Great Ideas For U.S. Soldiers Care Packages



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Most of these ideas came from listening to the radio program “Ryan & Gretchen” in the morning on Q108 (107.9 FM in Nashville). When I tuned in, they were compiling this growing list of items “live” on the air — with listeners (servicemen and women, as well as their spouses & friends) calling in and adding their own ideas for military care packages.

One of the coolest things to me was the fact that they had an in-studio guest who had served TDY in the U.S. military providing feedback about:

  • The types of items that American soldiers need most
  • Which items are the easiest for male and female soldiers to utilize
  • Items that might sound like a great idea, but for one reason or another are not wise to send to soldiers

It was great to hear the point-of-view from someone who has been there, done that!

Best Items To Include In Military Care Packages

Following are the best items recommended for military care packages.

I’ve included most of the items from Gretchen and Ryan’s list, along with several of my own after I did a good bit of research to see what servicemen and women really wanted…

Deodorant
Shower to Shower body powder
Jelly beans
Disposable camera
Rice Krispie treats
Altoids or mints
Beef jerky
Snack mixes
Sunflower seeds
Chewing gum
Nuts
Long-distance phone cards
Little Debbie’s snacks
Ziploc bags (for keeping things airtight, watertight, and fresher)
Coffee
Gatorade
Jaw breakers
Poker game
Playing cards
Dice
Music CDs
Toothbrushes & toothpaste
Inflatable pillow
Cookies or muffins in individual packages (Big bags often fill with dust if not eaten right away.)
Dominoes
Canned food items
Footbag/hacky-sac
Spices (crushed red pepper), salt, pepper
Smoked oysters and sardines
Squeeze butter
Pringles chips
Individually-wrapped licorice
Microwave popcorn
DVD movies
Ramen noodles
Macaroni & cheese
Disposable shower towels
Olives, pickles, peppers (Be sure to add lots and lots of bubble wrap around these items.)
Cereal bars/granola bars
Microwave pasta that doesn’t need refrigeration
Bed pillows
(these were a hit with my nephew!)
Hot cocoa mix
Soup mix
M&M’s (plain or peanut)
Newspapers
Magazines (these don’t have to be brand new)
Koozies to keep water
bottles and cans cool
AA batteries
D size batteries
Air fresheners (…like stick-ups, F’breeze. My personal favorite is Citrus Magic in the pure linen scent.)
Canned air to blow dust out of electronics
Stress relief squeeze balls
Sewing kit
Baby wipes
Board games
Shoe laces for gym shoes and boots
Brown t-shirts
Boot socks
Underwear
Hand warmers
Inflatable seat cushions
Razors
Juice boxes and drink pouches
Ink pens
Notepads of paper
Word Puzzle books
Air activated heat wraps for sore muscles
Foot massager
Icy hot patches
Microwaveable plates, bowls, paper plates
Foot powder
Vitamins
Paperback books
Gift baskets filled with lots of useful items and packaged as a present
Video games (Nintendo Wii, Playstation, Xbox)

A Few More Unique Ideas

Now, for a few really unique ideas that I put together after talking with my nephew who is a U.S. Marine.

These are things that most people don’t already have, and you can bet they would be a welcomed diversion:

Care Packages For Military Dogs

Did you know that military working dogs can receive care packages too? They can!

Here are some examples of dog-based businesses that have sent dog care packages to military working dogs:

If you own a business that makes dog-friendly items, what a great idea this would be for a charitable donation!

But you don’t have to own a business to gather some goodies and ship them off to canine soldiers as a gift.

Here’s how to send a care package to a military dog overseas.

Wondering what to include in your military canine care package? These are the best lists of dog-friendly items needed:

 

Our Other Fun Ideas For The Troops

 

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Lynnette

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I'm truly passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).

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