Miss your Soldier, Airmen, Seaman, or Marine? Don't know what to send him/her? You're not alone! Let the men and women who have
experienced the trials and tribulations of deployment help you with your problem.
Go beyond just writing letters and include some of the items suggested below. It is sure to brighten up your soldier's day!
The following online merchants can ship pre-packaged care packages to APO and FPO addresses. If you want to create your own, get some ideas from
the checklist below. (Thanks to SoloOps.com for the care packages tips and suggestions.)
Click on "Rating" or "Merchant" to sort
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Indicates store owned by current or former military
- Instant coffee. There are many flavored coffees that are very good.
- Powdered Gatorade. Send along a jug too.
- Powdered hot chocolate
- Kool-Aid (pre-sweetened of course)
- Tea bags
- Slim Jim's
- Crackers and Easy (spray) Cheese. Triscuits and Ritz crackers are great.
- Single servings of bagged chips. (The small bags stay fresh longer.)
- Candy, of course. (M & M's are great, hard candy-anything that won't melt.)
- Little Debbie snack cakes
- Bubble gum
- Snack mixes- Chex Mix, Gardetto's
- Rice Krispie Treats
- Applesauce, pudding or fruit cups with the pop-off lids. Send a couple plastic spoons, too.
- Dry cereal. (The small, individual serving boxes stay very fresh.)
- Instant oatmeal or grits
- Pasta Anytime dinners
- Kraft Easy Mac
- Microwave popcorn
- Send board games-the ones they have made into key chains.
- Videotape their favorite shows on TV
- Send favorite magazines (his, not yours!)
- Get some white boxers and paint on handprints on the back and kisses all over.
- If they're gone over a holiday, do up one box with just holiday stuff. Be creative! Use streamers, confetti, balloons (not blown up), etc.
- Lots of disposable cameras. They can take pictures to send back to you!
- With a CD burner, make a CD of favorite songs.
- Always write letters, but in addition you might record your letters onto a tape.
- Send a few toys. Slinky, sidewalk chalk, squirt guns...anything extra silly.
- Send electronic games.
- Get a small baby food jar and fill it up with dirt from their backyard. You could also put sand from their favorite beach with a shell inside. It's oddly comforting.
- Make a miniature scrapbook. Go to the craft store and get a small scrapbook (about 5"x7"). Get a few supplies and go crazy! Do a theme book-"a day in our life" where you take pictures all in one day for the book.
- Blow up a balloon, but don't tie it. Holding it closed, use a permanent marker to write a saying or a short letter on the balloon. Deflate it and send with a note that says to blow it up.
- Books on tape are nice, or for an avid reader send small paperback books that they can give away when they are done.
- If they're gone over their birthday, send a birthday box with streamers, hats, noise makers, a birthday card, and a birthday cookie decorated with icing (refer to the Tips section on how to ship cookies!). Record yourself and the kids singing Happy Birthday.
- Foam footballs and basketballs, the miniature size. These will be used constantly!
- Very carefully open a box of Cracker Jacks and remove the prize. Put your own prize in the box (use the prize somewhere else in your care package.) Put in a little note or a bigger prize. Then carefully seal up the box so they don't see that you've tampered with it.
- Have the kids draw a picture or write a story every day. Put them all in a big envelope and send them with the care packages.
- Print a digital picture onto an iron-on transfer and adhere to a plain white t-shirt. He can wear a picture of those that heloves close to his heart.
- Take video of the kids playing at the park, any school activities or just sitting down and saying a personal message.
- Get some computer printer magnetic paper. Let the kids use paint markers to draw a picture on it so the parent can easily hang it on the metal rack that they sleep in.
- Let the kids do their very own care package. Let them put in whatever they want.
- Use a casting kit to create a miniature plaster "sculpture" of a new baby's foot or hand.
- Soap would always be apprecciated. Try the Patriotic soap at Sweet Soaps.com.
- Clorox wipes
- Baby wipes
- Razors, shaving cream
- Foot powder
- Shampoo, conditioner
- After shave lotion
- Soap or body wash
- Mouth wash
- Laundry Detergent, the kind you use at home
- Gel insoles
- T-shirts, underwear and socks, monthly.
- A big fluffy towel
- Eye drops, especially for those in the desert.
- Send batteries. It sounds simple, but people forget.
- A stress ball.
- Stamps, paper and envelopes with a nice writing pen might inspire a few more letters home.
- A padded mailing envelope, just in case they need to send home something they bought in port for you.
- Phone card (Try www.bigzoo.com for great rates!)
- Send at least a few very steamy letters. You can even go online and read sexy stories for inspiration, or copy them right into your letter!
- Wives or girlfriends can send sexy panties. Just be sure to put them in an envelope marked "private" so he won't open them in a common area and get embarrassed.
- If you use a particular scented lotion or if your perfume has a lotion that goes with it, put some in a travel lotion bottle so they'll always be able to have you close.
- Try sending him a motivational pair of panties from Solo-Ops' Wives Gear Store.
- If your special one is a reader, send a paperback book or magazine with love notes tucked inside at different places inside. They'll love finding the treasures as they read.
Oconus.com would like to thank Solo-Ops for their help in creating this page.
Solo-Ops is a group of military wives whose goal is to provide other military wives with the support and information not traditionally offered by the military. They offer numerous suggestions on their website and items to purchase in their Wives Gear Store,
including guides on how to survive deployment. Please stop by and see what they have to offer at www.soloops.com.