Up next in How to Support Our Troops (6 videos)
Show your support for our men and women overseas with the suggestions in these videos.
You Will Need
- A computer with internet access
- An assortment of gifts
- Packing materials
- Postal documentation
Select a service member
Pick a service member to send a package to. Sending to someone you know is great, but you can also use sites like anysoldier.com to ship a box to someone you've never met.
Choose a theme
Choose a category. It's best to pick one kind of item ¬¬– food, toiletries, or gadgets – and stick with it. No one wants to eat trail mix that's shared an enclosed space with deodorant.
Pick food items
For a food-themed box, pick non-perishable goods like powdered drinks, chips, dried fruits, protein bars, mints, pretzels, nuts, hard candy, small packages of popular crackers or cookies, ramen, tea, instant hot chocolate and coffee (as well as other instant foods), snack mix, and cereal.
Troops need toiletries, too. The basics are great, but also consider lip balm, pain relievers, adhesive bandages, cushioned insoles, powder, razors, and packets of unscented baby wipes. Only send non-pressurized travel size toiletries, and try to send requested brands.
Go for games and gadgets
Disposable cameras, AA and C batteries, playing cards, puzzles, CDs or DVDs, phone cards, board games, Frisbees, and flashlights, as well as all kinds of reading and writing materials, are in high demand. Don’t bother sending expensive gifts that could break easily.
Choose other useful supplies
They may not be the first things that come to mind, but supplies like duct tape, baggies, sunglasses, journals, and bug spray are also good choices.
Pack it up
Use a sturdy cardboard box, and get packing material to fill in the empty space. Double-tape the edges, and wrap any items that might leak in plastic bags. If you'd like a response, enclose a brief note including your home address and email.
Since you’re likely shipping to a dangerous area, the postal service has strict requirements. Label your package clearly and correctly, and get postal form 2976-A and customs documentation. If you're at all confused, visit "usps.com":http://usps.com or contact your local post office for full instructions.