Monday, August 24, 2009

Care Pkg Party Update

A couple people have asked if the soldiers had a microwave on base and if there are females that want packages.

I talked to Mark today, and they currently do not have access to microwaves, so items that require a microwave wouldn't work.

As for females on base, most of the items on the list are unisex, which would obviously work for them too. Mark said they don't specifically need female items because they have a PX (army supply store) on base.

If you have any more questions about what to bring/send, ask away!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Care Pkg Date and FAQ

I have decided that a good day to have a "Care Package Party" will be October 10th starting at noon- which is a Saturday. I will pick up several boxes from the post office that we can stuff with goodies, as well as have some appetizers and snacks. Either just bring yourself and hang out with me :), or bring some goodies to package up (For a list of ideas look back to the last post). I will be mailing the boxes out a couple at a time (so they don't get so many at one time), so if you don't want to contribute with actual items to fill the boxes, it would be helpful to contribute some money towards mailing the boxes out! Like I said though, do not feel like you have to contribute.
Also, someone had asked about females in the unit. There are some - i'd say at LEAST 20? Not sure though. If you want to bring some stuff for them, that would be fine too- i'm sure they would appreciate it. If there are things that you just want to give to Mark, I am going to get some boxes together for just him, so we can keep that stuff seperate.

If you could, it would be helpful to know how many people to expect, could you please e-mail me at, so I can get a general idea of how many people to expect. Some have already e-mailed me, but if you could do it again to let me know if this date works out. If you know people who either don't read this blog, or who are not internet savvy, ask them to come!
It will be at my house, which is at...

3569 Cohansey St.
Shoreview MN 55126


The FAQ part of this is either entertaining or informational, you choose. I find that a lot of people don't know how comfortable I am talking about Mark and/or the deployment, nor do they know what to say, so at least weekly, I get something completely either goofy, or something you probably shouldn't ask someone. Since I get these questions a lot, I will share...

How are you doing/why don't you talk about yourself?
I'd rather talk about Mark I suppose. I'm good. Keeping busy with a new job- working with sports nutrition supplements.

Did you and Mark get a place before he left?
No. It didn't make sense to pay to live somewhere by myself. I am working on buying a house before he comes back- and yes, he is ok with this.

How are you going to buy a house without him?
It's do-able. I've got a great family and sweet in-laws to help!

How is Mark doing?
He is frustrated with how much they are having to work (12-14 hr days), but is dealing with it. Soon they will switch into shifts that are shorter, and different times of the day (his will be night shift I think).

Do you mind talking about Mark or his deployment?
Not at all.

How do you do it?
When you don't have a choice, it works. There really was no other choice but to support Mark in what he loves to do. It is a given. Id rather him do what he is passionate about, than sit in the states and be upset that he is stuck in a cubicle.

The next few questions are "really, did you just ask that" kind of questions, that I have been asked more than once.

Are you in counseling while Mark is gone?
No. I see no purpose. (my response was, "when your signifigant other is out of town- do you go see a therapist? ) A little sarcam never hurt anyone :)

Are you sad?
No. I miss him, but that does not equate to being sad. I try to stay positive about the whole thing.

That's all I can think of for now. I don't mind talking about Mark or the deployment- so feel free to ask questions- i'd say ask anything, but don't ask me if i'm in therapy haha. :)


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

4 down, 10 to go and Care Packages

Since Mark has started his training, up until now- it has been 4 months. If everything goes as planned, he should only have 10 more months of his deployment. It sounds short, but seems long.

Mark said that they are in the middle of a sand storm right now. He said he can't sleep because the wind shakes the tent, and he can hear the sand hit the tent as well. I was looking up some information about Camp Leatherneck, and found this picture a while ago, which makes me think that this is what it looks like...

That is not a picture of Mark of his unit- just one I found of the base he is on. Apparently these sand storms happen often.

He said he normally works a 12 hour day, but yesterday was a 14 hour day. It stinks that they have to work for so long, but really, what else would they be doing. I'm glad they have enough work to keep them busy. Being bored is usually worse than being busy.

Mark got excited when I asked him what he and people in his unit would like in care packages. He said - with help from me- and guys in his unit...

  • granola bars
  • trail mix

  • Pop-Tarts

  • gum

  • those individual drink powders that go into a water bottle (Crystal Lite makes them I know)

  • magazines
  • soduku books- or something similar

  • deodorant

  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes- inexpensive ones- and caps to keep the top from getting dirty

  • baby wipes/ Wet Ones (there is sand in their tent as well)

  • q-tips

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Tylenol/Advil
  • Body wash/ shampoo
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Mens disposable razors
  • Chips (like Pringles)
  • Playing Cards
  • Ziplock bags
  • Small board games
  • Balls they can throw around
  • Electronic hand games
  • Nail clippers

I think that's a good enough list for now. Let me say too, by no means do you HAVE to send anything. This is just for people who are interested. Also, you can send things other than what is on this list, but it is just a start of things that Mark and his friends suggested.

The post office gives free boxes to package up and send to soldiers. I sent out a package earlier this week and it was $11 to send. There are two different sized boxes- so i'm not sure if the smaller one is cheaper. I know though for those boxes there is a flat rate, so you do not have to pay based on weight. There are a few postal places that do not ship to APO addresses (like Arden Pharmacy by our house), but all USPS places do.

It is advised not to send anything glass, have all liquids put in a ziplock bag incase they leak, do not send pressurized items, and make sure any food is put in an additional bag incase anything breaks during travel.

And again, the items that are not allowed into middle eastern countries are:

Pork, or pork products, pronography, or alcohol.

I am going to try to get something together for a care package party, so i'll let you know what I come up with. I have to think of where we could have it. I'll get back to you on that soon! It would help to know how many people would be interested as well. My e-mail is if you want to e-mail me with any ideas or if you would be interested in coming.

Also, all of these things we send out, do not necessarily have to be for Mark- although they will all be addressed to him (his address is two posts before this one). He will be sharing things with his unit (all 100-something of them). I know he really appreciates that we are doing this for them. Heck, even I get excited to get a package.

Lastly, Sarah Williams e-mailed me with some cool information. I'm just going to copy and paste it here...

"Also wanted to let you know of a great deal going on right now at CUB that you could get FREE items for Mark. (Crystal Lite, Teddy Grahams, Ritz, Easy Mac, Planatars, Nilla Wafers, Wheat Thins, Triscuts, Etc..) Basically, you buy $25 worth of items, you get $25 back! The list and details are below.." It does end 8/23/2009 though.

Thanks for the info Sarah!

That's about it for now, Mark say "hi" too :)


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Camp Leatherneck

I heard from Mark last night/this morning- it was about 3am MN time when he called. He is doing good. He said that the what was supposed to be 6 hr convoy ended up taking them 48 hrs. He said that there were a lot of people getting sick from the heat (130 degrees) and some of the trucks have no AC. Doesen't sound like fun to me! They ended up staying over night at a base along the way, and finished their traveling yesterday (or the day before their time).

Anyways, i'm glad he got to his base safely. Not too much to report other than that, I'm not good with paying attention when I answer calls when I've been sleeping -woops! But I am glad that he called when he got there- such a good husband!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Mark is currently on his way to Fort Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan. He called last night, and told me he would call me as soon as he had access to a phone. He did give me his address however...

SGT. Mark Pound
114th Trans. 5th Platoon
F.O.B Leatherneck
FPO AP 09372

I'll ask him what kind of things he would like to get, but I do know he likes books, magazines, candy (sour patch kids are his favorite)- nothing chocolate though. Last time he liked current news papers, because he doesen't know what is going on over here, and personal momentos like hand-made things he enjoyed getting last time. Again, i'll ask him what kind of things he prefers. Keep him in your prayers as he is traveling- or just arriving at his destination.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Short and Sweet

I'm not feeling well, but thought I should at least say that I've heard from Mark recently.
He is in Kandahar Afghanistan. He got there yesterday. It is still, however, not his final destination. I'll update when he does get to where he is supposed to. He is close though!

Afghanistan is 9.5 hours ahead of MN time for those curious. He called me tonight at 8:15pm my time, and it was 5:45am the next day their time. They are still in tents- and Mark said it is less than enjoyable. These tents have no AC, which makes it in the 90s at night. They are doing training in Kandahar for a bit, which is nice for them- better than entertaining yourself for a week.

Anyways, i'll be back when I hear something more.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Current Pictures

Below are a couple pictures Mark e-mailed to me...

These pictures are of their sleeping tent, which is described in the post before this.

Mark relaxing.

Btw, today would have been our wedding day if he had not deployed! Kind of exciting, but so glad it's all done with :)