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2014 The Grunt's Gift Guide: get 'em their goods early!

The current mantra of the mainstream media is "The last of our troops are coming home. Isn't that nice?"--but we know different, don't we? Hundreds of thousands of our military personnel are still serving out there, under polar ice, in the air worldwide, cruising into the Persian Gulf, sweating it out in the Horn of Africa and the list goes on, while countless others are based stateside in places where, in many ways, they might as well be on the dark side of the moon. They are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, good friends and "friends we haven't met yet." Here are some suggestions for those Christmas cheer packages--and happy hunting!

1 Just head for the nearest drug store and load up on Gold Bond products--foot cream and powder, body powder and spray. I've sent several "Gold Bond Care Packages" and they're huge hits with males and females in any MOS (Military Occupational Specialty).

2 Got a trigger-puller on your list? The new Series 3 Multitasker is loaded with features, many of them specific to keeping the M16/M4 running right, plus, their new swing-open drive bit holder. Precision-made from the best materials including D2 tool steel, it's a top choice.

3 For lots of our troops, their iPhone 5's and 5c's are their theatres, game machines, communications hubs, notebooks, cameras and photo albums. I've used Strike Industries rugged Battle Case to protect my iPhone 4, and now they have new cases for the iPhone 5 and 5c. This one's their SHOX case, which actually has spring-loaded bumpers on the corners! Check 'em out.

4 Sorry; this photo won't tell you zip. You'll have to see how TacLace works on their web site. Thread the supplied X-long laces through TacLace, and then whether sprinting to the wire, to a fire on the flight line or just late to morning formation, getting your boots on is pull, wrap and run! I agree with a Marine captain who wrote "I'll never lace my boots again!" Offered in colors for every service, they are in a word, cool!

5 Wait! A beefy, super-duty Zero Tolerance folder for under $200 bucks? Yup; the 0350BW's MSRP is just $175. The S30V steel blade is done in "BlackWash," which makes it look well-used, but that's actually a tough DLC (Diamond-Like Coating) finish. With a Ken Onion-designed SpeedSafe opening mechanism, a quad-reversible pocket clip and textured G10 handle scales, it's a steal.

6 Anybody of any rank or specialty will enjoy and value Maxpedition's Pocket Ref. A virtual encyclopedia with hundreds of maps, conversion tables, physics to knots and global time zones to currencies--pocket-sized and perfect for those long duty watches and gotta know it moments. Gift one and keep one!

7 These compact, lightweigh, waterproof Bushnell H2O binoculars ore one of the best gifts you can give to any serviceman or woman. Nitrogen-purged and 0-ring sealed for fog-free performance, they've got multi-coated optics and a price tog under 90 bucks!

8 A penlight that's also a flashlight and floodlight, Maxxeon's WorkStar 320 Pocket Floodlight runs on three AAA batteries and produces a 140 lumen "clean beam" from a virtually unbreakable LED. Machined from T6 aluminum and Type II hard anodized, it's made for tough service--and tough users.

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Author:Connor, John
Publication:American Handgunner
Date:Nov 1, 2014
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