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For The Spouse
Submitted by: Raelyn3o in our care package forum
For our 1year anniversary I sent my Soldier a carepackage filled with things to celebrate the last year and bring back some good memories. I put in a small grow your own toy fish tank, a yoyo in the shape of a tire, marbles, gummy worms, a mini pool table and bowling toy, silly string, crazy straws, a golf ball, and tons of other things including a survival strap with a dog tag attached. I wrote a 6 pages letter explaining everything in the box and what it met to us. I wrapped things in tissue paper and gift wrap inside the box to make it look more festive. He loved it. I was a little worried that he'd think it was a little cheesy but, he has a lot of the stuff sitting on his desk and had told me at least a dozen times how much he loves it. He says it's the most thought, well thought out, kindest gift he's ever gotten from anyone. I had so much fun picking all the things out. Btw survivalstraps are awesome. All
the guys in his unit want one now. It's acu pattern and no one had a problem with him wearing it on duty. I loved making this carepackage and couldn't wait til he got it!!
Submitted by: AmberDawn0703 in our care package forum
His fav thing i sent him was a build a bear monkey that had my voice saying i love you baby forever and ever! monkeys are his fav animal, and its always nice to hear the voice of the one you love before you fall asleep, so its like im there telling him i love him!
Before your soldier leaves, write a few short love notes or inspiring quotes on a small piece of paper. Then take the different notes and hide them in various pockets on their uniform, in their packed gear or in random pockets on their back packs. This way as they use their gear and uniforms they will stumble upon the notes one by one. After they find the first one they will be excited to look for more!
Keep a notebook by your bed a night with a pen for when you get those early morning phone calls. This way you will be able to write down anything you need to remember! For example, when your soldier asks for a new set of socks, you'll be sure they make it into the very next care package you send out. In this notebook, also write down each care package you send out, along with the date you sent it and your soldier received it. Write down all of the contents so you know that every items was received. By the time your soldier is home this notebook will become a keep sake of their deployment!
Create a fun calendar for your soldier. Your soldier will have 12 new photos of home, plus you can mark important dates on the calendar so your soldier will still be apart of the events and know whats going on back home!
Have your soldiers friends and family write a collection of letters. Then you can collect the letters and bind them together into a notebook so your soldier has a whole book of letters from their friends and family from home. They will be so happy to hear from everyone and even more happy to know that everything is thinking of them while they are away serving their country.
Always send your love letters with some extra love and a reminder of you. Spray the letter and envelope with a favorite perfume or cologne. If you use a specific air freshener in your home, send a bottle of it to your soldier so that they can spray it in their tent so it will always smell like home!
Make a video of yourself telling your spouse about your day or how much you love them and miss them. Just being able to see you and hear your voice will make their day. Plus, they will be able to play the video over and over again whenever they want!
Cut out articles from magazines that remind you of your spouse and send them out to your soldier. The funnier the better! Add your own comments as well.
Get a little jar and fill it with small strips of paper. On each strip of paper, write something that you love about your spouse. It can be serious or silly. For example: "You are my favorite pillow" or "I love your soft touch". Make enough to fill the jar and fold them up. Tell your spouse to take one out whenever they're feeling down.
In your letters, create your own top 10 lists. For example, The Top 10 things you cant wait to do when your soldier arrives home!
If you get the chance to talk with your spouse on the web cam when they are feeling home sick, and you have a lap top, take them on a virtual tour of the house and let the pets "talk" to them, if you have pets.
For The Children
Have your children keep a special deployment box while their mom or dad is deployed. Have the children decorate this box however they would like. Then each time the child receives something or makes something that they want to share with their mom or dad they can put it in the box and keep it safe until they come home. (For example, tests, report cards, art projects, special awards)
Make a deployment chain! Instead of making a chain where you rip a piece off each day (because we all know deployments can get extended) have the child write down something special that happened each day their parent was away. The great part is this also doubles as a journal and welcome home decoration! A lot of times when communication is limited, the family only worries about the big issues that need to be taken care of, with the chain, all the fun things can be remembered and enjoyed when your soldier returns!
Have your spouse use their AKO account to send video messages instead of a regular typed email. If you have a web cam, kids can record a video telling their parent all about their day and all the exciting things that are going on in their lives and then send it to them via email. This helps if you’re not always able to talk through a web cam.
Have your children create crossword puzzles or word searches to send to their parent over seas. Not only will it keep the kids busy by creating something for their mom or dad but it will also entertain your soldier once they get the package!
For The Family
Submitted by: EmpressOpehelia in our care package forum
Company Sponsorship - Submitted by mom2chinco on our forum
Internet access for our soldiers can become costly when deployed overseas. To help your soldier out, get family members to sponsor a month of internet access for your soldier! By doing this you take some of the financial stress of your soldier and enable them to have much more access to communicate with loved ones at home.
Whenever there is a family gathering, set up a video camera so that video messages can be recorded and sent to your soldier. If you don't have a video camera, get a card that can be passed around to everyone. This way everyone will be able to write their own message and sign the card. Sometimes scheduling a video chat can be hard, but if its possible to plan ahead, its always a great idea to coordinate the video chat with a family gathering. Spouses usually know a soldiers schedule best so when you are looking to plan an event, check with the spouse for the best times to get everyone together!
For fun, give your care package to your soldier a title. For example, Operation: and then whatever the theme is. A good one to do would be Operation: Entertain My Soldier. Or another example would be Operation: Warmth and send them items like extra gloves, long johns and hot hands and feet. It adds something extra personal to the package, in addition to any letters that may already be in there!
Get a favorite family picture or a fun picture of your soldier's pets. Then have the picture made into a puzzle that your soldier can put together. This could also be something that your soldier could do with a picture of themselves and they can send it home to their family to put together. To save this puzzle as a keepsake, simply frame the puzzle in a picture frame and hang it on the wall.
For The Friends
Submitted by: Lynette in our care package forum
I bought a notebook, cut out jokes, comics, silly news articles ( man throws brick at liquor window and it bounced back to hit him in the head. ) and pictures of the family, friends and pets. when the book was full, i sent it out. It became such a hit, that all my deployed friends want one.
~*Lyn*~When you have parties and everyone wishes your buddy or BFF could be there, find someone who has a digital video camera. Assign one person to walk around and record messages for your soldier over seas. This way your soldier will know they were not forgotten and they will definitely know just how much they were missed at the gathering.
Common Items Requested By Soldiers