUR SOLDIERS!