Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Christmas in June

The mail has been slow coming here at Bernstein. When I first arrived, the guys had received mail only a couple of times in about 6 weeks. Packages sent well over a month before with items such as eyeglasses were in limbo. The mail service is still slow and inconsistent--even compared to mail service to those in the field during the Gulf War, but the men are now at least getting some mail each week.

When mail does arrive, it is like Christmas. The troopers open the care packages filled with food (i.e., “pogey bait”), hometown newspapers, and pictures from home with anticipation. Then there are the letters from family, friends, and from people they don’t even know who write to wish them well. The soldiers pour over the letters, reading selections aloud, and frequently take the time to respond to those who have taken the time to write them. Of the correspondence from people who the soldiers do not know, some of the most amusing letters come from school children. For example, one student wrote to Staff Sergeant Gleason: “Thank you for defending our country. You must be exhausted.” Some of the children send drawings, like the American flags colored by a kindergarten class which line the main hallway in the barracks. While the guys appreciate care packages sent by those they do not know, a number have said that they prefer letters. For those who wish to send a letter to a member of the unit, here is their address:

Any Soldier

Echo Troop 196th Cav.

30 HSB, 1st ID

Operation Iraqi Freedom

FOB Bernstein

APO AE 09392

I use the address “any soldier,” but those interested should feel free to send a letter to a specific trooper mentioned in one of the blog posts or articles.

Discussions - 3 Comments

PX’s are available in Iraq so don’t send anything that requires a lot of freight. As Post Operator most of my work is transfering Moral Calls. A calling card is always a good present, since international rates can eat up a lot of minutes quickly. Plus they might call you back if you include a number.

Hint: Alt, have them call the post operator at Fort Hood (254-287-1110) he can transfer the call to save minutes, that way they only pay international for the lenght of time it takes them to call Ft. Hood. A lot of folks seem to have the Wall-Mart AT&T cards, instead of the PX ones so it seems that a lot of people do send phone cards. But every now and then I get one with 5 minutes remaining.

Of course anything sent will be appreciated.

I was wondering, when someone calls to research a particular soilder,(even when the person has a social security number) I am not allowed to give out the address if it is APO AE (i.e. they are deployed) strange... but I don’t make policy.

Spc. Lewis: While calling cards are generally good, at Bernstein they use a Segovia phone system, which only takes Segovia phone cards. Therefore, AT&T or Walmart cards are only useful for when they go to Kirkuk or Anaconda, where there are AT&T phone centers.

As for the APO AE address restrictions, my sense is that they have given you this instruction because the general internal military policy has been for the military not to reveal the specific location of members of the military in theatre as an extension of general opsec policy. The press, however, is permitted to identify soldiers and units with whom they are embedded, with certain restrictions. There is no overt regulation against the press listing addresses, and the PAO office in Baghdad which oversees reporters in Iraq actually published their mailing address on National Review’s Corner.

Hi, I am with Trp F 2/278 RCT and will be on my way to Bernstein in the next month or two. I am looking for info on the Segovia Phone Cards. Where do you get them and can family and friends order them? Any other info about the FOB will be appreciated. Also, a list of any "must have" items. Thamks, and see you in December!

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