103_ACS_114Dear Supporters of E-Books for Troops:

After four years of distributing Kindles to U.S. service members deployed overseas, we have decided to conclude our E-Books for Troops project. We will leave this site up as an archive, but we are no longer accepting donations of funds or Kindles. There are about 50 Kindles in our inventory that we are looking to distribute, so we are leaving the link live for military units to request them.

As of today, we have shipped 958 new and used Kindles to U.S. troops. We will reach the 1,000 mark when the current supply of Kindles is distributed. It’s been a rewarding project, because of the difference these lightweight, durable reading devices have made in the lives of our U.S. servicemen and women. We received photos, like the one above in 2012, of service members holding their Kindles, displaying big smiles. One of the Airmen in the 103rd ACS unit wrote, “Thank you for putting this together for us! I have had a chance to read a bit, generally at the end of the day to help me relax. It has been a great measure of peace to have my favorite authors on hand. It is like having my home library with me.”

With the drawdown of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have received far fewer requests for Kindles. During the same period, the price of a Kindle has fallen dramatically–from $259 to $69, making eReaders more affordable for Soldiers to bring with them on deployments if they choose to. With these factors in mind, we decided to conclude the project by distributing the remaining inventory of Kindles and closing the 501(c)(3) nonprofit we created in order to make tax deductions available to donors.

We want to extend a special thanks to M-Edge Accessories, a vital partner throughout the project. M-Edge supplied us with brand new covers and lights for donated Kindles. Other crucial assistance came from Gina des Cognets, who served as a Director, Garret Riley, who succeeded Gina on the Board and helped out coordinating with military units, and Tom Atkinson, who helped Len pack Kindles for shipment.

Preparation of the Kindle shipments was a rewarding task, especially when the donor of a used Kindle included a personal message. We created a PDF to include on the home screen of each donated Kindle, identifying the donor. The most common message, repeated over and over was simply, “Thank you for your service.” That heartfelt sentiment motivated everyone who participated in this project, and it certainly has been at the center of our involvement from the beginning.

E-Books for Troops put a thousand Kindles in the hands of men and women defending our country at great personal sacrifice and risk. To everyone who helped make that possible, our sincere thanks.

Sincerely,

Len Edgerly and Ken Clark

co-founders, E-Books for Troops

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SPC Williams

At an Army Concussion Care Center in Afghanistan, SPC Williams holds a Kindle Keyboard donated by a supporter of E-Books for Troops and an e-Luminator Touch Booklight given by our partner M-Edge Accessories. Here are some more action photos of unit members with their Kindles:

SSG Ledoux, PV2 Marrero, SPC Swedberg SSG Ledoux, PV2 Marrero, and SPC Swedberg

 

SPC Leguizamon SPC Leguizamon

 

PFC Choate PFC Choate

 

PFC Riendeau PFC Riendeau

 

SPC Heldenfels SPC Heldenfels

 

 

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Incoming Kindles in Denver awaiting preparation for shipment to Troops overseas

During 2012, we distributed 282 Kindles to U.S. military units deployed overseas, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our goal for 2013 is to increase the number of Kindles distributed during the year to 300.

Last year slightly more than half of the Kindles that we shipped were used Kindles donated by supporters of E-Books for Troops through our Kindles for Troops (K4T) program. The rest were new Kindles that we bought from Amazon using funds donated to E-Books for Troops. We also use donated money to purchase USB cables and power plugs as needed, as well as a $10 gift card for each Kindle. Our fantastic partner M-Edge Accessories donates a brand new protective case and e-Luminator Touch BookLight for each Kindle that we ship, new or used.

Your donations of used Kindles help us increase the number of Kindles that we can distribute, given the constraints of our budget.  Reading offers our Service Members a great form of recreation and renewal during downtime.  In the past, Soldiers were limited to carrying one or two paperbacks, and often they would get passed around the Unit to be read and re-read.  Now, with the Kindle’s ability to carry thousands of books, a Soldier can have all his or her favorite authors and titles in one convenient device.

In the K4T donation form, you will see a field labeled “Personalize Your Kindle.” Any text that you enter there will be included in the “E-Books for Troops Greeting” PDF that I will load onto your Kindle. I love reading the messages that donors leave for the Soldiers who will receive their Kindles. It makes this project personal and inspiring.

So if Santa or a loved one gave you a new Kindle last month, I hope you will consider donating your old one to us for shipment to a military unit. I have noticed a big increase in K4T donations during the holiday season, and I hope it continues well into the new year.

We appreciate your support, and I know we are all grateful for the bravery and service of the men and women who receive these Kindles through E-Books for Troops. We wish them godspeed and a safe return home.

Len Edgerly, co-founder

Denver

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We were grateful to receive the above photo and the following message confirming the arrival of Kindles that we shipped to a Security Forces Assistance Team at FOB Airborne in Afghanistan:

Just returned back to the Afghan from R&R and to my surprise I had a desk filled with boxes from you. I received the 20 Kindles, 20 power plugs, 20 gift Certificates and 10 Covers. The weather here is getting better and the COL and I are resuming our battlefield circulation. As the COL and I travel to the different locations throughout Afghanistan, we will be sure to share with you and your organization the smiles of happy Soldiers with e-readers in hand. “Take care and thanks again!”

SGM Ellsberry, Roddric E.

3rd IBCT, 1AD

Provincial Advisor Sergeant Major

Logar/Wardak, Afghanistan

As always, these donated Kindles arrived with brand new Latitude jackets and e-Luminator Touch Booklights donated by M-Edge Accessories. We followed up the initial supply of 10 M-Edge jackets with the remaining 10 in a separate shipment.

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Last week I prepared 26 donated Kindles for shipment to U.S. military units in Afghanistan. As you can see from the photo, the first step is to plug in the Kindles to make sure they each begin the journey from Denver with a full charge. I make sure the wireless connection is turned off and the Kindle is deregistered, so it can be registered by the Soldier who will be using it once it arrives. I also load a PDF document with a greeting from E-Books for Troops, stating who donated the Kindle and, if a personal greeting was entered in the Donation Form, I include that greeting in the PDF as well.

At this point, we have just a few donated Kindles left to ship, so it would be a good time to fill out this form if you have a used Kindle that you would like to contribute. Once we receive the form, I will reply with information on how to send your Kindle to us.  We are not accepting original Kindles, because they are too fragile for the field. But if you have a Kindle 2 or 3 and you’ve got your eye on a Kindle Fire, Kindle 4, or Touch, we would be glad to find your current Kindle a new home! Our partner M-Edge Accessories generously donates a brand-new Latitude Jacket and an e-Luminator Touch Booklight for every Kindle we ship, new and old. Many supporters who donate Kindles also send us the cases for them, and I include them as backups for the new ones provided by M-Edge.

As I work on the Kindles in the safety and comfort of my home here in downtown Denver, I feel grateful for the courage and loyalty of the men and women who will be receiving them, a world away not just in geography or time zones. It is an honor to do this work with Ken Clark on your behalf. Thank you for your service, and please come home safe. If you are a supporter of E-Books for Troops through financial contributions or donated Kindles, thank you for making this endeavor possible!

 

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Kindles for Kandahar

by lenedgerly September 8, 2011

  On August 8, 2011, our shipment of 11 previously owned Kindles arrived in Kandahar, Afghanistan, for an Air Force unit working with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s).  These Kindles had been sent to us by supporters taking advantage of our Kindles for Troops(K4T) project, which continues to generate a good supply of Kindles in perfect [...]

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Is the Kindle Mightier than the Howitzer?

by lenedgerly July 18, 2011

Probably not, but we loved the extra effort taken by members of Alpha Battery, 4-320 Field Artillery Regiment, 4th BCT, 101st Airborne Division, to show their appreciation for the 10 Kindle 2′s that we shipped to them earlier this year in Afghanistan.  Note how well the specially made camo jackets donated by M-Edge Accessories blend [...]

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The Cougar Team Family Purrs with Appreciation for Kindles

by lenedgerly April 28, 2011

On March 2, 2011, we shipped 10 donated Kindle 2′s from Denver to the CJ-4 NATO Weapons Escort Team in Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan. They arrived 15 days later and were distributed a week after that, coordinated by CPT Rachel Kinnas and SGT Jose Gutierrez. Since then, we’ve received inspiring testimonials from the Soldiers who received [...]

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Kindles Arrive in the Arghandab Valley, Afghanistan

by lenedgerly April 4, 2011

We recently received great photos from Bravo Company, 1-66 Armor Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, based in Fort Hood TX and deployed to Arghandab Valley, Afghanistan. Click here to see all of them on the Facebook page. Here is how SGT Roger Bratton described this Army unit’s work in his original request: We are away from our [...]

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A Super Sunday for Book Lovers on Active Duty in Iraq

by lenedgerly March 17, 2011

1SG Eric Cooper chose Super Bowl Sunday to distribute our 10 donated Kindle 2s to the soldiers in his Army medical company who began their deployment to Iraq in September. When 1SG Cooper requested the Kindles, he wrote: “These Kindles would be perfect for raising the morale as we begin our year long deployment.  We [...]

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