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Sending pkgs....what our troops want and need

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I've taken these ideas off of several boards, from parents and wives who have rec'd letters from soldiers in Kuwait. This is a list of the commonly asked for items:


underwear & socks

foot powder


Sanitizing Hand Wash

Antiseptic mouthwash


dry skin lotion

Tabasco sauce


cigarettes, lighters, and waterproof matches

powdered, pre-sweetened drinks, small pkgs that make 1 qt which is the size of a standard military canteen.

disposable cameras

ramen noodles

beef jerky

closeable pastic baggies

individually wrapped hard candy


nail clippers

cheap Walkman type radios



Not allowed are:




any religious symbols


The soldiers ask that you not use plastic peanuts for padding, as they have to clean that up. Instead, use rolls of TP, or indivudual pkgs of mustard, ketchup.....things they can use..


We have two young men listed on here right now. I want to commit to sending a care pkg to one of them.......can we make sure that every family member of a Mrs. S member who is stationed overseas gets a package?


Even a letter means alot. When stationed overseas with my first husband, mail call was the most important part of the day, and there were always smiles from those who rec'd mail, and long faces on those who didn't. So, if you can't afford to send a package, could you send a card or letter?

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Other ideas of what to send:


Handi-wipes (inexpensive ones are available individually wrapped at Gordon Food Service)

Jock Itch Cream/Powder

Eucerin Creme (not lotions) This has no alchohol. It's expensive, but it goes a long ways. So, even a small tube will last a long time.





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My nephew served in Desert Storm, so if I could add, liquid laundry soap, any plastic bags including large ones so they can put like clothes in because sand gets into everything. One favorite with all the guys in his group was sour pickles you could buy in gas station type places that was individually wrapped. A thing they enjoy is if you can record a letter on tape instead of writing so they can hear your voice. I did a tape like I was a CNN reporter and would ask people questions like I was talking to Pres. Bush then I would play a clip of a song for his answer. My DH said I had the market cornered on doing crazy things. I even sent small packs of mustard and ketchup.

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How about Sun Tan Lotion ! I pack my items in popped popcorn and they can eat the popcorn so there is no muss and no fuss. If you plastic bag up your items and fill them in with popcorn then close up the bag and box it the popcorn stays pretty fresh I have been told.

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The guys around here who were interviewed said Kraft macaroni & cheese was a *big* hit, because so many were raised on it! But they suggested taking it out of the boxes and putting it into baggies to save space.

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Small plastic jars of peanutbutter, plastic jars squeezable jelly, plastic knives (like at Wendys), crackers like Rusk, Zuyback (spelling) hard and crunchy travels better.

Un-scented, no "wings" or adhesive sanitary napkins (knee and elbow pads) Pre printed address labels.


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Wow! Won't these be fun packages to fix up?


A couple more from a soldier who served in Desert Storm:

magazines...anything, car, gun, gardening, etc

safety pins

Vienna Sausages

socks, socks, socks

Bond's Gold Powder

Taco Bell sauce



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I was tickled yesterday. I found some Civil War Magazines at the Goodwill Store for 25 cents each. Nathaniel LOVES history. I'll send him a couple at a time then he can pass them around to others. By only spending money for postage for them, it doesn't matter what he does with them when he's finished with them.

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More ideas:


Cup a soups

or larger dry soup mixes,

canned meals like beef stew, chili's chicken and dumplings.. plus boxes of Zaterains beans and rice besides macaroni and cheese-

Instant coffee in plastic container

Dry Creamer in plastic bottle

Powdered gatorade

Tea Bags

Powered Lemonade Mix presweetened

Tuna in the pouches

Slim Jims

Home made cookies or Oreo's- to keep them fresh put a piece of bread in the cookie can along with the cookies. Try baking cookies that will fit snugly inside a Pringles can. If you make soft cookies it could help them to arrive without being completely smashed. Freshness could be an issue so be sure to wrap them up very securely with plastic wrap also

If you send store bought cookies like Oreos, something that cracks easy, take them out of their package and pack them loose in Plain popped popcorn. The popcorn takes the shock of traveling and the cookies get there in great shape

Small bags of potato chips and other snacks like c

heese doodles. ( they stay fresher longer)

Crackers and Graham Crackers

Lunchables- many of these don't have to be refridgerated.



Serving sized fruit and pudding cups with the pop off lids



Pop Tarts

Dry Cereals

Granola bars

Microwave popcorn

Fiddle Faddle and Cracker Jacks with the toys in them


Tylenol, or Aspirin

baby wipes for them to clean themselves when they can't get to the showers for two to howmany days..


batteries- get these in the dollar store

small flashlights

pens and paper along with some stamps

some disposable cameras- sometimes you can get these free online.




Toilet paper

Baby WIpes

Eye Drops


Soap like Ivory or Irish Spring

Funny as it may sound, Clorox wipes. Just in case the bathroom needs a little extra spot cleaning. Also useful for the bunk area.



Summer Sausage

Cheese that is shelf stable

dried fruits


maple syrup in plastic container

just add water pancake mix

Chef Boyardee products- serving sizes

crackers, crackers and more crackers... like cheese its


You can get alot of this stuff in the Dollar stores

Send out smaller packages instead of one big care package a couple of times a month if its possible.

Postage will be cheaper in the long run

Send US Stamps and envelopes too along with paper and pen for the fellows to write home.


Send vhs tapes of tv show comedys from home like " everybody loves raymond, My big fat greek life, and others. You can get tapes in the dollar stores also.



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My sister was told to remove waterless hand sanitizer because it contained alcohol in it...and a Christian CD...and a bookmark with "the footprint" story on it because it had a picture of Jesus on it. Imagine that...hmmmmm.

My sister says " the best thing to send is Prayers...cuz they can't stop those"


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  • 2 weeks later...
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I've been saving the first section of the newspaper and sending them to Nathaniel. The first section here has the information about the was that we get and Nathaniel loves all the "stuff".


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  • 4 years later...

When our son was at his MOB site they wanted powdered gatorade. Once they got to Iraq, everyone gets gatorade by the pallets, but if you get other powdered drink mixes they sometimes want that.

Depending where our son was depended on what we had to send. At one point their showers had been hit by a mortar, so they needed babywipes. Batteries were also in short supply, and bath washes. Coffee, foods they can throw in their rucks and take with them. My brother keep him in hot sauces and BBQ sauces. Anything to make the food tasted better.

Once they moved to a different site they had better access to the PX. You will find it depends on where they are.

Oh and underarmour t-shirts, socks, and underwear was something we set him up with also.

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  • 2 weeks later...

remember... it gets to be 140 degrees in the shade...the packages are shipped in those metal containers that sit in the sun... chocolate melts and soda or anything else under pressure explodes.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I try to only send things that will stand up to heat. I also try to send a variety until I really know what they want. I belong to a couple of groups that you adopt a soldier through, so sometimes I don't have a clue what they may want as you don't often hear back from them. Along with basic personal care and non-cook type foods, I also send paperbacks and magazines, paper, pens or pencils and envelopes that sort of thing. They need stuff for free time. We have even sent those magic erase boards and etcher sketch which have gone over good. Getting creative is a challenge as is packing as much as you can in one small box.


I do send foods that can be cooked, but unless I know someone has access to a heating source, I try to send things that they don't need to cook, well except for maybe things like coffee or hot chocolate. They can usually heat a little water. Gaterorade does get sent as well as those packets that you can use to flavor water such as lemonade or juice mix. You are right, they might get tired of gaterorade all of the time. Jerky also seems to be poplular, but not everyone likes the same jerky seasonings so it could be hit or miss.

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I heard Iraq's weather is much like Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado's.

If it's winter in those States, then it's winter weather in Iraq. That's how I determine what to send the soldiers I help.



(Warm woolen socks, knit hats, scarfs, only in DARK colors) hot cocoa or cider mixes, granola or energy bars, snacks that pack well for colder weather, but nothing sticky. Halloween and Christmas hard candies like- candy corns, taffy, candy canes and caramel corn. Basically anything to keep them warm inside and out.



Koolaid & gatorade were their favorites. Sunscreen wipes, powder for feet and body, energy bars, carnation instant breakfast, sweet tarts, gum, dried fruits and nuts and lemonheads candy.


I also send expired coupons to the military bases over seas. It helps the Soldier's spouse and family while they are shipped out.


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