We've got the tools - they need them.
Sending Ordinary Items Overseas: Why?
The G.I. Woodshop uses your donations to buy and send woodworking items to our frontline warfighters. They mostly live in plywood
"B-huts" that are hastily built with whatever wood can be obtained in country. Usually the wood is very rough-cut.
send these woodshop items since they are so hard to obtain overseas. There are no Home Depots, Lowes or WalMarts in either Iraq or
The finished B-huts are open bay, empty wooden cabins. Very few units have carpenters assigned to them, or even
woodworking tools. Our troops are left mostly to scrounge for resources to do even the most basic tasks, such as measuring, sawing
or fastening anything and everything made of wood. If they want a desk or shelf - they scrounge and make it. If they want privacy,
they put up wooden partitions. Usually, they are forced to improvise such woodworking tasks. For example: in order for troops to do
something as simple as hanging a picture of their loved ones on the wall, they first have to "find" a nail, then "appropriate" a hammer
- or use their boot or rock to nail it. If we can just get a basic woodworking package to them, it means a LOT...
are stretched very thin when it comes to these types of niceties, like chairs or reading tables. Defense budgets are rightly
focused on "hardening" the bases and the "Four B's" - Bombs, Bullets, Beans and Bandages - which keep our warfighters fit and safe
in combat - and enables them to do their job of winning the fight.
But you would be surprised at what a G.I. can do with just
a hammer and some nails... ;) reeko
Just a small sample of completed projects:
Cabinets / Shelves
Chairs / Porches
Benches / Tables
Deployed troops can sign up for packages by sending a letter or email with their wishlists to the G.I. Woodshop. See "contact"
page for details.
Home-made shelves, tables and partitions at FOB Hammer, Iraq. (below)
FOB = "Forward Operating Base" COB = "Coalition (or Contingency) Operating Base" TF = "Task Force" and can involve several
(Above) Sometimes our troops are co-located with Coalition troops also. The picture above is FOB Kutschbach, Afghanistan.
The ten troops in the desert (light color) uniforms are US. The others are French paratroops and mountaineers.
(Left) FOB Salerno,
Afghanistan. "B-hut ghettos" are actually a step UP from just living in tents. But, closely arranged all-wooden structures
are constant fire hazards. Every troop is a proficient fire-fighter when needed! Then, they have to rebuild again from scratch...
(scroll down for more pictures!)