Veterans of Iraq help please...

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    Veterans of Iraq help please...


    First, thank you for your service.




    We found out yesterday that our son-in-law is scheduled for deployment to "the sandbox" next year for a one year tour.

    We are helping him prepare.

    My wife works for a distributor of items for the military and LEO. She knows the obvious items such as body armor, ect.

    But my question to you guys is what sort of items did you not take that once you were there you wish you had and are allowed to have?

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    Soldiers need to provide their own body armor? Wouldn't that be the first thing issued upon ar*****?

    Best of luck to your son-in-law. I hope his tour is quick and successful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JW32Hoops View Post
    Soldiers need to provide their own body armor? Wouldn't that be the first thing issued upon ar*****?

    Best of luck to your son-in-law. I hope his tour is quick and successful.
    They issue armor, but it is the extremely heavy kevlar based style and there is lighter, cooler, and just as good if not better armor available.

    In fact she can get the new NIJ standard ballistic protection which is new to the market. She even has new plates that stop armor piercing bullets.

    As usual, the military provides the basic version. There are actually a lot of our service people who buy their own armor prior to deployment to help ensure their safety buy knowing they have the best they can get.

    The military provides glasses too but you'll look like Buddy Holly! lol Most guys get their own.


    But I'm sure there are things we aren't thinking of. Sunscreen maybe? Something to read or pass time when "off" (never truly off when deployed, but you know what I mean)


    Thanks for wishing him luck.
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    Sunscreen can't hurt. Playing cards, dice, books, maybe a magazine subscription.

    Send him off with that stuff, then keep in touch with him while he's over there. He'll let you know what they have and what they need. Then, you can hook your care packages up accordingly.
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    it's really hot here now so under armor heat gear is nice, also a good pair of boots is key (oakley makes same great ones). i don't know what his job is or if he will ever even leave the base he's at. try to take some comfort in knowing that iraq is not the war zone it was a few years ago. also you can buy alot of extra geat on base if you want something elts. the best thing you can do for him is be there him if he needs anything from home and send him alot of care packages.
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    From my experience, a soldier's best friends are dvd's, video games, books/magazines, baseball glove/ball, football, frisbee, laptop, and an mp3 player.

    He'll likely be able to buy plenty of stuff on base and he'll have limited room in his bags to pack extra items, so the best way to get it to him would be to send it once he's there. Best of luck to him.
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    Honestly, good supplements always meade me happy. Theres not a lot to do, so the focus or the thing I looked forward to in my day was my workouts, maybe try sending some whey, creatine, lifting straps, workout gear, anything to help. Everyone takes supps out there
    Also I leaned to play guitar, so send a cheap one if u can. A dozen other guys we all shared a guitar and learned to play. Mp3 players, DVDs (movies and full season shows were awesome), Magazine (Maxim, Mens health, Flex, ect.), Books.
    Porn really helps pass the time, not magazines but a bunch on a thumb drive or external.

    As far as armour and extra battle rattle, trust me all the rumors about getting sub bar gear are bull****. We get good gear and its field tested for what we do. I would not be a gear queer and add a bunch of unnessesary bull**** you dont need. Its heavy and gets in the way. Slows you down and decreases your combat effectiveness. Besides making you look like a fool. No, you dont really need that 300 dollar high tech holster or pouch, or 400 pair of ballistic glasses, (the wileyX you are issued are proven and effective) you dont need that $500 suunto (casio g-shock works fine), and you for sure a **** dont need a 12 in long bowie knife of a sword looking like conan. If it comes down to using that knife, there will be plenty of rifles lying around you can pick up.

    Now 2 peices of gear that will and do come in handy: A high quality folding knife (2-4 in blade, with serrations is nice) and a high intensity tactical flashlight: (like a surefire)
    Also a gerber tool/leatherman is a nice tool and can replace the knife.
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by americanmusul View Post
    it's really hot here now so under armor heat gear is nice, also a good pair of boots is key (oakley makes same great ones). i don't know what his job is or if he will ever even leave the base he's at. try to take some comfort in knowing that iraq is not the war zone it was a few years ago. also you can buy alot of extra geat on base if you want something elts. the best thing you can do for him is be there him if he needs anything from home and send him alot of care packages.
    My wife deals in underarmor and another manager does Oakley boots so those are readily available.

    [quote=Umberto;2053674]
    No, you dont really need that 300 dollar high tech holster or pouch, or 400 pair of ballistic glasses, (the wileyX you are issued are proven and effective)[quote]

    My wife deals in those and they are readily available.

    you dont need that $500 suunto (casio g-shock works fine)
    She does those as well.

    Now 2 peices of gear that will and do come in handy: A high quality folding knife (2-4 in blade, with serrations is nice)
    Another managers items, but readily available.

    and a high intensity tactical flashlight: (like a surefire)
    Also a gerber tool/leatherman is a nice tool and can replace the knife.
    My wife's items and available.


    Thanks to everyone who replied. We were all unsure how available some items we take for granted might be. Now we have some ideas and will discuss things with him to try to help and support him as much as possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrobbierob View Post
    They issue armor, but it is the extremely heavy kevlar based style and there is lighter, cooler, and just as good if not better armor available.

    In fact she can get the new NIJ standard ballistic protection which is new to the market. She even has new plates that stop armor piercing bullets.

    As usual, the military provides the basic version. There are actually a lot of our service people who buy their own armor prior to deployment to help ensure their safety buy knowing they have the best they can get.
    Yes its a little heavy and it works, and it wears well. What do you think it takes to stop a round traveling at 3500 km/h.

    All standard issue armour has Small Arms Protective Inserts (SAPI) plates, these are ceramic plates that augment the vest and protect from direct small arms fire. It will stop an AK-47 round hence armour piercing protection.

    The rest of the kevlar vest is designed to stop shrapnel, If you were to have a complete ceramic suit it would weigh over 100 pounds. Also the bulk and inflexibility would be slow you down enogh to be dangerous.

    I have never heard of anyone (at least in the Corps) who has purchased their own PPE. Contrary to what you say, this is not true, in my experience.

    Additionally, NIJ standards are tailored for Law Enforcement not military applications. There is a difference. Whereas military protection has to take into account blast and fragmentation. These design parameters require a tighter stich pattern to better stop small size shrapnel made of steel that doesnt deform like the lead of a bullet. This tighter pattern doesnot protect as efficiently against bullet impact, But soldiers,sailors, airmen, and marines are much more likely die from fragmentation in theatre than bullet impact, where as in law enforcement will most likely ever encounter fragmentation.
    I WOULD NOT EXCHANGE HIS MILITARY ARMOUR FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ARMOUR.

    I know you mean well and want him to be safe, but dont believe all the hype you hear in the media. We have a vested interest in keeping our boys alive and giving them the best gear. Besides the obvious moral issues. Replaceing soldiers is very very expensive. Do you know the SGLI (life insurance for service members) killed in combat is 450,000 dollars? And the cost of training, supplying, nurturing, teaching a new soldiers is just as high. It cost the government a lot more to replace a soldier, than to just provide good, weapons, gear, and armour. Which they do. We have the best gear BY FAR of any military in the world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umberto View Post

    I know you mean well and want him to be safe, but dont believe all the hype you hear in the media. We have a vested interest in keeping our boys alive and giving them the best gear. Besides the obvious moral issues. Replaceing soldiers is very very expensive. Do you know the SGLI (life insurance for service members) killed in combat is 450,000 dollars? And the cost of training, supplying, nurturing, teaching a new soldiers is just as high. It cost the government a lot more to replace a soldier, than to just provide good, weapons, gear, and armour. Which they do. We have the best gear BY FAR of any military in the world.
    I was told while I was in the reserves the cost of a grunt(this was 05 BTW) was $225,000 to train. THAT is why the army wont let you just quit. Honestly they would prefer to let people out who want out, because their heart isnt in it no more. But it is financially stupid to do so. Believe it or not by becoming military you are worth about 10 times more than they consider the worth of a civilian. Now if your special ops, or a unique job some people get up to and over 750,000 worth. I am sure some of our "black ops" fellows are worth a million.

    In all reality most of the military cares about the safety of our "boys" over there(girls as well, just using the terminology). It is the government and higher ups that dont care.
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    being deployed in the past (not to iraq), i can tell you that deodorant and baby wipes are essential - there's no taking showers when you're on water ration, and that's the only shower he'll have regularly. care packages made up of these two items are highly valued.
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    I am replying (his wife) as I am the buyer of the body armor and buy from several companies, PACA, PPI, Armor Express, First Choice, Armorshield on a daily basis. Sorry dude but you are incorrect on a lot of what you are saying. The days of heavy ceramic plates are long over, there are materials that are much lighter and protect against a much higher caliber, I have a plate right now that stops armor piercing rounds, this is made by a company called Ceredyne, check them out. But you are also saying that the plates are the only thing that protects from bullets and the rest of the vest just protects from shrapnel, incorrect. You need to take a gander at any one of the companies that I have mentioned above. Go to the websites. The vest has a ballistic insert that is made up several (20-30) layers of very finely woven material that is designed to stop a round, depending on whether you go for a LVLII or LVLIIIA, depending on the threat level. I would tell you which company I work for, but that would be advertising my company on a website and I know that is a no no. While I appreciate your input, you are not exactly talking to a novice in the field. There is no difference in the ballistic materials between Law Enforcement and Military Vests. The LE may go for a LVLII as they do not face the same high caliber rounds that the military do.

    You mention that you dont know of any military people that buy there own armor, believe me there are plenty, I see the orders come through daily, they get tired of "the brick" which is what the old kevlar vests are made out of. Most likely you dont see it is because a good LVLIII Tactical Vest can cost anywhere from $1,200.00 to $1,500.00. Not too many young guys can afford it. Or even know enough about them to make the right choice. My Son-in-Law is in good hands, believe me, and I can kit him out with little cost as most of these companies send me samples and I have an office full of vest, helmets, night vision, scopes, sights, goggles, gloves (even the new XPS2 from EOTECH) even the reps dont have them yet *wicked grin*
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrobbierob View Post
    I am replying (his wife) as I am the buyer of the body armor and buy from several companies, PACA, PPI, Armor Express, First Choice, Armorshield on a daily basis. Sorry dude but you are incorrect on a lot of what you are saying. The days of heavy ceramic plates are long over, there are materials that are much lighter and protect against a much higher caliber, I have a plate right now that stops armor piercing rounds, this is made by a company called Ceredyne, check them out. But you are also saying that the plates are the only thing that protects from bullets and the rest of the vest just protects from shrapnel, incorrect. You need to take a gander at any one of the companies that I have mentioned above. Go to the websites. The vest has a ballistic insert that is made up several (20-30) layers of very finely woven material that is designed to stop a round, depending on whether you go for a LVLII or LVLIIIA, depending on the threat level. I would tell you which company I work for, but that would be advertising my company on a website and I know that is a no no. While I appreciate your input, you are not exactly talking to a novice in the field. There is no difference in the ballistic materials between Law Enforcement and Military Vests. The LE may go for a LVLII as they do not face the same high caliber rounds that the military do.

    You mention that you dont know of any military people that buy there own armor, believe me there are plenty, I see the orders come through daily, they get tired of "the brick" which is what the old kevlar vests are made out of. Most likely you dont see it is because a good LVLIII Tactical Vest can cost anywhere from $1,200.00 to $1,500.00. Not too many young guys can afford it. Or even know enough about them to make the right choice. My Son-in-Law is in good hands, believe me, and I can kit him out with little cost as most of these companies send me samples and I have an office full of vest, helmets, night vision, scopes, sights, goggles, gloves (even the new XPS2 from EOTECH) even the reps dont have them yet *wicked grin*
    Hey you seem like an expert in the field. I know theres probably better prototype stuff out there. But they require a lot of testing and field testing by the military before they are accepted. Contracts, cost, bueracracy and a whole slew of other things come into it to i would imagine.
    For sure on not being about to afford it. These guys dont make a lot of money. Although they are compensated in other ways. Medical, Dental, Life insurance, housing, substanance, ect.

    Anyway make sure you know what your doing (sounds like you do) before you give him something so important, and he could possibly get in trouble with his unit, if his gear isnt up to military testing and standards.

    OH and send him lots of supplements, cookies, protien bars, and pron.
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    Quote Originally Posted by americanmusul View Post
    it's really hot here now so under armor heat gear is nice.
    Ive heard that is horrible stuff if a bomb goes off and it melts onto the skin..just passing along what my one legged veteran buddy told me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasTitan View Post
    Ive heard that is horrible stuff if a bomb goes off and it melts onto the skin..just passing along what my one legged veteran buddy told me.
    I imagine if you get close enough to a bomb blast for it to melt your under amour, you would have more serious issues to contend with if it didn't kill you.
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    My buddy was in the corps and got out in 06 I believe. He said while he was over there, they stopped letting them wear under armour gear. I don't know if that is still current protocol or not. Good luck to the original poster's son, thanks for all who are and have served.
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    i'm not sure if he's into supps or what but if i was over there i'd be happy with a few Kg's of Poseidon! Stuff is real nice when in hot climates
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    I don't know if this thread is still relevant or not, but I have a few comments from present and past experience. You said "next year," so I thought I'd reply.

    The PPE: I dont know what he does MOS-wise, or what kind of unit he is in, but I have not seen anyone in theatre with anything other than issued PPE, other than the kits the SF guys use. I could almost bet that anything other than maybe a special ops unit would frown on it and not allow it.

    If he is being told they are deploying "next year," I wouldnt be buying too much right now anyway. I've gone through many deployment false alarms. My current one was called off about three times over a year and a half before it actually happened, and the location changed every time.

    UA: Under armor is frowned upon for wear outside of the wire because it does melt to the skin. Not close enough to a bomb for this to happen you say? Try being on the ground in a heavily mined country. Better yet, look up EFP, the most dangerous IED. It sends molten metal into your vehicle at a temp of, i think 400+ deg C. Not trying to scare any parents here, just saying. Honestly, we've (my whole bat.) been hit once by an IED over 10,000's of vehicle miles, and it didn't even penetrate the MRAP. This is in Iraq, though.

    Care Packages: cards, sunscreen, dice, baby whipes...all nice ideas, but dont do it. He'll get plenty of that crap if he needs it from other people and other guys who get too much of it from other people. Let him tell you what he wants when he gets there.
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    Guess I'll chime in as well having several deployments under my belt. We have pretty good gear in the military contrary to what the media says. I can pretty much guarantee you that his unit will not let him wear his own vests and they do not allow Under Armour while outside the wire because of the flash fire danger, it's still good to go on camp though. Also, if it's Iraq, they are quite built up with exchanges to buy stuff etc. I would just ask him what he wants or needs and mail them out to him. Mail gets there pretty quick all things considered. If it's Afganistan then I say baby wipes, batteries, magazines, his fave food/snacks, stateside tobacco if he uses etc.
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