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America Supports You: Packages Help Troops Finish Projects They Start
America Supports You ^ | Samantha L. Quigley

Posted on 08/08/2008 4:09:41 PM PDT by SandRat

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2008 – Whether it’s just a nail that’s needed to hang a family photo or a new saw blade for tackling bigger projects, a Dallas-based support group is playing hardware store for deployed troops.

G.I. Woodshop, Inc., started when Richard Ireland, the group’s president, began getting odd requests from his brother who’s serving in Iraq. Ireland, a disabled veteran, founded the group with two other individuals: another disabled veteran and a military family member.

Ireland’s brother, an Army sergeant first class, is with 1st Sustainment Brigade, from Fort Riley, Kan. He currently serves as noncommissioned officer in charge of the Camp Taji woodshop. “I decided if there was a need at Camp Taji, then other [forward operating bases] might be [in need] also,” Ireland said.

He learned there was a need for all sorts of woodshop supplies, and the response from the troops was overwhelmingly positive, he said. Responses he’s received from troops indicate they’ve lost track of just how many projects have been completed because of the items in G.I. Woodshop’s care packages.

G.I. Woodshop doesn’t want to draw the line at supplying just woodworking enthusiasts deployed to forward operating bases, however. The group’s members plan on taking their support a step further.

Where most woodworkers or builders can simply run to the nearest home improvement super store if they run out of No. 8 woodscrews in the middle of a project, that’s not the case for servicemembers overseas.

“Realizing that there are hobby and woodshops on most overseas bases, we envision being able to supply their [noncommissioned officers in charge] with hard-to-get requested ... items, as well,” Ireland said. “I’m sure the need for certain items … is still great no matter where troops are stationed.

“Home Depots are not worldwide yet, and [the Army and Air Force Exchange Service] doesn’t have bulk nails, screws, sandpaper, paint brushes, replacement saw blades in their … online catalog,” he added.

G.I. Woodshop is a new supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department programs connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

Related Sites:
G.I. Woodshop, Inc.
America Supports You

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: disabled; family; military; veteran

1 posted on 08/08/2008 4:09:41 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: SandRat

This is very cool. God bless these guys, and God bless our brave troops and their courageous families.

2 posted on 08/08/2008 4:16:54 PM PDT by hsalaw
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To: hsalaw

Just an update, the G.I. Woodshop was an invited participant in the 2008 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on New Year’s Eve. We had a booth, a home-made plywood “tank” and sideline media passes. I made some videos of the coin toss by Gen Petraeus, the F16, B52 and AH1 Cobra flyovers, the parachutists, the halftime ceremony etc. and posted them on the Great Americans website:

When it was over, I came back home and checked my mail. There was a package from Afghanistan! It was a US battle flag that had been flown in combat on two combat sorties over Afghanistan - one in an F15E Strike Eagle and one on the EC130H Compass Call! There were also two certificates signed by the pilots and crews of each, with callsigns, dates and tail numbers, and a letter written and signed by the First Sergeant at Bagram AB telling us how much important our woodshop tools and supplies are to them... no kidding we are extremely humbled to have such a HUGE honor from our troops downrange who are fighting and dying... For those who do not know, a combat battle flag is usually reserved for Senators, Presidents, Generals and other VIP types as a token of appreciation. We are truly humbled. Pix of it is on the Great Americans website. Will update our website soon. Thanks to everybody who has helped the G.I. Woodshop get woodshop supplies to the guys on the front lines. It makes a difference to them! ;) reeko

3 posted on 01/14/2009 1:35:49 AM PST by reeko (G.I. Woodshop)
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