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It's not like the war in Iraq has good months, but this one's looking particularly dim: Rolling Stone's running the world's most depressing assessment of Iraq yet, and we're sending injured troops back to fight. Everyone is suffering losses, with casualty numbers growing by the day. And we shouldn't forget about that place called Afghanistan, where our troops continue to put their lives on the line in the name of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Stationed in Afghanistan's FOB Salerno, there are eight Texan troops commanded by Sr. Airman Adrian Balkissoon who love alternative, indie and classic rock. Always one to come to the rescue when music's involved (and even when it's not), my friend and yours Amanda Newman asked mayoral candidate Zac Crain to donate several of his campaign benefit CDs -- chock full of local rock, if you didn't know -- for a care package she's sending to Balkissoon's troops this Friday. Of course, Crain threw his tunes for the cause, but Amanda's now putting out the call to the rest of Dallas. On her blog, she writes:

...maybe some of you have music or other things you'd like to send? If you want to donate CDs, they can't be burned, it's illegal and we'll get in trouble. They also like DVDs of any kind and are always hungry for sunflower seeds, dried mangos, beef jerky, canned potato chips (they love Doritos), cookies etc and they are running low on Crystal Light and Lipton Green Tea water add-ins. Flashlights are always handy, batteries, sunscreen, deodorant, pens and pencils, envelopes, spriral notebooks, etc. Things like bubbles and silly string go over well, too.

Amanda will be at the Barley House from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight to collect any donations or, if you haven't any goods to give, a letter or two:

...a lot of these guys are young and they don't get much, if any, mail. Just address the letter "Dear Soldier", and Sr. Airman Balkissoon will make sure your letter goes to someone that might otherwise be walking away from mail call empty handed.

Look for the little brown-haired girl with the Shiner in her hands. --Andrea Grimes

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.