Web site visitors donate to beer fund set up by soldier in Iraq
Sept 27, 2004 - Soldiers in Iraq crave beer, women and high-speed Internet connections, in that order, says Sgt. Dale Rogers. His answer to the first desire was to create beerforsoldiers.com, a web site that allows visitors to donate money to a beer fund for troops in Iraq. Rogers will use the money to buy beer for soldiers on mid-tour leave and for a homecoming bash after the tour ends.
Rogers set up the Web site in February just before he joined 1-503 in South Korea, where the unit was based before deploying to Iraq last month. "I knew I was going to Korea, and I knew I was going to be thirsty. I didn't want to drink alone and I didn't want to pay for it out of my own pocket," he said.
Beerforsoldiers.com allows beer buyers to click on links that charge their credit cards for anything from $2 for a "40-ounce ghetto beer" to $6 for a "tall beer from the bar," to $7 for a six-pack. Other donation options include $10 for a pitcher or $20 for a keg club.
The site includes dozens of photographs Rogers takes of soldiers enjoying the free 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," he said.
Extra beer funding is provided from the sale of T-shirts with the message: "Hold my beer while I kiss your girl" and "www.beerforsoldiers.com" on them, he said.
Soldiers in Iraq have to settle for near beer. "People still drink it and imagine it tastes like beer but to me it tastes like [something unmentionable] drained through a wet sock. I am dying for a real beer," Rogers said.
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