Books & Cigars
Knowing that I am deployed overseas as a chaplain, some few of you have offered to send me various items which might make life in the austere Kuwaiti desert somewhat more bearable. Having given some thought about what items might fit the bill without overburdening anyone’s wallet, I’ve come up with a couple of items, one to share with others and another for my own use – though I’ll probably share these as well.
The first item is books. Not just any books, mind you, but good quality, worthwhile reads. We’ve got $4.99 paperback novels coming out our ears here, and the MWR & USO tents are filled to bursting with any manner of Tom Clancy, John Grisham and Danielle Steele books. No, what I’m looking for are some of the more classy varieties of literary works. I’ve seen the response whenever Lex asks for reading recommendations, and that’s the sort of things I would like to have to fill the shelves of the Resiliency Center I’m in the process of putting together. History, war, biographies, classics – you know what I’m talking about, because I’ve seen the 100+ posts in response to Lex’s queries. Send one or several – all will be appreciated. I may read a few myself as I find time, but my hope is to leave them here for the edification not only of my soldiers, but to those who will follow in our footsteps.
The second item is a little more personal. I’ve recently discovered a latent affinity for decent cigars – this dreadful pastime having gone unrequited these many years due to the fact that my wife refuses to kiss me if I stink of cigar smoke. No small motivation, that. So, I resign myself to the occasional stogie – maybe at a military ball or someone’s wedding. But now, with there being no one here to kiss (or to deny the same), I’ve rediscovered the joy of sitting out by the flightline a few evenings a week, watching the sun go down and burning wood scraps on our makeshift grill/fireplace while trading stories with my soldiers. I have a buddy with a large, mostly empty humidor, who, while happy to share with his chaplain, would no doubt rather that I procure my own smokes, since we’re gonna be here for awhile.
So! All of that to say that if you want to send something out here that will enhance the quality of life for those who are forward deployed, those are the things I would recommend at present. Send one or t’other – or both, as the spirit moves you. And in return – should you desire it – I will happily send you one of our unit patches, which was designed by yours truly. For we are Task Force Liberty, and most of the unit hails from Rhode Island. The red & white stripes represent the Sons of Liberty, and the snake and “Join or Die” motto are both pre-Revolutionary War symbols and statements. The burning ship at the bottom represents the HMS Gaspée - a British schooner burned off the coast of Rhode Island by the Sons of Liberty in an event that led up to the American Revolution. The hawk and bull skull at the top represent units from the 1-126th AVN Bn “Blackhawks” and the 2-147th AVN Bn “Red Bulls” who make up our Task Force.
CH(CPT) Dave Harvey
1-126th Aviation Task Force
APO AE 09330
Note: The patches come in both full-color & subdued versions. Please state which one you would prefer and provide a return address. Thanks!