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Old 12-08-2006, 11:13 AM   #1
Matt Smiley
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My wife and I have a friend in the National Guard who may be deployed to Iraq in the coming year and we want to get her a Christmas present that would be useful should those events come to pass. Anyone have any good ideas that may help keep her safe/comfortable while she's over there? Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2006, 11:33 AM   #2
Martin Schap
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Hard to know what to get her without knowing what she has. Camelbak? Nice scratch resistant sunglasses? Camelbak would be awesome if she doesn't have one. My brother is NG and one time I had to drive 3 hours to a base to bring him his forgotten camelbak pack. Have you checked out military.com? They have a gear guide. It's a mixed bag of silly and practical, but it might be a good start point (WS/FS)http://www.military.com/shop/giftguide/fordeployed
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:47 PM   #3
Lara Lewis
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Camelbacks and sunglasses are good ideas, but stuff like that is usually issued now to the soldiers, even Reserve and NG, prior to deployment and a lot is personal preference too. If you want to go the gear route and don't know specifically what she needs, maybe get her a gift card from Ranger Joe's, www.rangerjoes.com or Brigade Quartermasters, www.actiongear.com (both work and family safe link) or similar places. Both have pretty wide selections, and I just checked and they both have gift cards listed on their websites. That way she can buy gear prior to or even while deployed as needed.

Other ideas: portable DVD player, DVDs, iPod or other MP3 player, gift card for iTunes or other music sites to load up her iPod, make up a gift basket (with things like Gatorade powder, phone cards, hard candy, beef jerky, hand sanitizer, stationary and envelopes (no stamps needed), etc.)
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:54 PM   #4
Paul Findley
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Elite Rings
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:22 AM   #5
Wayne Sauve
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Do not even bother with scratch proof sunglasses. Get ballistic sunglasses. Their more money but will save the eyes from flying glass, small rocks or even shrapnel. Not sure if the NG issues them. Well worth the price!

Oakley makes a couple nice sets.

Portable DVD,IPOD,rings, skip rope, are all good ideas.
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Old 12-09-2006, 10:32 AM   #6
Kris Freeman
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Get her a 12 KG KB, or Elite Rings. I wish I would have had those when I was in Iraq!
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Old 12-09-2006, 10:38 AM   #7
Frank M Needham
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My call would be a boot gun for those extra special moments....no joke...a palm size piece. If it were me I would truely appreciate it.
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Old 12-09-2006, 02:48 PM   #8
Travis Loest
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the ballistic glasses must be ansi standard z87.1 or higher, it will say it somewhere on the frame. If it doesn't they aren't ballistic glasses. A soldier really can't have too many pairs, some guys i know went through 10-15 pairs of them while we were over there. I was lucky to only need 2 sets but I've got to have special ones for prescription inserts. So I'm a littel more careful. Think about glasses and goggles. The glasses are good for moving around on the ground but if you happen to be stickin out of the top of a vehicle the goggles come in handy to keep the dust and filth out of your eyes. Most places are set up pretty well for the soldiers to get what they "need". Frank, you can't carry a boot gun in Iraq, at least not legally.
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Old 12-09-2006, 05:58 PM   #9
Luis Munoz
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There aren't a lot of recreational activities one can engage in while deployed to an area like that so something to keep her occuppied while she is off duty would probably be awesome. A portable DVD player would get my vote (if she doesn't have a laptop or one that plays DVDs). Movies (especially ones that lend themselves to repeated viewings, a Netflix membership (so she can change out her movies), games for a laptop (if she's into that sort of thing), a small mp3 player, books (or a book of the month club membership), music CDs, a mix tape/playlist of her favorite songs, etc. would also be awesome.

If there is a particular kind of (non-perishable) food she likes that will be hard to get over there you could by a bulk quantity for her to take along with her. She'll be able to get things like chips, candy, and the other PX and chowhall friendly junk food while she's there but options beyond that can be limited. Especially if the item is sold by a regional distributor.

If you have access to any cool photos of her with family and friends or are willing to part with your own (or can make additional copies) you can put together a small photo album for her to take. DVD slide shows are cool for this too.
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Old 12-09-2006, 06:06 PM   #10
Andrew Brown
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+1 on the elite rings. Kettlebell would be difficult to lug over there. A good flashlight- surefire, streamlight, or a petzl tactikka. Iraqi Arabic language study stuff. DVD box set of her favorite tv show.
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