Thursday, August 15, 2013

Packages From Home

A bunch of my guys are deployed again, so I've spent a considerable amount of time boxing up care packages and waiting on line at the post office with the dreaded 5-part Customs Form in my hand. But I've gotten some really interesting requests from the guys this time around so I thought I'd share some, in case you need an idea of what to send to the deployed troop on your list.

Canned Sardines and Ritz Crackers - apparently the sardines in mustard sauce or Louisiana hot
sauce are preferred over the ones packed in oil. Who knew? I just cleaned out my local Dollar Tree and sent out 20 cans.

Puzzles - to fight the boredom in their few off hours. I found I can ship direct from and are eligible for Free Super Saver Shipping, however, they're not cheap on Amazon so if you find them somewhere for a couple of dollars in a store, it would be worth shipping them yourself. The poor guy was doing a puzzle of a kitten because that's all that was there, so I sent him some more manly subjects.

Rubber Clogs - to walk over the rocky terrain from their quarters to the showers.

Computer Brush - the dust in his computer keyboard is driving this one particularly fastidious Marine insane.

Plastic Plate/Bowl - apparently the chow hall has styrofoam plates which melt in the microwave when they heat up something in their office to eat.

Beef Jerky - pretty self explanatory. This also will drop ship direct from Amazon, though it probably costs less to buy it at Walmart and ship yourself.

Canned Nuts - my guy likes the Wasabi Soy flavored almonds. I shipped them direct from Amazon.

Night light - they're living in CLUs (containerized living units) which they affectionally refer to as "cans", but there are no windows, and at night with the lights off, there's no light in them at all. I just sent a nightlight for if one of them has to get up in the middle of the night they can see without tripping.

Books - there are females on base so I sent some of my own romance paperbacks. But I'm sure all books and genres are appreciated for the MWR shelves.

Xmas decor - one guy put this request in early, he wants wrapping paper or one of those packaged door coverings to wrap the outside door of his CLU for Christmas. I already ordered him his favorite Christmas movie DVD because he forgot to bring his copy from home and I knew he'd miss having it there.

Cards/Letters - they didn't request these specifically but I send them occasionally anyway because it breaks my heart to hear them say they got nothing at mail call.

That's my list so far. I'm sure over the coming months even more interesting requests will come through but that's why I love these guys--you never know what to expect from them.

Note: For those looking for names and addresses of troops to support, I met these guys through and also through (and their sister site ). There are other organizations, but these are the two I've personally worked with. :)

Cat Johnson


  1. Thanks for sharing these sites and opportunities to support our troops. My Hubby loved getting cards from caring folks, back in the day. The right items (as discussed on each site) are really appreciated!

  2. Thanks for sharing this! My husband and I are always looking for ways to support our troops. I'd love to get our whole family involved in something like this, so thanks for sharing the links too!

  3. Not that it is particularly hard to do, but you made me cry. I can't tell you how much I love that you do this. I've had friends spend years overseas and I know how much the little things can help. I'm going to look into these organizations and see what I might be able to do to help. I'm too patriotic for my own good and the troops always get to me. :)


  4. When my cousins 2 sons were in Iraq we sent them a bingo game, and bought extra books of tickets for them to play with they loved it, instead of playing for money they would have a packet of cookies, or a magazine or shower gel. When my friend was in Afghanstan as a nurse she had us send out colouring books and pencils, for bored patients in bed