A 14-day patrol across rugged Afghanistan turns into a 56-day firefight against the Taliban. Troops Direct President and Founder Aaron Negherbon relays the story, as told to him by a U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant:
“The troops are pinned down. We’re ordered to fight it out and take ground. Helicopters could not pull the Marines out. Supplies were getting low or exhausted – except water and bullets. Commanders were sending our boxes – unopened – to them, as they know the contents would keep them (Marines) going. Emails were sent out stating contents of boxes. Towards the end, they were eating our protein powder, raw, and sucking on our coffee grounds (like Skoal) for immediate energy/alertness.”
Exclusively For Line Companies Operating Outside The Wire
What started as a 45-pound care package sent to a friend deployed in Afghanistan has turned into a weekly half-ton shipment of supplies. Negherbon says they support troops on the battalion level based on requests of gear, hygiene, nutrition and K-9 supplies.
He says the nonprofit has “unprecedented” 24/7 communications with the battalions. “I receive emails, constantly – satellite phone calls; thank God for iPhones and laptops.”
“I received a phone call from a 1st sergeant from the back of his truck – out in Afghanistan, in no-man’s land.”
There are hundreds of stories to tell about the 2 a.m. satellite calls or emails he receives. “I received an email from a medic saying there was a huge firefight last night; stethoscopes were damaged. They were out of supplies, like gauze and hydrocortisone. He said our supply lines cannot get the supplies here for six weeks. We filled the order and had it at his feet in 2-1/2 weeks.”
So, what’s pushed out from their 16,000 square-foot warehouse in California?
Tharco Packaging Company
Tharco Packaging provides custom-built boxes. The double-walled cardboard boxes are shipped via DHL and the U.S. Postal Service.
Since the nonprofit’s inception in May 2010, approximately some 17,000 pounds of requested gear, hygiene, nutrition and K-9 supplies have been shipped to troops working under the most difficult operational conditions in the most remote frontline posts of Afghanistan.
Inside the heavy-duty boxes stamped with the Troops Direct emblem and donning the bright orange mailing sticker, a sampling could include: PowerBar Protein, Gatorade Single Serve packages, medical supplies, toothpaste, baby wipes, SPF 30, poleless stretchers, powder chalk, solar camp showers, MuscleMilk, Starbucks coffee and more.
A Marine Battalion On The Frontline
Their backyard is a minefield – thousands of improvised explosive devises. It’s the biggest threat for the soldiers of the 1st Battalion 5th Marines stationed in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. As one soldier says, “It seems like they are everywhere.”
Troops Direct is there for this battalion. Hundreds of pounds of blue chalk powder has been sent for soldiers to mark where mines and bombs have been located, instead of resorting to bottle cap markings.
The 1/5 Marines and Sailors are providing security during the transition of Afghan leadership.
“Your day starts the night before over-watch post to protect your brothers’ western flank as they sleep,” says Lance Corporal Bass.
Troops Direct is preparing to support a new set of 3,000 service members heading to Afghanistan.
Help Support Our Frontline Soldiers
It’s called the “$1-a-month” campaign. Negherbon says, “If about 50,000 Americans could pledge as little as $1 a month, we could quadruple the amount of support we are able to send our service members.”
Make a donation here http://www.troopsdirect.org. Go here http://www.facebook.com/troopsdirect keep up to date.
“We would get shot at by small arms, medium and heavy machine guns, and very accurate 30 mm Grenade Launchers,” says Lance Corporal Rice. Is that a “normal” day for the typical American?