COP Keating iPods reach soldiers

The first batch of iPods purchased for the soldiers of the U.S. Army's Bravo Troop 3-61 Cavalry arrived in Afghanistan on Friday. Through its Burn Pit blog, The American Legion - with generous contributions from Target Corp. and Computer Science Corp. - raised more than $100,000 to provide comfort items for the soldiers.

When COP Keating came under attack Oct. 3, members of Bravo Troop 3-61 Cavalry from Fort Carson, Colo., had to call in an air strike on their own position that destroyed their personal possessions. Most of the 56 survivors left the region with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and their weapons. Lost were all their personal items, including computers, cameras, books, video games and other comfort items that brought some respite from the war.

Soon after the attack, one of the soldiers e-mailed The American Legion and expressed concern that no one at home knew what they were doing in Afghanistan, and that no one really cared. The soldier's words were posted on The Burn Pit, and the Legion's COP Keating Relief Fund was born. In less than a week, more than $50,000 poured in. Computer Science Corp. offered laptop computers, Target matched the $50,000 with gift cards and merchandise, and Legionnaires in three cities rallied to the cause.

"Sometimes we wonder just how much the US supports us but with folks and organizations like you we see some good in it all," 3-61's first sergeant wrote in an e-mail to The Burn Pit. "Thank you so much from all of us."