Many of us have family members or friends that are active duty or deployed in various parts of the country or the world, to include war zones. These young men and women who so gallantly represent and serve our country suffer from periodic bouts of homesickness. One sure way to help alleviate their sadness is by sending care packages. Oddly enough, a great many people have no idea as to what a soldier may need or enjoy, or be appropriate to send.
To begin with, it is wise to consider the climate in which the soldier is stationed. For example, if it’s a dry arid climate such as the Middle East, some items to send would be lip balm, moisturizing lotions, and sunscreen. It is preferable that all of these items be scent free so as not to attract any insects or other wildlife. Frequently requested by soldiers in cold climates are hand/foot warmers like Hot Pockets.
Soldiers always have basic hygiene needs such as, shampoo, soap or body wash, tooth paste and toothbrushes, Q-tips, dental floss, etc. Again, these items should be scent free if possible. At some outposts particularly in a war zone, it can be difficult for a soldier to obtain such things as pillows, sheets and towels. Socks are also very important to a soldier. Another very important item that our soldiers frequently request is cleaning cloths for eyeglasses as well as the glass cleansing solution.
Troops always appreciate items they can use in their downtime. Books, e-books, and magazines help the soldier to take their mind off their homesickness and boredom. Games, decks of cards, movies, and various types of music are always appreciated. Another thing that many troops enjoy is building models. Since models require a great deal of focus, it helps the soldier to almost detach himself or herself from their surroundings, particularly if they are stationed in a war zone. There are also goofy things that can be sent such as silly string or colored bubbles! Items of this nature bring laughter and joy to our troops.
Food for Thought
Snack time! Small bags of chips, Doritos, cheese puffs are great to ship. These can be bought in bulk in variety packs. Another thing that is greatly appreciated are packets of different water flavorings, sinc carbonated drinks are not advisable. Also, almost any form of candy is always a favorite. Whether it be hard candies or chocolate, they love them all. You might also consider sending sugar-free products or even low-sodium. And always a winner is jerky, nuts, or sunflower seeds.
Don’t Forget to Send Love
Obviously, the best thing you can put into a care package is a little note or special card expressing your deep love and pride in all our troops. These heartfelt messages do so much to uplift the spirits of our gallant men and women who serve unselfishly to protect our great land.
For a handy guide to keep at your fingertips, download the 5 Ways to Support a Troop poster. It has some additional ways you can show your gratitude to our servicemembers.