Sending Care Packages to Troops

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Sending care packages to troops far from home, especially those in combat zones, is a special way of showing your appreciation for the job they are doing. This is a page about sending care packages to troops.


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February 14, 2005

For those that are sending priority mailed items, the post office now offers a flat rate box up to 70 pounds to anywhere in the United States for $7.70 this also includes packages being mailed to service people overseas.

This is really great for me as I have a son in Afghanistan and it was costing me a small fortune to ship packages. Just go to USPS Store. Click on Shipping Supplies. Once you have done that, click on Priority Mail,

By imaqt1962

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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!



By Patt (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 LaDonna. (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 jennifer in talladega (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 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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This is the first time that I have some free time on my hands, and I thought that I'd make some care packages to send to friends of my son who are in the service. I remember seeing posts in the past about what to send, but cannot find them at this time.

I would be grateful if anyone could (1) guide my to the past posts, and (2) give me some recipes for cookie/cakes I can make and send that will withstand the shipping and the HEAT. The last time one friend e-mailed my son, he said that their thermometer capped out at 140 degrees, and it had already hit that mark, so they had no idea how hot it really was. (They are in Kuwait waiting to be shipped out.)

Any sites with info would be appreciated. Thank you in advance--both from me and the servicemen.

Susan from AR


October 17, 20050 found this helpful

I think these are the posts you are looking for:

Desert-Safe Treat Recipes For Troops Overseas

These treats were put out by Nestle about a year ago and have been tested in their kitchen and do meet the required Middle East guidelines as well as the U. S. postal guidelines.

By imaqt1962


Tips for Shipping Baked Goods Overseas

No butter, margarine, peanut butter or nuts should be used. These fats go rancid too fast in high heat. Butter flavored shortening however can be used.

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By Grandma Margie (Guest Post)
October 17, 20050 found this helpful

My favorite website is There are many things our troops need. You can read letters, lists and suggestions from a huge list of names and service branches. At one point they were saying that they could not accept any homebaked treats.....only commercially packaged....for safety reasons. I don't know if they are still enforcing this or not. I'd check first before I put a lot of time and effort into baking treats that might not make it to the intended recipients! We have some care packages almost ready to ship out too. They appreciate cards and letters too. Some of the men and women don't get much support mail from their families and a friendly letter makes their day! Do check out this website and see if you can cheer up a soldier with a card or package!

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October 18, 20050 found this helpful

I was looking to see if this had been posted or not, but a great candy bar to send over to our troops would be Hershey's Zero candy bar. These are considered to be 'the construction worker's candy bar'. They don't melt in the heat, & can even withstand sitting on your vehicle's dashboard till you get off from work & not melt. Hope this helps out somebody's sweet tooth. They make the regular sizes & king sizes. I find them at Walmart Superstore, near the checkout.

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October 18, 20050 found this helpful

Also, I talked to a gal whose hubby was stationed over in Iraq. Her grandmother baked and wanted to send him a loaf of her banana bread. Against her better judgment, she did and by the time he got it, it was all moldy. After cutting away all the mold, he was only able to eat about a 1 inch square out of the middle, but he sent word to her/them, that "it was so good & was great to finally taste some home cooking!" Said his only regret is that Granny didn't send 2 or 3 loaves. So he'd have had more 1" squares to eat. So consider anything moist will not travel well overseas.

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By (Guest Post)
October 20, 20050 found this helpful

go to and click on receipes. they have a search that has a military care package listing and lists a few different nestle receipes for the troops.

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October 24, 20050 found this helpful

Thank You! I appreciate everyone's help more than you can imagine. I have one more question--What is the best and cheapest way to send the packages?

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April 9, 2010

I was wondering if you can get me some information on any groups that sends things to soldiers overseas. I have 4 guys that are under me and I am finding it out for them. Thank you.

SFC Gerry Wilson

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