Receiving a care package when you are deployed across the globe can be a real morale booster for most American soldiers. Whether you have a friend, loved one, or relative overseas – or simply want to do something nice for our troops – the first thing you’ve probably wondered is, “What should I put into my care package?”
While the gesture of sending a care package counts for a lot, you ideally want to send items that someone might actually want to receive. Often times, people who send these packages don’t have the experience of being in the military themselves. They may have no clue about what someone stationed on a base would want to receive, especially if they’re not in direct correspondence with someone making specific item requests. So before you send a box of goodies, here’s a quick overview of some of the things soldiers will likely want in their care packages.
Things to Do
There’s a lot of down-time in the military, and soldiers definitely need activities to take their minds off the stress of their day-to-day lives. That’s why sending over movies, music, books and games can be a real boon to the person receiving your care package. Whether it’s a deck of cards or a brand new video game, a fun activity of any sort is the perfect gift to someone looking to pass the time in a tense environment.
We might not think twice about the things we pick up at the pharmacy—these items are always there for us when we need them. For people in the military, however, lack of easy-access turns a lot of items we take for granted into luxury goods. Items like clean socks, ointments, lip balm and IcyHot are great for care packages. These are people who are often on their feet all day in arid conditions.
Snacks and Condiments
Food items would seem to be tough: You can’t send fresh foods like your best homemade dessert overseas for obvious reasons. Nonperishable foods, however, like jerky and fruit snacks, are great things to send. Most importantly, try packing nonperishable condiments like barbeque and hot sauces. Military bases aren’t lacking in food, but the food can sometimes lack in flavor, and sauces and seasoning powders can be a great way for soldiers to change things up every once in a while. Also look for powdered drinks like Kool-Aid and iced tea.
A Little Bit of Home
Of course, if you are sending a package to a loved one, a personal touch goes a long way. Sending a hand written note, an important item that you share with the person, or even something like an inside joke can mean the world to someone in the military. A little bit of personal thoughtfulness shows how much you care and will make your package into something more meaningful than any of the items inside of it.
Check out the video below and learn how you, too, can send a wonderful care package to our brave troops overseas.