Attrition: Minding Minor Irritations


April 20, 2010:  Fighting in the desert, be it Iraq or southern Afghanistan, means lots of opportunities for troops to get burns, abrasions, insect bites and scratches. While the medics can treat these minor injuries, the troops like to pack their own cures. But none of the available ointments seemed to do the job well. Then, in 2005, Sara Damelio, who was developing a new skin balm, heard her husband, who was stationed in Iraq, complain about the need for an effective skin balm, and she worked up something she hoped would work specifically for the troops. It did. After acting on initial feedback, she tweaked the formula, and her Combat Ready Balm was ready for the market. It, and similar products, proved to be best sellers. While she has sent thousands of free two ounce (59 ml) jars of Combat Ready Balm ( to military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, troops buy at lot more, at $25 a two ounce jar because, as most of them say, "it works." That includes during Afghan Winters, where dry skin replaces insect bites and most burns. The majority of the balm now sells to civilians, but it all began with an army wife seeking a solution for her soldier husband.



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