Thursday, December 01, 2005

This just in from Doug RC1

I receieved this just this morning from John Noack, IPMS 1st Vice Presdent. If anyone has any questions as to why we need to support our troops, the answer is within this e mail from Captain Wallace. Thanks to eveyone that has taken part in providing our troops overseas a small respite from the daily grind.

Semper Fi

Every once in a while something happens that makes an otherwise cruddy day into a much better one. The following email is a letter from a US Army Captain stationed in Iraq at Ft. Tall Afar. Captain Wallace wrote me a few weeks ago to ask if I could assist in getting some modeling kits and supplies to his troops - they had been recent victims of two suicide bombings along with all the "normal" stuff (if that's even an appropriate word) that happens in a combat zone. Anyway, I made some contacts inside and outside IPMS and, as you might expect, people opened their hearts, their wallets, their model stash, and their stockrooms. To those of you who were involved, or continue to support this activity - thank you very much indeed. If you've not been involved and would like to do so, please contact me here, or at jnoack@ipmsusa.org.

Let CAPT Wallace tell the rest of the story:

To: John Noack

Subject: Happy Belated Thanksgiving Day!
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 19:52:13 +0300

Hello Mr. Noack and IPMS friends,

Just to update you on the clubs activities so far.

Thanksgiving Day was a slow day for us; almost a day off. Our friends in the Iraqi mess hall prepared a great, traditional meal complete with turkey and all the trimmings. Later that evening we were able to watch a little football on the Armed Forces Network (AFN) TV. The day before we received a logistics convoy with a truck load of mail and I'm happy to say that there were several boxes addressed to the Ft. Tall Afar Hobby Club. Me and a few other guys opened the boxes and inventoried them and found a lot of great kits, building supplies, paints, candy, snacks, magazines, books, and even Christmas decorations from just about every corner of our beloved USA. We ran out of room on our shelves and began stacking kits on a set of bunk beds. The hobby club was off to a great start.

It is hard to keep good news a secret here and later that day soldiers got wind that we had a stash of models and wanted to know if they could get a few. I was trying to hold off until we were better supplied with paints and such so they'd have what they needed. But then I thought, what the heck? This is a holiday, and almost like a day off, so we opened up the club "unofficially." Once the word was out, all sorts of guys came down to check out the hobby club. When the guys entered the room they were dumbfounded and awestruck. They wanted to know where all this stuff had come from.

I told them that everything in the room had been sent from people back home that supported their soldiers. Several seemed overwhelmed by the true display of support manifested by the stacks of kits. Then, once they recovered, they were looking through the kits, finding just the right one. It was beautiful! Now, we have guys throughout the fort, building models like crazy. We showed a few of them to the Iraqi soldiers and our interpreters and they are ready to start building too. So, it looks like a new country will learn the true joys of modeling thanks to the forces of democracy. Pretty neat, huh??

Model building here is not just a hobby; it's good therapy. Time and time again, guys have come up to me and told me how much they enjoy modeling. They say that when they are building models, they are no longer in Iraq, at least mentally, and they are actually able to relax. Sharing in the model building experience has also helped the various units here to develop closer working relationships and develop personal friendships. I can't find the words to express the gratitude for all the support that everyone in the IPMS community has shown us. It is truly moving.

In the future, I will try to add some pictures to the emails so you all can see our progress and all the wonderful projects that we have going on. Thanks to each and everyone of you for your wonderful support. You have deeply enriched our lives and have given us a great way to spend our free time. We are in your debt.

Many Thanks,

Dave Wallace

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