Deployment Diaries: What to Send in a Care Package

After T deployed, care packaging got a little more serious. The things I was sending before were, in all honesty, more for my enjoyment than his. It was stuff that he could’ve easily went to Walmart and just got himself.  That’s not really the case anymore seeing that hes on a sub these days.

A lot of what you send and what they need depends on your sailor and what kind of craft they are on, what kinds of shifts they have and work they do. But I have learned from Taylor a few truths…

Candy is like currency. It can be traded and is universally enjoyed. But only send hard candies because soft ones melt and tend to stain clothes.

Caffeine is gold! Candy is great and all but with the long shifts they work, caffeine is where it’s at.

Baby wipes are used for cleaning when they don’t have time for showers or when something spills, etc. They go through lots of those.

Besides those essentials, my care packages are always geared towards him and what things you can’t really get in foreign countries and usually food based.  My packages will break down into the following categories:

Personal care:

I will usually only pick a few personal care items to include because I figure when he ports he can always re-stock those himself.  Any store with a mini travel items sections is perfect for scooping up deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, Kleenex, etc.  For example, for my Valentine’s Day package, I sent Shout wipes, Kleenex (with obnoxious cheesy sayings because I thought that was funny), a small tube of toothpaste and some deodorant.

Food!:

A majority of my care packages are food and caffeine based.  Taylor told me before he deployed that the food starts to dwindle and get nastier the more days that pass. For that, I will always send him good snacks. Sticking with my Valentine’s example, Lifesavers hard candy, propel water packets, pizza flavored Pringles and some granola bars made an appearance in this year’s package.

And last but not least, some fun things that I know he would enjoy:

 A card will always accompany any care package and then one or two things that I know would just make him happy. He got chocolate candy that has a Hops coating on them (he loves beer!) and this little Halo toy that I thought might make him smile as well as a CD I made with songs.  In previous packages, I have sent a pillowcase with my perfume on it, movies from a local resale shop, puzzles or games, anything that can lighten his mood a bit.

Some things I have learned NOT to send:

-Soft chocolate like Reese’s or a Hershey’s bar because they will melt!

-Anything you wouldn’t show your father. I haven’t tried this but just like in bootcamp, I wouldn’t send anything that I wouldn’t show my parents. So, keep your photos and sexual tendencies to yo’self.

Anything expensive or anything that can be easily damaged. Packages can sometimes take months to get to their destination and heaven only knows what those packages go through after they leave the post office.

Perfumes (or anything containing alcohol), lithium batteries, anything flammable, cigarettes, etc. The post office workers will not be pleased with that.

Think of how excited you get when there’s a package in the mail for you! It’s just as exciting, if not  more, for them. Send them often and send as much as you can.  A care package is a physical act of love that you can do to make sure your service member feels loved and is taken care of. There is nothing better than that.

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