Who is Bob Williams?
Bob was a sailor in the 1960’s. He started Our Troops Online out of his respect for what our U.S. troops do to protect our freedom. He is a retired owner of two successful businesses which his sons now run, but he isn't sitting on the beach sipping margaritas....
Bob Williams goes to his warehouse early in the morning while most of the country sleeps, to read through the many emails that he receives from the troops. Many of the items requested are simply every-day items which we are used to and accustomed to; items such as shoe-sole inserts, coffee, tea, cigars, and personal hygiene items.
So why is Bob working so hard to supply the troops with these items?
Think about how easy it is to supply ourselves with items that we need here in the states via Wal Mart, local gas stations, perhaps Home Depot or various other retail chains conveniently located within only a few miles of where we are when the realization hits that we need something. The troops stationed at the ends of the earth, do not have an ounce of convenience when it comes to getting something they need in a timely manner.
Bob has visited bases where our troops are stationed in these remote and dangerous places. On his visit he noticed there were things missing that the troops needed to do their jobs, or at least things that would help to make their jobs a little easier, like spotlights, flashlights, red dot scopes, and knives.
It is not just the lack of places to buy these items that hinders acquisition, but it’s the sheer distance to the nearest store from some of these bases.
From one soldier’s letter: “We are located 17 kilometers west of [Forward Operating Base] Salerno, it takes me 40 minutes to get there one way and requires a combat convoy. We do not have a store (or) a means to buy the items you have sent. Our [Afghan army] friends enjoy the coffee since all they (used to) drink is tea.”
Here in the States we don’t have to risk our lives to send items to the troops overseas, but in many cases they risk theirs to acquire them by their own means.
We can move about freely in our own nation and we don’t even think about it, while those protecting our freedom struggle to receive items they need. Services like Bob Williams’ Our Troops Online, not only help to encourage our troops and thank them for our freedom while bringing a bit of home to them, but this service has also literally saved some of the brave men and women’s lives.
Bobs gifts of pens and stuffed animals have been given to children who then became good intelligence sources. One soldier told him in an email that an Iraqi girl who received a Beanie Baby later kept Marines from driving over a roadside bomb.
“She saved the lives of six Marines,” Williams said. “Things like that you don’t think of. This means a lot to me.”