Care-package Suggested Items:)

A care-package consists of items that are designed to bring a smile to a military service member– we consider it a hug from home. The following list is just a suggestion, all items are greatly appreciated.

Post cards, letters, pictures from you, thanking the troops for their dedication and service

Telephone Calling cards

DVDs Movies, CD Music

Hand-held video games

Sports items (soccer balls, footballs, baseballs..) Water balloons..

Clothing: new socks, new tee-shirts (white) Men/Women’s size M-XL, Warm woolen socks, long johns, warm ‘skull’ caps..


HAND AND FOOT WARMER INSERTS (as used in construction and hunting)





multi-outlet power cords

Play Stations, X-boxes and games


Beef Jerky, Slim Jims, nuts, raisins, seeds-sunflower, pumpkin, dried/instant soups, Ramen Soup cups, instant oatmeal packages/cups, peanut butter.. canned tuna/chicken, Crackers, cookies, chips, pretzels, granola bars, Little Debbie Snacks..

Tabasco sauce, salad dressing, salt/pepper, canned ravioli, canned Dintey Moore Stew, Easy Mac and Cheese…

SMOAS- Marshmellows, Chocolate Bars, Gram Crackers

Candy-hard, chewy, sweet, sour, gum, lolly-pops, licorice…, chewing gum, gummy bears…

Gater-aid, ice-tea, Crystal-lite powdered drink mixes, Lemon-aid mix, Koolaid sugared mix, Sealed can Coffee, tea, honey, hot chocolate…


Vitamins, tylenol, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, shaving cream, razors, after shave, deodorant, shampoo, body wash, lotions, foot powder, new sealed nail clippers, brushes, combs, Q-tips, Toilet paper, Baby wipes and hand sanitizers, Eye Drops, Sanitary products for female service members, hair scrunchies, emery boards, sunscreen, bug repellent..

Batteries, disposable cameras, magazines, books, puzzle books, puzzles, boardgames, art supplies, holiday decorations, fleece blankets (new), twin size flat sheet (new)… FLANNEL PILLOW CASES AND SHEETS

For the Emergency Medical Facilities and Hospitals:

Get well cards, new socks (black, white), new boxers, new t-shirts, sweat shirts, sweat pants (Men’s M-XL)

Sincerest thanks to all who have helped to send hugs from home.

Here is a list of ideas/themes-we’ve been sending out weekly:)

1. Nacho, corn chips, Velveeta Cheese bar, canned chilly, green chilly/tomatoes, hot sauces… microwaveable bowl, Spanish rice package (microwave), chocolate chip cookies…

2. Breakfast food-cereals, granola bars, pudding, bagels, peanut butter, coffee, donuts, oatmeal cookies, instant oatmeal…, Little Debbie Snacks…

3. Soup box–Variety of packaged/canned soup, instant Ramen soup in Styrofoam cup, oyster, saltine and Ritz crackers, brownies…

4. Cookie Box-(I made 4 different types for my son to share) — Hello Dolly, Groundhog’s Day (Gingersnaps-with current eyes:), sugar, peanut butter, cappuccino, hot chocolate mix… (when mailing out to some one who might not know you personally–it’s best to send sealed packaged cookies)…and order some girl scout cookies to send too–they are really a big hit:), coffee…

5. Chinese food-Fortune cookies, Chinese noodles, Chop Suey-canned……..

6. Valentine’s Day–chocolate, candy, cookies, cakes, donuts….

7. President’s day–cherry pies, coffee…..

8. Sandwich box–tuna fish, salmon (canned/packaged), mayonnaise, mustard, peanut butter, jam, Velveeta Cheese…….

9. Spring-Hot cross buns, scones, Irish soda bread, “Lucky Charms” cereal, “Irish Spring” soap, deodorant, potato soup-canned/packaged, Oats and honey granola bars, green starlight mints, green (gum drop)spearmint leaves, green tea and Lots of Irish blessings:)

May the good saints protect you
And bless you today
And may troubles ignore you
Each step of the way

10. Easter-plastic eggs, chocolate bunnies, chocolate mini candies, jelly beans–lots-don’t open the bags.., baskets—“Some bunny loves you:)”

11. Health food (especially after all the jelly beans:)–roasted soy beans, beef jerky (high in protein-like the soy beans), dried fruits, Cliff bars–granola bars, vitamins-sealed, protein mixes, Oval teen, jars/cans of nuts (almond, cashew, peanuts, mixed nuts…..) Fruit leather…… powdered Gatorade mixes…….

Try alternating a food/snack box loaded with yummy edibles…with a health/hygiene box full of things to maintain health and personal comfort.

8 Responses to “Care-package Suggested Items:)”

  1. olotliny Says:

    We’ve posted a picture of a MRE in our Photos. Please know that some people with a sense of humor call them: Meals Rejected by Ethiopians:) -no disrespect intended.
    Although they are “sustaining” their taste, texture, smell and visual appeal:) (the breads, cookies, brownies- ‘looks like a truck ran it over:) sometimes everything smells of TABASCO sauce:) leave little wonder of why our men/women greatly appreciate any tastes from home.

  2. olotliny Says:

    Below is a link to about the use of Silly String:,13319,120136,00.html?

  3. olotliny Says:
    by, Russ Vaughn
    It’s been almost forty years since I got my last Care Package – a case of twenty-four #2½ cans of sliced peaches from my father. Memory fails me now, but I don’t believe I ever asked before he died what it cost to mail that monster, but it must have been a pretty hefty hit in the wallet to a lifelong blue-collar worker. I had happened to mention in one of my rare letters home from Vietnam that canned, sliced peaches were my favorite item in our C Rations even if they were twenty years old. We could date them because the small cigarette packs enclosed with the rations were frequently Lucky Strikes in the old green packages that were phased out in the forties.

    In any event, at mail call back in the rear area, the company clerk yells out, “Sergeant Vaughn! Care package!” and I responded with a somewhat surprised “Yo!” Stepping front and center I stared with momentary incomprehension at the large, heavily taped and badly battered, cardboard box at the clerk’s feet. He made no move to pick it up and hand it to me; he just grinned and said, “That heavy sucker’s all yours from here on, Sarge.” As I bent to pick it up, I noticed the silvery glint of the top of a can and a bit of green label through one of the torn corners and awareness dawned: son of a gun, my Old Man had come through for me! In spades!

    The box was indeed heavy but it was a welcome burden for a twenty-five year old paratrooper in the best shape of his life; a few months of conducting patrols and operations in the mountains, jungles and paddies of Vietnam had made me a “lean, mean, Airborne trooper.” When I got it back to my hooch, I cut the top from the box with my jump knife and gazed in awe at twenty-four, count ’em, twenty-four cans, number two and a half cans at that, great big ol’ cans of Del Monte sliced peaches. At that moment, I had to be the peaches king of Vietnam. Man, this was even better than the case of Tootsie Rolls my sister had mailed a couple of months earlier.

    My unit was on stand down in the rear area at Tuy Hoa air base for a few days and for those few days, I felt indeed like the peaches king of Vietnam. I handed out peaches to my fellow troopers, sharing my good fortune with my brothers, as was our custom. But I must confess I squirreled away several cans for leaner times. I was constantly peppered with, “Hey, Sarge, you got any more a’ them peaches?” And by occasionally producing a can, I kept that particular query alive for more than a couple of weeks.

    I’d forgotten all that until today. Today, Sergeant Vaughn got a care package from a sweet woman in Oregon named Claudia, a military widow, self-described as “deaf as a door knob.” Claudia, it seems, had read a poem sent to her by her brother, an Army retiree, a former paratrooper in my old division, the 101st Airborne, who correctly surmised she might share the author’s sentiments. The poem is entitled FIGHTIN’ WORDS and I am that author. I had cobbled it together in angry response to the mainstream media’s carping, hypercritical response to a widely broadcast incident in Fallujah, where a reporter had videotaped a young Marine administering a coup de grace to a terrorist. The poem happened to catch the mood of many Americans and was widely disseminated via the Internet and even read on a nationally broadcast talk radio show.

    Exhibiting the martial spirit befitting the widow of a career soldier, Claudia decided to do something for the trooper who had written the poem. Those who read my rants on a regular basis are aware that any time I write on a military topic, I sign my work with my military credentials to establish my bonafides to render my opinions on warfare and ground combat. Claudia, seeing my unit designation, somehow missed the Vietnam 65-66 in the last line and assumed a young soldier in Iraq had written the poem. So she set about to send a box of goodies to him as reward.

    Once she had it all assembled and packaged, she took it to the post office, but they refused to accept it without an APO. She called the Army recruiter in Coos Bay who graciously called Ft. Bragg, home of the 82d Airborne, the last remaining paratrooper division, and my last duty post in 1967. Nope, Staff Sergeant Vaughn’s not here, try Ft. Campbell, that’s the 101st’s home base. There she was told they could not give out soldiers’ APO addresses for security reasons.

    Frustrated, Claudia called her ex-paratrooper brother who contacted some of the men he had served with at Ft. Campbell, which had, in fact, been my primary duty station, although forty years earlier. From someone he learned that I was no longer in the service and there was no forwarding address. Now the motto of the Airborne is “All the way,” meaning you never give up; you never stop moving forward until the mission is completed. Well, Claudia’s brother, even at seventy-five, is still a paratrooper. Somehow, someway, he kept hard charging until he found me and sent Claudia my address. He sensibly advised her to forget about the care package and just send me a card.

    Nope, not this determined widow; the box arrived today, and after my initial stunned surprise, left me with a pleasant quandary. I don’t know whether to eat all that good stuff or close it back up and forward it to some young trooper with the 82d Airborne, now serving in Iraq. I sure don’t need all those calories but, dang, I never got a care package from a non-family member; they didn’t do much of that in my unpopular war. So I guess I’ll sleep on it. Or maybe I’ll have a late-night snack. Is this a great country or what?

    Thanks, Claudia, I think you would have made one hell of a paratrooper.

    Russ Vaughn
    2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
    101st Airborne Division
    Vietnam 65-66

    This article is from “Jug Varner’s Keeping Apace” web site:

    Thanks Commander Richard Woltman for the link to a wonderful site full of information, humor and wisdom.

  4. Hugo Duque Says:

    where do we send these care-packages, we need the address. I want to send stuff to as many G.Is as I can. I was in the Army many good years ago, Viet Nam vet. Please let me know.

  5. olotliny Says:

    Dear Hugo,
    Thank you for your commitment, service and dedication in the past, present and future. Here are some email connections/links to some organizations that send out packages to the deployed service men and women.

    Adopt a Soldier Now:

    Any Soldier(Marine/Sailor/Coastie/Airmen):

    Operation Gratitude:

    Operation Homefront:

    Operation Shoebox:

    Soldiers’ Angels:

    America Supports You:

  6. olotliny Says:

    The Ladies Auxiliary has adopted a U.S. Army Unit that is deployed to Iraq. (Donna’s son Ryan is one of the soliders.) They are currently fundraising to buy and send comfort items to the troops. They have 120 soldiers that they are going to send the comfort bags to on a regular basis for the next 15 months while they are in Iraq. If you would like to donate any care package items or money (to help mail the items to them), please contact:

    American Legion Ladies Auxiliary,
    Smith-Wever Post #651
    23 Foster Ave
    Sayville, NY 11782

    E Mail:

  7. olotliny Says:

    From East End Detachment 642:
    (Thank you for sending a bit of good news on this–I’m glad they are offering a bigger box.)

    Postal Service offers first-time military discount by Debora Preitkis U.S. Postal Service
    2/7/2008 – WASHINGTON, DC (AFPN) — Planning to send a care package to a
    military service member serving abroad? Send it after March 3 to take
    advantage of a new flat-rate box from the Postal Service that is 50
    percent larger and delivered for $10.95 to an APO/FPO address — $2 less
    than for domestic destinations.
    “This is the first time the Postal Service has offered a special price
    for our armed forces serving overseas,” said Postmaster Gen. John
    Potter. “We’re proud that family and friends will be able to use this
    new larger-sized box to send much appreciated packages from home to our
    dedicated troops overseas.”

    The new priority mail large flat-rate box (12″ x 12″ x 5-1/2″ or 800
    cubic inches) will be available in post offices nationwide beginning
    March 3, but customers can begin ordering them Feb. 20 at or by calling 800-610-8734. Some of the new boxes are
    co-branded with the logo of “America Supports You,” which is a
    Department of Defense program that connects citizens offering support to
    the military and their families.

    “It’s terrific that the Postal Service continues to think of ways to
    help Americans support our troops and their families. Postage is always
    a concern when shipping care packages, and this new flat-rate box means
    our home front groups and supportive citizens can do more with their
    resources,” said Allison Barber, the deputy assistant secretary of
    Defense. “We’re especially pleased that some of the boxes will bear the
    America Supports You logo reminding our service members that they have
    our nation’s support.”

    The $2 discount is applied when the priority mail large flat-rate boxes
    are shipped to an APO/FPO destination. The two existing flat-rate boxes
    (11-7/8″ x 3-3/8″ x 13-5/8″ and 11″ x 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″), which currently
    retail for $8.95 for U.S. addresses, are not available for the military
    discount. All flat-rate boxes can be used for international shipping.

    The new flat-rate boxes will be available in Post Offices starting March
    3. The America Supports You branded box will be available online, at
    select post offices near military bases, or by calling 800-610-8734.

    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE

  8. olotliny Says:
    Thanks, America, for All the Support You Give Our Troops
    By Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen
    American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2008 – Late last month my wife, Deborah, and I christened a Navy destroyer in Pascagoula, Miss. As we watched the champagne bottle break across the bow of this sleek new warship, some 25 miles away in the Alabama town of Irvington, more than 100 well-wishers gathered for a christening of their own.

    They were breaking ground on a new house for former U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Greg Edwards and his family. Edwards, 25, lost both legs and shattered his left hand in an explosion while on patrol in Ramadi last October. Now, thanks to the Taunton, Mass.-based nonprofit organization Homes for Our Troops, Edwards, his wife, and their two young daughters will soon have a new place to call home.

    “I’m excited and appreciative for all that’s been done for me,” said Edwards. Modest though he is, Edwards might well have been speaking for the tens of thousands of his fellow service members who have likewise benefited from the generosity of this nation.

    The truth is, Americans deserve a lot more credit for supporting the troops than they often get. It goes well beyond the ribbons and the posters. All over this country – in all sorts of ways – people are rolling up their sleeves and doing great things for the men and women who serve in the armed forces.

    During this National Tribute to Hospitalized Veterans Week, I thought it would be a good idea to point some of these things out. There’s the National Military Family Association (NMFA), for example. They instituted something called Operation Purple Camps, day camps especially designed for the children of deployed parents. Last year there were 34 camps in 26 states, designed to provide positive outlets for the kids to express their feelings. More than 9,000 military children applied last year, and this year, NMFA plans to have even more camps to meet that need.

    Or how about the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, begun in 2000 under the auspices of the Intrepid Museum Foundation. Since its inception, the fund has provided close to $60 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to the nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans. Organizers are proud to tell you these efforts are funded entirely through public donations, and hundreds of thousands of people have chipped in.

    Or consider the Angels of Mercy, a group led by Marian Chirichella and her husband, Jay Edwards, a retired naval officer. Chirichella and Edwards started Angels of Mercy back in 2003 to provide supplemental support to troops recuperating at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC. They visit patients, see to the needs of families, raise money, and support the Fisher Houses as well – doing whatever they can to make the stay at Walter Reed more comfortable.

    This good work has earned Angels of Mercy national awards and recognition, including a 2004 “Newman’s Own” award as the best program in the nation for “Supporting Active Duty Military and Their Families.”

    But that’s not why they do it.

    “It’s a human thing,” Jay Edwards told a reporter. “It’s gratifying to know you’re helping, to see the results of what you do.”

    Many other Americans do that “human thing,” too, reaching out on an individual basis. Shauna Fleming of Orange, Calif., founded “A Million Thanks.” She worked with her school and community to ensure that all 2.6 million members of the military received a thank you letter from citizens across the country. Lizzy Lulu, a young girl from Lancaster, Calif., together with her mother, launched a campaign to collect more than 100,000 “AA” batteries to send to overseas troops.

    And in Nevada, the Girl Scouts of Frontier Council donated 11,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Indeed, over the holidays, our troops received everything from Christmas trees to holiday care packages to a special compilation CD featuring music from Five For Fighting, Billy Joel, Josh Groban, Brooks & Dunn, and Gary Sinise & The LT Dan Band.

    For our part, Deborah and I were delighted to host this year’s USO Holiday Tour, which brought A-list celebrities Robin Williams, Kid Rock, Lance Armstrong, Lewis Black, Ronan Tynan and Miss USA to perform shows in Iraq, Afghanistan and five other countries.

    And these are but a few examples. The boxes, bags, cookies and cards just keep coming. I used to get asked all the time by deployed men and women if Americans still support them. It was typically the first thing on their minds. Nowadays, it doesn’t come up as much.

    More and more of them seem to know you care. They know you don’t have to send gift packages and greeting cards, or donate to the USO, visit hospitals or look in on their families. But they know you do all these things and more. And they know most of the time you never tell a soul.

    As one soldier wrote in a letter to the people of Midland, Texas, after he received one of more than 1,400 holiday care packages that city sent overseas, “Sometimes it seems as though a lot of people don’t care about what we do for our country. These past few months have shown me that people are supportive and understand the hardships soldiers go through.”

    Like the Angels of Mercy, you’re not in it for the credit. You’re in it for the troops. The Rev. Floyd Nelson, who pastors a church not far from where Sgt. Edward’s house is being built in Alabama, put it this way: “We should look out for those who look out for us.”

    On behalf of all those soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – as well as their families – I just want to say thanks. We feel exactly the same way.

    (Mullen is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)

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