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How to Send the Perfect Care Package

When your loved one is in the military and has been deployed to Iraq you want to let them know that you care. One of the best ways to take care of them when they are far from home is to send a care package. Make the soldier in your life smile by sending him the perfect care package.

One of the most difficult things to do when sending a care package is figuring out exactly what to send. After some research and personal experience I’ve made a list of things that you can send in your care package that any soldier would appreciate. Send a box with any of the following items:

  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Body Wash
  • Mouth Wash
  • Razors
  • Shaving Cream
  • Foot Powder
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • After Shave Lotion
    Wipes (personal, baby, or clorox)
  • Chapstick
  • Glade Stick-Ups
  • Small Bottle of Febreeze
  • Small Battery Operated Fan
  • A Good Sheet Set
  • Fluffy Towel
  • Soft Toilet Paper (they only get the hard stuff)
  • Eye Drops
  • Stack of Dixie Cups
  • Dryer Sheets (place a few in a zip-lock bag)
  • Stain Remover Stick
  • Batteries (AA & D)
  • CD/DVD Disk Cleaning Kit
  • Stamps, Paper, Envelopes
  • Eyeglass Cleaner Wipes
  • Koozies
  • Ink Pens
  • Word Puzzle Books
  • Icy/Hot patches (he’ll really thank you for those)
  • Underwear Hand Warmers
  • Inflatable Seat Cushions
  • Shoe Laces (for gym shoes & boots)
  • Brown t-shirts
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Hand-Held Battery Operated Game (like gameboy or psp)
  • Microwaveable Plates and Bowls
  • Paper Plates
  • Vitamins
  • Pringles Chips
  • Flavored Coffee Creamer (individual packets)
  • Mrs. Dash Spices (they only get pepper & salt so anything different is heaven)
  • Powdered Crystal Light
  • Instant Coffee
  • Country Time Lemonade Mix
  • Tea Bags
  • Powdered Hot Chocolate
  • Gatorade Powdered (send a jug to mix it)
  • Salsa and Chips
  • Tuna (send the “fresh pouch” variety)
  • Torengo Tortilla Chips
  • Triscuits or Ritz Crackers
  • Bags of Chips (single servings)
  • Cookies (store bought or homemade)
  • Graham Crackers
  • Goldfish Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Gardetto’s
  • Snack Mixes (like Chex Mix etc.)
  • Rice Krispie Treats
  • Applesauce
  • Raisins
  • Pop Tarts
  • Power Bars
  • Cereal Bars (Granola etc.)
  • Instant Oatmeal or Instant Grits
  • Lunchables (variety that does not require refrigeration)
  • Nuts (any kind)
  • Trail Mix
  • Bowl Appetite Dinners
  • Little Debbie Snack Cakes
  • Bubble Gum
  • Licorice
  • Peanut M&M’s (try to send candy that can stay hard & not melt)
  • Soups (that require you to only add hot water)
  • Microwave Popcorn
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Olives or Pickles (bubble wrap these items before packing)
  • Campbell’s Chunky Soup
  • Small Microwave dinners in Cups

Packing some of these items will truly make any soldier’s day. You can send other items also that are small and within policy. This list is just a really good idea of what goes into the perfect care package. Be sure to make the package personal. Add his favorites of the list of items and always write a letter to add to the package.

Most soldiers share food so always pack more than enough when it comes to snacks. The best way to ship the care package is by using priority flat rate mail boxes from the post office. Regular boxes are okay but priority boxes get there faster and are delivered first. The perfect care package is sent in a priority box with abundant must have items all packed with love.

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User Comments
  1. Carrie

    On August 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Just remember that it sometimes takes a few MONTHS for a deployed service member to get the package that you send to them. So try not to send anything that’s going to have an expiration date too close to the date you ship the care package out.

    Also, Military postal isn’t exactly gentle with incoming packages. If you send snacks like chips put them in a sturdy container otherwise all they’re probably going to have remaining is a package full of crushed snacks.

    Remember that chocolate and other candies melt and you’re sending the care packages to the desert.

    Speaking from first hand experience, Ramen noodles and things like that are the epitome of a lifesaver for a deployed service member.

    Don’t forget, when you send out a package, write a letter. These days with internet, and email and whatnot something like that might seem trivial. But honestly, it always great to get a letter in the mail. It’s something hand written that you can really hold onto and read and reread any time you need that peace from home. Let the kids write a letter, draw a picture, take pictures. Personalize your care package. That’s what you’re trying to do right? Remind them that you’re still there, still supporting them, and giving them the love that they need to carry them through their deployment.

    Hope this helps!

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