How can you help our nonprofit send care packages to some of the most remote of the roughly 225,000 U.S. military troops serving overseas in 2017?

1) Donate Financially - Our greatest need is cash for our mailing costs. With no paid staff, we strive to maximize the use of donations. We are a 501(c)(3) charity, so your gifts are tax deductible. We accept checks to Airborne Angel Cadets of Texas, P.O. Box 116691, Carrollton, TX 75011. You can donate via credit card through our Click and Pledge account.

2) Donate Goods - Our all-volunteer charity is based in the Dallas area, but receives product donations from across the USA for care packages for our Soldiers and Troops overseas. We kindly request that you contact us at support@airborneangelcadets.com before sending any care package goods.

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4/03/2013

What are the living conditions in Afghanistan during the troop withdrawal?

We've recently had American troops in Afghanistan send us comments such as, "We may get 1 hot meal and MREs", or "Eventually our field chow halls are supposed to go away completely later this year".

How has the U.S. troop withdrawal process impacted the living conditions in Afghanistan? An April 2, 2013 story in the Stars & Stripes newspaper gives a good overview of what is taking place. And care packages seem to be as welcome as ever to our men and women serving in Afghanistan.

1. Meals and supplies are being cut back 
The article mentions the cutbacks are not because of budget cuts, but because the U.S. military is scaling down operations and dismantling the bases. Cooked meals will be cut back to 2 a day, or less if you are at a remote location. PX's and BX's are losing their shelf space and product inventory. On-base vendors and restaurants are being phased out.

"As U.S. troops strive to meet the Dec. 31, 2014, deadline for international combat troops to leave Afghanistan, the American military is mandating sweeping changes as support services also decline. Changes include consolidating housing and reduction of contract labor, as well as changes to the soldiers’ daily diet. All dining halls will replace two of the current four hot meals per day with MREs or Unitized Group Rations (UGRs), which are similar to a giant MRE."

"The hot food reductions are part of a larger plan to return to so-called expeditionary standards, meaning a return to conditions more akin to those during the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001."

"Post exchange stores will reduce their selection, a process that has already begun."

"Vendors, including the restaurants along Kandahar Air Field’s boardwalk, will start closing, so there will be fewer dining and shopping options at the larger bases."


2. Closings and consolidation of bases brings its own hardships
As more bases are closed down, the remaining U.S. soldiers are transferred to fewer and fewer remaining bases. These bases, as mentioned above, now have additional troops sharing limited PX inventory, base amenities and living quarters.

In addition, renovations made to accommodate the influx of troops will be made in a temporary fashion, with the understanding that they will be torn down in the near future. New living quarters may be tents on wooden decks, instead of semi-permanent barracks.

From a News Tribune article from March 10, 2013:
"(FOB) Apache has grown so fast that it's burst beyond its walls ... Its population of 800-900 in December grew to a few thousand starting in January"

"One issue has been drawdown-related rules that make it hard to bring in more contractors to help get the second dining hall running and maintain the additional generators ... And even with creative thinking by the managers of the lone chow hall, who expanded seating and went to 24-hour service for sandwiches to ease the crush, there are long lines for every meal."


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Summary: While the troops are glad to be coming home, there is still a need for care packages containing food, toiletries, socks, sheets, and all the other items that we've shipped in the past. So we will continue our mission and will continue to welcome financial or product donations in support of our troops overseas.


Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/03/10/2507383/jblm-troops-build-to-aid-exit.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/03/10/2507383/jblm-troops-build-to-aid-exit.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/03/10/2507383/jblm-troops-build-to-aid-exit.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/03/10/2507383/jblm-troops-build-to-aid-exit.html#storylink=cpy