What to Send the Troops, What Not to Send the Troops

Every time I’ve deployed, I’ve enjoyed receiving care packages. The Girl Scouts sent us cookies (Cookies for the Military Program, Hugs for Soldiers, or Troops for Troops) when we were out in Qatar and I was able to thank one of my neighbors who came door-to-door in the States last year.

The Girl Scout was no more than ten and I told her and her mother: You guys are great, you sent us cookies in the Middle East! The girl’s eyes got all big and she turned to her mom. See, I told you, the mother said. They really do get there! 

All that said, what LT Lee Hartley received in his care package from his wife, Pam Hartley, is not all that enticing:

Pam Hartley, LT Verle Lee Hartley

“Unusual Suspects” looked at the bizarre story behind the death of US Navy Lieutenant Lee Hartley, who died mysteriously while serving. It turns out he was poisoned slowly over a long period of time, and his murder went unsolved for thirteen years.

Finally, an NCIS cold case unit confronted his widow, Pam Hartley, and she confessed to everything. Pam had poisoned her husband by sending him care packages, including baked goods laced with rat poison. She wanted out of her “miserable” marriage, but didn’t want to give up the status of being a Navy officer’s wife, so she decided to be a Navy officer’s widow.

Per this article, Pam says she didn’t want to hurt Lee with a divorce. How kind of her.

6 thoughts on “What to Send the Troops, What Not to Send the Troops”

  1. True dit…

    The Falklands Conflict two weeks after wading ashore from an LC.

    I, and two marines were called forward to the Sgt Maj’s position to pick up ammo as well as mail (unbelievably mail from the SS Canberra had been sent ashore, which was a great moral boost).
    He handed me a big pile of mixed letters that also included one or two parcels; one of which was for me. I knew from the writing that it was from my Gran as she wrote every single day without fault.

    I returned to the dugouts and handed the mail to a runner for distribution.

    In the fading light I opened my fiendishly triple wrapped parcel, which contained my Gran’s Dundee cake tin; I gently prized the lid open to smell the aroma of a beautiful home made Dundee cake (mixed fruit and brandy mmMMMMMM)!!!


    (There must have been a chilled breeze blowing as I recall it catching my eyes causing them to blur).

    This was Gran’s favourite cake tin (and mine); she bought it with the original cake to celebrate my birth. Each year I would always have a Dundee cake as my birthday cake; (no icing for this blue eyed Irish boy) just the rich quality of mixed fruit with a splash of brandy.

    Dundee Cake was also Winston Churchill’s favourite, as well as HRH Queen Elizabeth II, as I was often reminded each birthday!

    I gently eased it out of the tin and peeled back the brown wax proof paper. Three sets of ‘Dickensian cartoon eyes’ were upon me; I reached into my pocket for my knife and gently cut four equal slivers away from the cake. We sat and ate the morsel and washed it down with a tin mug of scalding tea. I sat and read the note contained within the parcel, which read along the lines of,

    ‘hope you enjoy your birthday cake; please bring the tin back safely along with your self’ (3 Commando Brigade RM left port on my birthday to head South).

    My three marines thought it highly amusing that I now had the added problem of packing away a tin into a ‘Bergan’ that already weighed as much as myself. Solution; eat the remainder of the cake and place my arctic socks into the tin, simple?

    I yomped and fought my way across the Falklands with the tin, and upon my return handed it back to my dear old Gran. Who was slightly pissed at me as it had a few knocks and dents around it…

    The following link to an identical tin that now sits in my Mother’s china cabinet?


    Yours Aye.

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