Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Theft



I can remember when I was sending my boyfriend some things downrange, when he had first arrived in Afghanistan: a spare set of boots of his, his wireless computer router, and an army issue fleece sweater. I was just going to pack them in a box and a friend was going to send them for me (free military post). But another friend, who was in the army, advised me to insure the packages, since theft seemed to be rampant while he was in Iraq. He cited cases like a friend's X-box not making it back to Germany post-deployment, having found a new home between Iraq and Germany.

However, we never heard any stories of theft in the post while our unit was in Afghanistan. That is, until my boyfriend redeployed. He sent a total of 14 boxes back to Germany, with his gear, his sheets, clothes, towels, books, i.e. everything he had used or collected during the last year. Thirteen boxes made it back. And one of the boxes had been opened and a small electronics device of his, that he had forgotten to put on the customs slip is missing too. It was a smart and calculated theft: since it wasn't recorded on the customs slip, my boyfriend can't file any claim for it. Because technically, it wasn't even in the box in the first place.

The other box he will be able to file some kind of loss report on. In it was a compact computer printer, a cigar humidor I had sent him for his birthday and ALL the letters and cards he had received over the course of his deployment - the latter being irreplaceable.

That would be the first complaint.

The second: theft in the mail room here in Germany. I ordered something online, and had it sent to my boyfriend's APO, taking advantage of his US mailing address, so that I wouldn't need to pay international postage or customs. However, the package never arrived. A friend also mentioned that she had also ordered from the same company, and her package arrived, however it had been opened, and items removed. She assured me that the company was very understanding, and immediately sent her a replacement package.

Sure enough, I emailed them, and they offered to refund me or send me the package again. So I took them up on their offer, but had them send it to my mother in the US, since I am not ready for Round 2 of losing the same package. But that just doesn't sit right with me. I mean, it's obviously cheaper for the company to have a satisfied customer, so they replace the package no questions asked, but it irks me that someone is getting away with theft. Just taking what they want, and there doesn't seem to be the sense that anything will be done about it.

My boyfriend's commentary, in his typical tough stance, was: “Sometimes I wish they would bring back corporal punishment.” And I found myself nodding in agreement.

7 Comments:

Blogger Umhakima said...

Gosh, I totally understand this. I have been trying to send some things to my husband in Iraq over and over again. the package has come up "missing" twice. I always insure it and I get reimbursed but still, I can't replace the drawings my kids made, etc. Makes me angry. These guys are in a war zone, it is the little things like mail and packages that help them get through it.

3:41 PM  
Blogger nicole said...

Uh yeah...that's a harsh reality...takes me back to last Christmas (2004) when I spent a good week baking cookies, bars, blah blah and carefully packing them into a HUGE box with a case of Mt Dew (yeah we got to mail for free;) and some other tasty items...the box weighed several pounds. It took over a month to reach Iraq (from Germany!) and then when my husband got it, the back of the box had been ripped open and most of the soda was gone, along with most of the baked goods. WHO does this? I'm sorry that happened to you...it's rather disgusting.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Stacy Kaye said...

Wow...that's really too bad. It's frustrating to know that happens. My husband and I sent some packages to my friend's brother while he was there and now I'm wondering if it ever made it there! It cost A LOT to mail it from Canada too! I'm also very sorry that your bf lost all of his letters and cards...what a horrible loss.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

The letters... Oh I'm so sorry. Any product that can be purchased can nearly always be replaced - but the letters. *sigh* I can't imagine what someone gains by taking those - even if they only throw them away.

I did hear that some guys (I think it was in Iraq) got busted for stealing packages from the mail room and it made me sick to my stomach... I'm just hoping now that the boxes I sent to the guys actually got there (that was the "welcome home" boxes). I talked to my son yesterday and he never said a word -but like me, he could have forgotten.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

That is terrible, and I would also be most upset about the priceless and irreplaceable letters he lost! Have fun in China! That sounds very exciting!

3:29 AM  
Blogger bee said...

That's awful!
And definitely calculated.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Homefront Six said...

Hope they find the bastard and chop his/her fingers off one by one. I'm mean like that...

Have a good time in China!!!


- hfs

7:27 AM  

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