Mother's Gift To Iraq Troops: A Lifesaving Toy

December 7th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Mother's Gift To Iraq Troops: A Lifesaving Toy

A Stratford woman is collecting Silly String, which can detect trip wires.
By Rebecca Santana, Associated Press
Even in an age of multimillion-dollar high-tech weapons systems, sometimes the simplest ideas can save lives. Which is why a Camden County mother is organizing a drive to send cans of Silly String to Iraq.
American troops use the stuff to detect trip wires around bombs, as Marcelle Shriver learned from her son, a soldier in Iraq.
Before entering a building, troops squirt 10- to 12-foot strands of the plastic goo across a room. If the Silly String falls to the ground, no trip wires. If it hangs in the air, they know they have a problem. The wires are otherwise nearly invisible.
A thousand cans are packed into Shriver's one-car garage in Stratford, ready to be shipped to the Middle East, thanks to two churches and a pilot who heard about the drive.
"If I turn on the TV and see a soldier with a can of this on his vest, that would make this all worth it," said Shriver, 57, an office manager.
Manufacturer Just for Kicks Inc. of Watertown, N.Y., has contacted the family about donating Silly String. Other companies make versions called "party string" or "crazy string."
"Everyone in the entire corporation is very pleased that we can be involved in something like this," said Rob Oram, Just for Kicks product marketing manager. He called the troops' use innovative.
The military, concerned about tipping off insurgents, is reluctant to talk about specific tactics. But Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a military spokesman in Baghdad, said Army soldiers and Marines were not forbidden to come up with new ways to do their jobs, especially in Iraq's ever-evolving battlefield. And commanders are given money to buy nonstandard supplies as needed, he said.
Soldiers in Iraq have bolted scrap metal to humvees in what has become known as "Hillbilly Armor." Medics plug bullet holes with tampons until the wounds can be patched up. Soldiers put condoms and rubber bands around rifle muzzles to keep out sand. And troops have welded old bulletproof windshields to the top of humvees to give gunners extra protection, calling it "Pope's glass," a reference to the barrier on the pontiff's "Popemobile."
In an October call to his mother, Army Spec. Todd Shriver explained how his unit in the insurgent hotbed of Ramadi had learned from Marines to use Silly String to detect booby traps.
After sending some cans to her 28-year-old son, Shriver enlisted the help of two priests and posted notices in her church and its newsletter. Money and Silly String are flowing in.
"There's so much that they can't do, and they're frustrated, but this is something they can do," said the Rev. Joseph Capella of St. Luke's Church in Stratford.
Shriver and her husband said they would not mind seeing the string become standard-issue equipment, but they don't blame the military for not supplying it.
"I don't think that they can think of everything," said Ronald Shriver, 59, a retired salesman. "They're taught to improvise, and this is something that they've thought of."
Because the string comes in an aerosol can, Marcelle Shriver said, the Postal Service will not ship it by air. But a private pilot who heard about her campaign has agreed to fly the cans to Kuwait, most likely in January, and they will then be taken to Iraq.
Shriver said she would continue her campaign as long as her son was overseas and she had Silly String to send.
"I know that he's going come through this. I hope they all do," she said.
How to Help
A Stratford mother is collecting Silly String to send to her son and other troops in Iraq. They sometimes use the substance, which squirts out in a stream about 10 to 12 feet long, to detect wires connected to booby traps.
Donations of Silly String or similar products and money to defray costs are sought.
Checks made out to Marcelle Shriver can be sent to St. Luke's Church, 55 Warwick Rd., Stratford, N.J. 08084.
December 7th, 2006  
Guys since I read this story before I checked into this and I can buy cases of this stuff at pennies on the dollar compared to the states. Anyone wanna hook me up with an address to ship to because its also cheaper to ship from here??
December 7th, 2006  
Team Infidel
yeah, I can see if a buddy of mine in the 25th can get it out to his troopers.
December 8th, 2006  
Perhaps she can see about shipping it via Military transport? She can maybe contact his rear det unit and have them ship it via the military.
December 10th, 2006  
as long as it gets there. thats's some pretty smart thinking, using silly string to detect trip wires.

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