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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): A Prison Can Be a Place to Shop

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Prison Can Be a Place to Shop

Do you like hand crafted items? Are you a big fan of wrought iron and homemade wooden furniture? What about jewelry, pottery and personalized items? Now put that thought aside for a minute. Do you ever wonder what prisoners do in our prisons each day? I've lived near prisons in the past, where prisoners hobbled shoes, fixed furniture and made license plates. What if you could put our love of hand crafted decorative and gift items together with keeping prisoners busy and teaching them something in the process? Well, someone has already thought of that, and if you are a military ID card holder, you can walk away with HUGE savings with up to 80% off retail from my estimates.

When I was at Ft Leavenworth, I had the chance to go by the Disciplinary Barracks Store. They actually have a store, showcasing the prisoner's work. Do you know all those wrought iron Longaberger basket-type decorative items you are familiar with? I saw the exact same shelves, tiered items, pot racks and basket holders I am familiar with. I am just using Longaberger as an example here. I also saw beautiful furniture, chandeliers and decorative items. Even though you will find some oak in their furniture, for the most part, you'll see quality hardwoods just beautifully done. Our little group of ladies who visited the joint where just entranced by the bench that folds into a picnic table and kept folding it over and over again. That was pretty ingenious...and we had to do a double take at the price it was that low. If your husband is the carpenter type, they'll even sell you the hardware and ship you the plans, so you can use your own wood and put it together yourself.

When you browse through the store, you have a hard time believing a prisoner made some of these wonderful jewelry pieces, pots, artwork. A lot of care and talent can be found here. I was humbly impressed to say the least.

I made a note to tell my husband, that they also do embroidery, screen printed products and engraving. The display cases were loaded down with wooden boxes, plaques, glass and crystal mementos and even handy display shelves for your husband's ubiquitous military coin collection. All of these items can be personalized as well.

Why am I bothering to tell you this and most of us don't even live there? Because they ship! Most items they ship via FEDEX or UPS I was told. If you are interested in some of the heavy wrought iron stuff, how about getting together with your neighborhood girlfriends? If you fill a pallet with stuff, it only costs $150 to truck that pallet to you. If you put five items on there, you are already well ahead of the game and are still getting the items at a steal.

Be sure to stop by their site and see what they have to offer. If you have picked out some items, just send them an email, and they will give you a shipping quote. Again, only US military ID card holders may order. Check their website for any exceptions to that, as there are some. BTW, if you don't find something in the right dimensions, they will even build it to your specifications. Just ask! With all this being said, do you have a civilian prison in your area? Perhaps check out what they have to offer. They may have a similar program. Ft Leavenworth calls these things "vocational products".

Let me know what you order from the prison store! I myself really liked the three tiered pie stand, and my husband has so many coins...those display shelves would look nice too....hmmm, I still have some time before Christmas...

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I collect Longaberger and the wrought iron looks exactly like some of the Longaberger pieces. I will have to check it out.

December 20, 2007 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger amyhusted said...

I'm trying to locate the disciplinary online store for Leavenworth and I can't find it. Do you know if they've changed the address?

August 12, 2011 at 5:47 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Not ure what happened to their site bu their email is on the lower left of this page. http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/usdb/. If you happen to find their new site please post it here. Thanks.

August 12, 2011 at 7:11 AM  

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