My husband has been overseas for deployments multiple times during our marriage. Some of these were during war, some not. Each time he went there were things he missed from home that he wasn’t able to buy on the base there or didn’t have access to at all.
When he was in Iraq, my church decided to send his entire group care packages. We had several weeks of donations, then boxed everything up into individual boxes and sent it all to him to distribute. It was pretty amazing to read his emails of how much that impacted the morale and spirit of the troops over there. We sent enough that extras were given to other troops nearby.
Whether your spouse, family member, or friend is stationed overseas in war or peace, there are always little things from home they love to have. And really – who doesn’t love a box of fun, homey stuff to open and look through anyway?
- Warm socks
- Baby wipes (often soldiers go for days/weeks without showers in war)
- Phone cards (this isn’t always needed anymore but can be helpful)
- Pictures of you, the kids, family, friends
- Ways to keep cool/warm
- Movies/Card games
- Drink Mixes
Then little luxuries like their favorite toothpaste, shaving cream, and new razors always go a long way. They can get these but often they aren’t the brand they use at home, and it’s nice to have that little reminder.
Don’t forget the biggest one – snacks. Things like beef jerky, candy, trail mix, nuts, fruit bars, sunflower seeds, pop tarts, dried fruit, etc. Take care not to send any alcohol or culturally sensitive material/food. You can always check with your soldier to find out what may not make it to him if you send it.
Homemade items (like cookies) *may* make it depending on how far they have to go, and wait to be sorted, but if it’s overseas to a war zone it’s best not to send them. Often packages I sent took a month to get to Sam. The cookies were stale and in crumbs at that point.
Sometimes the Post Office will donate boxes to a group sending out items to a soldier. Or they may do it for you, just ask and see. Always carefully put each and every number and letter given so it gets to the right place and person. Pack things that might be crushed in bubble wrap.
What are your ideas for boxes to send to deployed military? Anything that you sent that was or wasn’t a big hit?