|'Bolters (and many others) supporting our troops|
You stay up for 16 hours. He stays up for days on end.
You get a little edgy because you have to wait for a haircut. He hasn't been able to brush his teeth all week.
You're stressed because you don't have any clean drawers. He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.
Thanks to our handlers "over there"
CPL Joe Weimer, Jr. - The son of Stovebolter Joe "TooMany 2 Count" Weimer
Tuts59 - one of our Stovebolters
LT COL Marc “Marc50” Piccolo - another Stovebolter and a 19 year Air Force veteran; the Deputy Group Commander for the 755th Air Expeditionary Group based out of Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. He visited forward airbases and checked in on Airmen in very remote locations.
LT Col Shaun "Scar" Copelin - Shaun filled in when Marc received orders to head out
Robert N. Burns Jr., Bob is an old friend of the Millimans. He served with the 2nd Battalion 8th Marines, Ar Ramadi Iraq as Chaplain. Bob set up a "free store" so that the service members could get what they need. He, too has gone to a new assignment (he sure enjoyed those smokes!)
LT Cristiano DeSousa, Chaplain
1ST Battalion 9th Marines
Stovebolt and its members give a smart salute to our service men and women. May God protect you and return you all home safely. And a huge thanks to the families who have raised sons and daughters who are honored to serve their Country.
They are called Marines sent to us by Paul Schmehl
Steve "Builder" VandenBerg presented this idea in March 2007. It took us a few months to get the details worked out. A Stovebolter's son (Joe "TooMany2Count" Weimer's son, Joe, Jr.) was in Iraq and became our first contact point. Later, a "Sock it to the Troops" effort sent a LOT of socks "down range." We are on our eighth contact person in Iraq / Afghanistan and it is truly encouraging to see the steady stream of support -- even other sites and individuals are passing this page around! The extra exposure means more "we DO care" packages to the troops!
Supporting our Troops
I was not able to join the service when I was a young man, I have no real comprehension of what our troops go through in war. I do know they deserve more recognition than we give them.
Every day in the halls of the Veteran’s Hospital where I work, I see the veterans -- young and old, male and female -- who served our country faithfully. When I am feeling down because my life has a stumbling moment, or something just doesn't go as I planned, I walk through the halls of the VA. It doesn’t take long for me to be humbled by what I see. They don’t have to tell me their story for me to feel lucky that they paid a price of great magnitude for my freedom. They don’t have to tell me their story for me to suddenly feel that my problems can’t be overcome. Seeing these veterans is the jolt to my brain that tells me to “STOVEBOLT UP.”
We read about some of our own Stovebolt men and women that are in a foreign land, put in harms way for us. I would think that some act of kindness or generosity from people that they have never met (YOU) would put a smile on their face and/or give them some simple thoughts of home. I can tell you it makes me feel good that I might be able to make a Service member's’s day, hour or even a minute, and let them feel that someone cares. I know I would fell a whole lot better just knowing that some guy or gal from Stovebolt would think about me if I were in the same boat, airplane, tank or sandbox.
Do I even know what sacrifice is? I hope I never know that. I hope you or your children never have to know what real sacrifice is. These service men and women are sacrificing time away from their families, their jobs and their friends. Imagine coming home and your kids have grown 3-4 inches, or learned how to talk while you were gone. Imagine not being able to be with your wife when she gives birth to your son or daughter? Think of the anguish that these service men and women’s families go through every day. Think of the financial hardship these families face.
Let’s give back just a little. (That is our Stovebolt way of thinking!) We have had several Stovebolters or their family member in Iraq (that we know of). I'll bet there are more, and I'll bet there will be more of them looking to Stovebolt for a little sanity. Let's give them that little something now and send them some care packages. They will share with the other troops. I have no doubt about that. What you find everyday items are luxuries to our service members that they have to pay for out of their own pockets. You would think these things would be provided for them, but they are not. Let’s help out by sending them some simple items for them to enjoy.
Here are some of the things we have been told the service members need. Some of these things travel real well in a truck. We will expand the list as we get additional information. Some units may have special needs, so please let us know (or pass the word around). Don't send chocolates or stuff that will melt.
As mentioned earlier, these guys have to pay for just about everything they need or want while over there. A personal letter of support would help some of them know that we are behind them, too.
According some of our sources, some of these guys never get mail! Joe Weimer expressed a heart-felt thank you (and this guy has a BIG heart, so it's a big thank you) "to all of you who have taken the time to send ANY member of the military a card / letter / care package. I sure all of us know what it's like to get something from home. It gives you that "I feel WANTED" feeling. It makes the sender feel good about doing it also. Thanks for anything you folks do for those men and women over there."
We know that Stovebolter’s have BIG hearts. Just ask Joe Jr. Let the rest of our service members know that Stovebolters are backing them up and really care. It really feels good, too.
Rick Lewis reported "When I was over there, my wife sent me some powdered drink supplement that is called Emer-gen-c. It is full of vitamins and they call it an energy booster. It will help replace electrolytes in the system when it gets hot and they get dehydrated. The PX often runs out of the basic things like toothpaste and soap. The baby wipes are a necessity. Paperback books get read, re-read, passed around and read some more."
One final thought, our mission is about showing our troops we support and appreciate what they are doing on our behalf. Be sure to include a letter. Try to get your kids or family involved. You may be flying a flag on your front porch, or have a yellow ribbon tied around the big oak in your front yard. That's great ... and the neighbors here can see that, but not our troops! A letter, along with a few neat things, will let our troops know that we are thinking about them. Be creative ... it doesn't have to cost much. And the more of YOU that goes in the package / letter, is what they need to see!
You can proudly say…. ”I support our troops, and I try to show it.”
Builder told us that he started "posting messages on several car and truck forum sites that I like to hang out on. The amount of pledges generated from just talking about it are already over 100 packages (and those are just the ones I know about).
The posts are mostly asking for car / truck and motorcycle magazines. Several of the members of the forums belonged to car clubs and they decided to pony up their old magazines, pens, pencils and paper to send out. One group from New York sent over 35 boxes of magazines in less than three months! One member was grateful to have a place to send his old magazines and well as those of his wife! A local car dealer also sent magazines.
And the reaction was great! Marc reported when the initial two boxes came in. "I am sure there will be more. The latest came from Alec Story from Brimfield, IL. We have a lot of Corvette magazines and Hot Rods, and even some classic 1980’s magazines that these guys are saying 'I wasn’t even born yet.' 'Man that’s ancient … do you remember 1980 Chaps?' "
From Lt. Col. Marc Piccolo:
"I want to give you an update on Operation Stovebolt. Over the past two weeks, I've received about a box of magazines a day, sometimes two or three. They come from all parts of the U.S., from Maine to Florida, California, Ohio, Colorado, and on and on. I distribute the magazines right away and the troops are very happy to have them. They get snatched up immediately at the passenger terminal (distribution point for all military members arriving and departing Afghanistan) and at the USO. I sent a bunch to Kabul and some of them went to other small forward bases.
"Please pass on my gratitude to the Stovebolters, the members of your Corvette group, and others who have been exceptionally generous in sharing their old magazines. By the time I get done looking at some of the Corvette magazines, I may be convinced that I "need" one of those too! Rest assured that each and every magazine finds new life here, and will be read time and time again by the troops throughout Afghanistan.
"To those who sent pens, notebooks, toys, and other items for the Afghan children, I am deeply grateful. These items go a long way toward helping us win the trust of the local populations, which, as you know, is critical to the overall success of the mission.
"One of the boxes (from Rich T up in the Northeast) contained some cigars. Those were a big hit!
"I wish I could write to each person to say "thanks" for taking the time to send the packages here. I want to let everyone know how much it means for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines to know they have the support of the people back home. That support, in whatever form it comes, is truly priceless.
"I'd like to give a special note of appreciation to Steve VandenBerg for taking the time to rally the Stovebolt and Corvette lovers to send us their old magazines. You've boosted the morale of a great many people here. Well done.
"If I'm really lucky, I might be able to make the trip in my '50 1/2-ton, but that would be a minor miracle."
From Capt. Aaron “Cletus" McGrew, U.S. Marine Corps
"I am writing to you from Ramadi, Iraq with thanksgiving in my heart for all the magazines that you all have sent to us. Robert and I were smoking the Punch cigars recently during one of our regular Sunday afternoon chats.
"I walked into his office yesterday and saw a box that said Stovebolt on the side of it. I immediately asked him where the boxes came from and he commenced to explain to me about the Stovebolt web site and the trucks! I was blown away!
"I have a 1949 Chevy 3/4-ton that my Dad bought for me when I was in the 10th grade! I found your web site two years ago when I was looking for some advice on brakes and how to make them better. A small world to say the least!
"Your web site is like a gold to me because I can go there and ask questions, read the forums and usually get my questions answered. I have not posted my truck in the Gallery yet. I plan to put on the story behind it when I get back to CONUS. My Dad will “babysit” the truck while I move to California this summer. Then maybe out there, I'll start on a frame up restoration, wife’s permission pending! I thank you again for your web page, the magazines and your prayers,
Update October 2009
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