... sometimes just aren't enough. Being closer to raisin than grape on my vine (oh, don't make me explain it!) I figure by the time the signal gets to me that your grapevine may already be abuzz. I've learned of an installation where the Readiness/Support Center in conjunction with many talented and supporting spouses (& kids!), had started a program where as the MilSpouse was traveling down the pre-deployment line checklist in hand, they were asked, "Would you like to have the Spouses Group make your wife/husband/kids a presento with your photo on it?"
If they said yes, their digital photo was taken. Then, at no cost to the member or their family, the spouses were transferring the digital picture onto a cloth backing, and then sewing it onto whatever (usually XL T-shirts for kids nightgowns, or pillowcases, or even small stuffed "sacks" that resembled a large, soft, cloth Weeble -- i.e., weebles wobble but won't fall down) Well ... the best of intentions ...
Turns out, there is a commercial concern (owned by spouses of active duty military members), which makes stuffed dolls with photos of Dad or Mom on them. Anyway, how these two forces ended up on a collision path I'm not sure but sure enough, the brouhaha began. TRADEMARK infringement! Copyright laws! Patents!
As I type, I'm not sure as to status of the discussions, but believe that the spouses at that installation have stopped until the wrangling over "right" and "wrong" are cleared-up. The troops are now gone, having loaded onto a few huge KC-10 cargo planes - destination Iraq.
These good-intentioned spouses, through donations, were trying to provide what they believed was a unique gift to families of deployed service members. The spouses in return asked for nothing more than a thank you. They said "no" to no one -- if the deployer asked for more than one presento for their wife/husband/kids, then these folks did their best to deliver.
Sadly, I believe there are over 150+ kids/moms/dads hoping that this thing gets cleared up as they'd really like to have something to hold on to while their loved ones are deployed. But the message is clear, the Best of Intentions pales in our litigious society. As you and I support our troops, be cautious and respectful for what others deem to be their intellectual property. And my rhetorical thoughts keep coming back to this: we'd expect the granite-hearts on Wall Street to think about making a buck on these on-going deployments, but for spouses to put-it-to other spouses? Really ...tsk, tsk, tsk. O&O, Maintenance Toad One