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Thread: overseas care package

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rose Hall's Avatar
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    dear all,

    I know we have several people on the board who have family/friends serving overseas in the military.

    My husbands' cousin was sent to Afghanistan (has already served at least 1 tour in Iraq, a discussion for another time...).

    I would like to send a care package, but don't know what items ship best.

    so far I have come up with
    microwave popcorn
    jolly ranchers
    car and sports magazines
    issues of local newspapers (I know they will be horribly out of date, but it's still local news).

    I figured chocolate might melt too easily, maybe some oatmeal cookies???

    all advice appreciated.
    thanks,

    Rose Hall


  2. #2
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    Rose,

    Go to the Boots on the Ground website for a list of things to send (and what not to send) as well as packing tips.

    http://www.bootsonground.com/soldier...sted-items.htm

    And I think it might be a good idea for some of us on this board to contribute or make up some packages for our troops. I'll bet that your cuz'n'law knows some soldiers who don't have family to send squishies, or maybe something could be sent to the whole squad. Whatcha think ladies?

  3. #3
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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    I've not been in the forces, but when I lived in the US my Mom used to send me care packages. You are spot on with your idea of newspapers and magazines, even if they are out of date it is still so nice to read your favourite ones.

    I've heard that the forces like to be sent small bottles of Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce to jazz up the bland food they get (that might just be the British forces though! :wink: )

    Yeah, not chocolate as it will melt, but any snacks/chips that won't. Individually portioned ones are best as they can ration them without it going stale.

    Toothpaste/brushes/razors/small bottle of moisturiser, baby oil or powder, deodorant, sunscreen, or shaving foam of hair gel? Nothing alcohol based though. I'm sure they can get these things but there is nothing like using your favourite brand.

    Underwear? New socks? Chewing gum? Mints? Ramen noodles?

    Oooh this is fun!


  4. #4
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Every thing you have on there is great.
    If you make cookies, make sure you put them in ziplock baggies and take out as much air as you can. Sometimes it can take up to a month to get it to them.
    -Cards are always good. Greeting cards with little notes in them, they are always welcomed.
    -Little games...cards, small board games...the travel size ones
    -Chapstick is a biggie they like.
    -Powder...baby powder
    -Gum is good
    -If you send chocolate, M&Ms are good
    -The powdered drinks that come in the tubes are great for them. Son in law says the water doesn't taste too good sometimes. You can get Crystal Light, Kool Aid, Powerade, Gatorade...tons of them out there...just look in the drink aisle.
    -Sunblock/suntan lotion
    -Baby wipes
    -double A batteries
    -
    There's more I could put, the list goes on and on.
    One thing my son in law did say was....beef jerky went over ok, not all that well. Alot of people would send it, but it only made them thirsty.




  5. #5
    Piedmont Quilter's Avatar
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    I also have family member depolyed over seas. One of the big things they ask for is trail mix. Also, cookies. I have even sent tubes of skole.

  6. #6
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Mimi sharon makes coolers that go around the neck neckhttp://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/1782.page

    These are good anywhere it is summer :D

  7. #7
    Senior Member mkanderson's Avatar
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    My youngest son was in Iraq 2004-2005 and he told me not to send Pork Skins (he loved them but said they couldn’t have them there!!!) I did send a lot of the Jerky and his buddies liked them --------then again, he was (most of the time) in the Green Zone at the Coalition Headquarters. He did go out all over Iraq with the commanders as he was over part of the communications, networking, phone, and routing.

    The largest thing he asked of me in the summer time was BABY WIPES!!!!! He said that they would put them down in their shirts because it is so hot and the sand gets down in there! I would send 7-10 packages bought at the Dollar Tree each time I sent a package! It seemed he was always asking for them!
    Mary

  8. #8
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    For us that don't know-- how do you send packages to them and who do you send them to. Is there a central person or org that will send the items you buy?

  9. #9
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    When my nephew was there I went to the store and bought cookies, they seem to hold up better.(maybe all the preservatives?) And yes this time of year stick to the hard candy and chewing/bubble gum. M & M's , skittles seem to hold up ok.
    Sharon

  10. #10
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    One of the guys here got the flat rate packages from the post office to send to his son in the desert. That makes figuring out the size/postage restrictions easier. Suggest you check with your local USPS.

  11. #11
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    If you're sending to a person in particular, send what they like/want. For my daughter she loved to get pens to hand out to kids, skittles, jelly beans, she's a tea drinker and though coffee is easy to come by, flavored teas are not so we use tea packets to "cushion" the cookies and stuff we send. She loves to receive our sunday "comic" page, We bake cookies and ship them off. One suggestion a friend made for sending cookies is use a small coffee can to cut out the cookie and then pack the cookies in the coffee tin to keep them from breaking, however if the cookie rises bigger than the can?? We would also send her a news magazine cause they don't get to hear of the news going on in the states.
    We send her stuff in the priority mail flat rate boxes, if they go to military serving overseas they have a special rate for that. You do need to be able to fill out a customs form.
    I'm not sure the best way to send to "generic" soldiers, maybe as gaigai suggested. Since we have our own soldier over there, we pack stuff specifically for her and her co-workers.

  12. #12
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    We have not been able to ship to ANY SOLDIER for more than ten years. Back in the Viet Nam war, that was a good project, but now, you have to know someone ... they can share with others, and if they get too much, it is pretty common to ask the supply clerk's office to put out the extras for others, or have your soldier speak to the chaplain.
    There are organizations you can send to that will forward them on, but that is like double paying for something that is pretty direct.
    THe flat rate boxes are the ONLY way to go in my humble opinion.
    The military gets an extra discount, and if you are very creative you can pack that thing so full!
    I think my mom holds the record - - 17 pounds in the rectangular 8.50 box (which is I don't know how much now).
    The old magazines are very welcome ... and, I have shipped over old Alfred Hitchcock magazines from clean back twenty five years or older ... reading is what they do in their off time, and sometimes that old stuff is just a kick!
    Also ... if you think to include a Book of Hoyle in your package ... it will let them learn to play LOTS of different solitaire games and a bunch of different card games beyond poker.
    Another game that will allow two or more players to just sit and relax, shoot the breeze, and laugh, with just a little strategy is SKIPBO ...
    And, if you would be so kind as to add DUCT TAPE and lots of little baggies, they will be very happy. A nice little bag that will hold their game cards together (we made ditty bags that measured 9x13 inches with draw string closures) can add a bit of home, color, and comfort to their care packages.
    A suggestion from one young soldier was to put a loop at the top side of the ditty bag, so that if it goes with them to the shower - - they can hang it so that it is open ... (a lady soldier input was where that came from)
    I am off to check out that website mentioned earlier.
    THank you for your service to our country - - all of you with family serving.
    Have you gotten your Blue Star banners, yet? Check with your American Legion Department headquarters to find the Unit/Post closest to you that can help you with that item. It isn't easy to be the family of a military person ... but, you are to be commended for the sacrifice you are going through, as well as your family member.
    Our prayers ascend for you and the safe return of your loved one/s

  13. #13
    Super Member Bill'sBonBon's Avatar
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    I have a Grandson in Iraq he will be there for a year it is his 3rd tour. He will come home Jan.2010. We send Him care packages all the time. We alternate in sending so He will not get everything at once. We use the Flat Rate boxes you can send as much as you can fit in the boxes.
    He always ask for candy and cookies,for himself and to give to the kids. I have a gadget that takes all the air out so he gets the homemade cookies fresh. He shares a lot with his buddies so we make sure he has plenty. The flate rate is wonderful.
    BillsBonBon

  14. #14
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    Rose,
    When my husband was serving in a combat unit in the 1st Gulf War, I sent him candy (hard candy, individually wrapped so it wouldn't melt), bug repellent (lotion kind, not spray), socks (he wanted wool socks, said they were better), sunscreen, paperback books. Generally things that were light to carry and wouldn't spoil or melt. Home baked things such as cookies were always appreciated. Just make sure they are well wrapped so they won't go stale.

  15. #15
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
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    Flat rate box from the post office- cram as much stuff in as you can. I used to fill it and then pour in wintergeen lifesavers and cinnamon disk candy, etc. to fill in the gaps. Daughter loves getting them- Noah loves the candy too.

    I send the local paper too- gives the guys a laugh when they see all the rednecks with their deer and turkey.

    We also sent barbque sauce- wrapped in bubble wrap.

    Can't wait until they are stateside- 1month, 19 days and counting!

  16. #16
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Send gum, baby wipes, baby powder, cookies....I have sent chocolate chip oatmeal that I pack back to back 2 to a little snack ziplock bag. Get as much air out as possible. We used airpopped popcorn with no salt or butter, as filler. Works great!

    Remember to make a chewy cookie recipe, not a brittle one..

  17. #17
    Senior Member judee0624's Avatar
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    :D Good for you! I sent packages to a Marine in Iraq. He is home now, thank goodness. I was thinking about him today while shopping at Big Lots. I used to get packages of chicken, tuna and ham there that shipped well. Any kind of jerky is good too. They usually have access to toiletries wherever they are so the comic pages from the newspaper and sports pages are good. The last package I sent had those plastic gold coins for St. Pat's Day that said "Get Lucky" on them. They probably had fun with those. I also sent those small sports balls. You will have fun with this. If you can communicate with the other families in his group, you can coordinate what you send.

    judee

  18. #18
    Senior Member Rose Hall's Avatar
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    Thank you for the great ideas.

    the flat rate box sounds like a must. I will stop by the post office on Monday and pick one up. last night I raided my pantry and linen closet for items and added what else I needed to my grocery list for today.

    thanks again!
    Rose Hall

  19. #19

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    tootsie rolls are always welcome any time of year. so use to get a 5 lb bag twice a month when he was there.

  20. #20
    Junior Member Jennifer's Avatar
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    Here's website for those interested in sending a package down range.
    http://www.treatsfortroops.com/

    When I was in Iraq, packages from home or anyone really were always enjoyed. Nothing goes to waste, if they dont like something-there buddy does. Homemade anything is a big deal. Cookies, trailmix, puppy chow(chex mix- chocolate-powdered sugar, and travel size toiletries etc. You have to walk to the cadillacs(showers/toilets) so smaller items were better to tote around. Letters that are hand written mean more than emails even if you dont know the person. The BX/PX are only so big and the product selection is slim. I would not send liquids or aersols. Alcohol and pornagraphic materials are a no-no. When things were send over that were not allowed, there were huge amnesty boxes to put the stuff in without reprecussions. Just a thought.

  21. #21
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Want to send your support to a Soldier in harm's way, but have no idea of what to send, who to send it to, or how to send it?

    http://anysoldier.com/

    service members volunteer to receive packages on behalf of their comrades. you can find people from all the services, stationed in all sorts of places. they even let us know if they need something specific or special where they are.

    it's a great program. :P

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