Medical Supplies from Las Vegas – Rite Aid’s Loss is Children’s Gain – Summer of 2008
Martin Dupalo a professor at UNLV reached out to TDF in early summer 2008. Turns out that Rite Aid was closing 20 stores in Vegas and Dupalo, a former military officer had a plan…scoop up the first aid and medical supplies at 90% off. As crazy as it seems, over the course of 3 days Martin ran from Rite Aid to Rite Aid buying up all the last inventory with Tom calling at each one with the credit card information as he was ready to check out.
TDF paid for all the supplies, packing and shipping for what had grown to approximately $20,000 worth of medical supplies using a mere $2,000. One quirky irony was that a wheelchair discounted from $200 to $20 cost $23.43 to send via APO . The overall shipping costs amounted to only $1,500. We got $20,000 over there for $3,500!!
They shipped to SFC Miller in Baghdad who distributed the goods completing the chain. An excerpt of his note is below.
I did receive the medical supplies, from Martin Dupalo in Las Vegas. The majority of the supplies were donated to the Safwan Clinic in Safwan, Iraq. Safwan is one of the two cities/towns that fall into our AO [Area of Operations] here, and it is a fairly poor area. The walkers and wheelchairs were of particular interest to the medical staff there, since they care for a number of elderly people who can use them. The children’s crutches were another big hit. There are numerous children with birth defects/deformities that will benefit from them. We saved a bit of the supplies for an upcoming Cooperative Medical Exchange, again in Safwan. There is a clinic in the rural area there that we refurbished several months ago that is finally getting staffed, and we have a few doctors and other medical staff that will work along with that staff for one day to treat as many patients as we can fit in. Thanks again for the donation.
SFC John M. Miller
42nd MP BDE S-5 NCOIC
Task Force Bucca”
This story is also posted on the UNLV website: