Monday, October 11, 2004

Beer for Soldiers Goes Dry

A few of you may remember my post a while back on buying beer for soldiers through a blog called, appropriately enough, Beer For Soldiers. I thought it was a worthy cause, and so I blogged on it. Well, an unforeseen positive result was an increase in my own traffic. Apparently the readers over there follow links a LOT, So I try to return the favor.

Well, the last time I was there, I noticed that they'd taken down the donation functions and were informing us we can't buy them beer. I fired off a "Whisky Tango Foxtrot" email to their blog owner, but nothing in reply. However, I subscribe to a beer drinker's newsletter, and they have the skinny:

Army tells creator that is illegal

According to Stars and Stripes, Sgt. Dale Rogers, in Iraq with Company C, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment was ordered to retreat from the site after the regimental briefs said it was unethical. A regimental spokesman said that whatever the intentions, was illegal because Rogers seems to be using his association with the Army as a way to solicit funds for beer.

If you click on the "Don't buy us beer" link just added at the site, you end up on a page with the word "violation" displayed six time and the message: "We would still love for you to buy us a beer but the legal folks say you can't". previously sent visitors to links that charged their credit cards for anything from $2 for a 40-ounce bottle of beer to $6 for a "tall beer from the bar," to $7 for a six-pack. Other donation options included $10 for a "pitcher" or $20 for a "keg club."

The site includes dozens of photographs of soldiers enjoying the beer.

"I go to a pub where there are 20 to 30 soldiers around the bar. I ring the bell and say: 'Free beer for everybody.' The bartenders think I'm crazy. I get to meet new people and new soldiers and I will buy two or three rounds," Rogers said in an earlier story about the site.

Well, that sucks, but rules are rules, and I respect Sgt. Rogers for obeying. I am curious, though -- if a group of civilians decided to accept donations, and then spend the money on Sgt. Rogers and his buddies, would THAT be legal? Just wondering....

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