Support the Military this Holiday Season with a Care Package

Published Date: December 12th, 2006
Category: Social Issues

By Kathryn Lively

Holidays away from loved ones are never easy, especially if a loved one is stationed overseas with his or her military unit. Deployment only adds another element of uncertainty we don’t want to consider. Recent years have seen thousands of our soldiers deployed to other parts of the world, missing Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas presents. Yet, while they work in a job that offers little opportunity for holiday vacations, we are able to remain safe stateside and enjoy the gifts our loved ones in the military give us daily – security and peace of mind.

Nothing warms a soldier’s heart more, of course, than to receive a gift from home. Whether it’s a letter or a small gift, just the simple act of jotting a note that says “I love you” brings a piece of family to an otherwise lonely place. Unfortunately, not everybody overseas is as fortunate to get such things from home. So why not strive to show appreciation for everyone who fights for us, that we may live in freedom? Why not give back to those who give selflessly for us and our country?

This year, add a soldier or sailor to your holiday gift list. You would be surprised to know how even a small care package will be appreciated by someone stationed in Iraq or elsewhere in the Middle East. In a place where one cannot simple pop over to the corner store for supplies, to receive a package mixed with practical items may be considered a luxury to some now. Just a few items one might want to consider giving include:

Hard candies and gum – Satisfy a soldier’s sweet tooth with a bag of peppermints or sour fruit jawbreakers. Chewing gum is not always in easy supply overseas, too, and such items won’t take up much room in a package. Avoid sending chocolates or anything else that may melt en route.

Drink mixes – Most fruit-punch and lemonade mixes are available in single serving envelopes. Send a box for a soldier’s water bottle, to make a refreshing treat.

Eye drops, lip balm, travel soaps – Especially if a soldier is stationed in a desert region, days and nights can be uncomfortable. Dry heat and sand irritate the eyes and chap the skin, so such items would be greatly appreciated.

Books – Occasionally, there is downtime, yet little to do. Mass market paperbacks – romance and mysteries, thrillers and fiction – are especially prized. If you are interested in just sending books overseas, you can arrange to ship through most booksellers.

Phone cards – Small, inexpensive, and very practical. One card gives the gift of conversation with family for a soldier. Especially on holidays, this is a very thoughtful gift that can bring a soldier closer to home.

Once you have decided what to send, you will need to know where and how to send your care package. Sending a military care package isn’t exactly the same as mailing within the country, as there are restrictions with regards to size and content when shipping to any APO/FPO address. A simple search on the Internet for “care packages for soldiers” will yield a wealth of information so that your package will arrive safely to a grateful soldier this holiday season.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writers for various websites, including The Computer Connection, offering 100% military financing for computers.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kathryn_Lively

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