SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan have been battling a stubborn foe in recent months, the common flu virus. Now, a charity that started in the Bay Area is facing hurdles trying to get equipment overseas to help ailing soldiers.

Troops Direct, a San Ramon-based volunteer group that sends soldiers stuff the military can’t get, has been trying to deploy power washers to Afganistan to help clean up bases before more soldiers get sick.

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In the past, Troops direct has been able to cut the red tape in order to get soap, toothpaste, syringes and other necessities to the combat zone. But the organization has faced perhaps its largest challenge in an attempt to ship 20 germ fighting power washers.

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Home Depot is giving the washers, which will be used to sanitize a variety of equipment, to Troops Direct at cost, but that’s still $5,000. The organization is still hoping to raise funds to help cover the purchase and shipping costs.

For information on how you can contribute to troops direct, click here.

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