Mightier than the sword

From Terry Welch:

As many of you know, I am currently in the apolitical position of Army public affairs specialist in Afghanistan…

When I first mentioned on my blog, Nitpicker, that I was going to be deployed, a large number of you asked how you could help me, what I would need for Afghanistan. The truth is, there’s not much. However, I just went on my first mission with a civil affairs group and found a way you might be able to help me out.

It seems that the children of Afghanistan want nothing more than they want a pen.

It was explained to me that the villages through which I traveled (near Kandahar, where I’m based) are so poor that a pen is like a scholarship to these children. They desperately want to learn but, without a pen, they simply won’t. It’s a long story. I won’t bore you with it. Trust me, though, when I say that it would be a big deal if even a few of you could put up the call for pens for me. Anyone interested in helping out could either send some directly to me or go to these sites and send them, where you can find them for as cheap as $.89 a dozen.

(Office Max)

You can send them to me at this address:

Terry L. Welch
105th MPAD
Kandahar Public Affairs Office
APO AE 09355

Office Max link above. Or you can use Office Depot — John Reinan has the lowdown:

I wanted to respond to Terry’s request for pens and discovered that from
the Office Depot website, you cannot ship to an APO address.

What you need to do is send an e-mail to


Tell them what you want to order (from the Office Depot website) and
where to ship it. You can give them your credit card number if you feel
bold, or leave it off and they’ll call you back to get it. I went ahead
and gave it to them.

I sent Terry 30 dozen pens. They only cost 74 cents a dozen, for a
total of under 25 bucks. What a deal to get 360 Afghan kids a start on
an education.

If you have questions, the Office Depot helpline for this is
800-487-4585, but they’ll just tell you what I just told you.