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Care Packages for Troops

My husband and a friend recently was deployed to Iraq as civillians attached to military units. My friends and family are wanting to put together simple little care packages for their units and want to try to send one in time for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas.


I have not found anything but the Christmas card idea on this site regarding tips for care packages overseas. I have found a few websites, but a lot of the stuff on there they can get at the px there, they don't need or can't use.

I am wondering if anyone out there has had someone there and had any new creative ideas of things to send over.

I know that now they don't turn away the generic "any soldier" titled mailings, but prefer that mail be directed to a particular soldier because the care packages took up so much time to organize that regular mail suffered and was late or lost trying to get it to loved ones.

With the holidays coming they need all of the support and encouragement they can get!


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By guest (Guest Post)
October 1, 20050 found this helpful

A good place to go is . Once you join you can send pkgs to the chaplains for distribution and they give out requests for the items most needed by the soldiers. Some are in remote posts and have no PX.

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October 1, 20050 found this helpful

A friend of mine looked up some information about good items to send as we are in the process of organizing some packages to send as well. Here are a few ideas:

Food Items (bought)

Tea bags

Apple cider mix

Beef Jerky

Trail mix and nuts

Cereal bars

Microwave popcorn


Ramen noodles, Cup-O-Noodles or Cup-O-Soup

Instant Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat

Breath mints

Candy (chocolate will melt)



Zip-lock bags (any size)


Unscented lotion

Lip Balm

Toothbrushes and paste


Wet wipes

Anti-bacterial gel


Foot powder

Envelopes and paper

Fun Things

Hand-held games

Board games

Travel games

Puzzle and word games

Playing cards


Nerf balls

Velcro darts

Music CD's

Christmas decorations


Things Not Allowed

Pork products

Perishable foods such as fruits, meats, veggies

Some items mentioned that ship well are Chex mix, Rice Krispy treats, date bars, gooey brownies. Generally, moist cookies hold up much better and should be wrapped individually in plastic wrap in addition to putting them into another container.

Hope this helps you get started.

Trudy Powell

Independent Watkins Assoc. #357561 (request a catalog)

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October 1, 20050 found this helpful

--they post requests here :)

great people too !

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October 2, 20050 found this helpful

You might want to make up stockings for the troops and fill them with things like chapstick, insect bite prevention towels, hand cream, small pocket size tissues, snack food items, etc. but best of all is home baked cookies and candies. Be sure to select types that will last for a couple of weeks or more. Vacuum pack food items if possible or at least put them in zip lock bags then put them inside containers such as coffee cans, potato chip containers, tins, etc.

Avoid any products with pork in them (not allowed in the country) and also avoid candies or cookies that can't take high temperatures. I also suggest you don't try to send any liquid items. They weigh too much and sure make a mess when spilled and I have even had plastic bottles of shampoo burst. I had a jar of homemade jelly my mom sent me that was wrapped in a tea towel then in a large ziplock then in bubble wrap that arrived broken and the jelly was on several items in the box. What a mess. Use the strongest cardboard box you can find to mail the items and tape them securely. You will also have to provide a detailed list of the contents of the box on the custom slip when you mail the box. When they are shipped, they will probably be placed on a pallet with many other boxes and put on an airplane. If your box happens to be on the bottom of the stack, it might have to bear a lot of weight.

Someone who sews can make a cool bandana with the polymer type filling that can be soaked in water and they would probably be appreciated by all. Just think of what you would want if you were outside working in a hot, dry, dusty climate. Please don't forget to include a card(s) with a message telling them how much we appreciate them. Also include your name, address, and e-mail if you have one so they know who sent the items.

I worked overseas in the middle east and when my family would send me cookies, I shared them with my friends and we were delighted even when they arrive as a bundle of crumbs. We all especially appreciated the home baked items most.


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October 3, 20050 found this helpful

q-tips are a much needed item(they also use them to clean their guns) as are panty liners(yes i know it sounds funny,but they use them inside their helmets to help absorb the sweat) tooth brushes,dvd's, heavy socks, flea collars,

sunscreen ,sunglasses, bath soap,are some of the items my son requested in afganistan,pre-sweetened drinks(crystal light now makes the portable packages to just add to bottled water)granola bars.

i've also posted some recipes a week or so ago on this site of recipes to send overseas can give you ideas too of things to send even if your person isn't a marine.

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October 3, 20050 found this helpful

sorry, one other thing... you can get free shipping boxes from the postal service by going to their website and reqesting them. they have flat rate boxes that you can use that only cost $7.70 to mail no matter what the weight.

priority mail should be used as regular mail can take up to a month or more to get to them priority mail is put on planes first then regular mail

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October 3, 20050 found this helpful

are sites that are willing to send care packages to those overseas

my prayers to you on your husband's safe return. my son will be going there in march of 2006

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 4, 20050 found this helpful

I use to send my husband (Desert Storm) tuna and the cans of fish fillets, vienna sausages, baby wipes (good when no showers are available for days), canister of pre-sweetened kool-aid (good for canteens),jerky and slim jims, cheese crackers, cracker jacks, nuts of all kinds. Anything but chicken he loved to receive, he got enough of that in M.R.E.'s.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 6, 20050 found this helpful

when i was in the Navy, we were told things we could send to the corpsmen that help the marines. you remember those beanie babies that everyone wants to get rid of? well, they are small and collapsable and easy to stuff in a soldiers gear for them to give the children they meet.small things like that help promote good impressions on the people there. helps them not be so afraid of the soldiers.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 24, 20060 found this helpful

I am constantly sending items to my troops and I have deployed 3 times myself. Here are some of our favorites:

- Spices (salt, pepper, garlic salt, popcorn salt)

- Individual drinks mixs

- Blank card to send back home (Thank you, I miss you, kids, holidays)

- Holiday decorations

- Anything dorky or funny that will put a smile on our faces

- Microwavable foods (dessert, meals)

Thanks for your support - MSgt Cooper

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 24, 20060 found this helpful

well,the son has returned from iraq.individual drink mixes are very,very much appreciated. he says it takes 4-6 pkg. to make the water drinkable

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 5, 20070 found this helpful

does anyone have any good suggestions on homeade recipes of baked goodies to send overseas for the thanksgiving holiday?

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 1, 20080 found this helpful

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for all the ideas. My boyfriend deploys to Iraq in June so I was just looking for some things that might be needed and things that aren't allowed to be sent. THANK YOU ALL VERY, VERY MUCH!

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