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Would appreciate help from OEF veterans


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Hello everyone.

 

I've had the idea of making and sending a care package overseas to a soldier for a while, but have not really gotten to it yet. I just though that why not honor the veterans of the present since I am always interested in the veterans of the past? Well, I've gathered some stuff over a year and have sold off some pieces of my collection and believe I will be ready to send off a small package soon. Theres a website called Anysoldier. com that I visit sometimes, so I know a tad bit on what our GIs need; however, since I know there is a number of OEF veterans here on the forum- I just thought some of you can maybe give me some input regarding if the contents of my package would have been something you wanted or would have used overseas. Moderators- if this does not fit here, please move this into the correct category (I could not find the misc. section of the misc. category).

 

What I have:

 

-1 Large Cottonelle "On-the-go" pack of wet wiped

-4 Small Cottonelle Travel packs of wet wiped

-1 role of Scotch grey duct tape

-3 bars of original Irish Spring Soap

-3 small boxes of Wyler's "Singles on the go" pouches (sugar free water mixes)

-1 box of Arm and Hammer baking soda

-2 Carmex lip balm tubes

-1 set of 6 small tea lights from Walgreens (maybe could be used for a birthday party?)

-2 packaged pencil sharpeners

-1 pack of 3 erasers

-1 small first aid pocket pack

-1 pack of G-2 ball point pens

-2 sealed nail clippers

-1 pack of Ticonderoga pencils (24)

-2 Composition note books

-1 pack of looseleaf paper

-1 flismy college bound notebook

 

What I was planning to buy...

 

-2 more tubes of toothpaste

-1 pack of a few tooth brushes

-a Time's magazine

-1 pack of Koolaid singles pouches

-some bottles of hand sanitizer

-some hand towels

- a body scrub

 

I read through a number of posts by soldiers who say they would appreciate anything that is sent to them, but my question is- do they honestly appreciate ANYTHING? Again, I would appreciate any help.

 

Thank you,

 

-Artur

 

Edit: Arm and Hammer baking soda toothpaste

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I am sorry if my post seemed a little inconsiderate of OIF veterans, I would be also GRATEFUL to hear your input. It's just that from what I understand, Afghanistan and Iraq are two distinctly different entities that have their own unique climates and futhermore- providing distinctly different problems for our serviceman.

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I don't see anything that would necessarily get thrown out. When you get a package like this, you take what you want or can use and then pass it on to others. There is already so much driink mix that it is not really necessary. The baking soda won't do much good and weighs a lot for shipping cost. The baby wipes are good for those in outlying FOBs, but the more established bases, they don't get used much anymore. Other than that, it looks like a fine list.


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I lives in a VERY austere environment for a year in OEF, so I'll weigh in.

 

I would drop the hand sanitizer as they will likely be flooded with it already and all carry some in their pockets.

 

I received many notebooks and looseleaf, but to be honest most Soldiers only used the "rite in the rain" notebooks, the green government books, and used internet to communicate with home.

 

Magazines are great though, send many of them (most Soldiers read car, outdoor or gaming magazines).

 

Drop the First Aid kit, they medics there get you anything you need and everyone has an IFAK on their vest.

 

As Hawkdriver said, baking soda would go to waste.

 

Also, mechanical pencils were best for personal use or to give to my Soldiers. I generally gave regular pencils away to Afghans or the Police as they would poke you in the sleeve if we wore them.

 

Unique drink mixes, little snacks (beef jerkey), magazines, gum, sunfloower seeds, and black pens are what most Soldiers are after. Thank you for supporting the Soldiers over there; you may not get a response from who you send it too, but rest assured he or she loves it!

 

Justin

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Unless things have changed since I retired, DVDs of current movies were always a big hit. Just about everyone has a laptop and if it's a move that the individaul has seen or are not interested in it can always be given or traded to another soldier. Of course access to streaming media and bootleg movies may have changed that.

Kevin

 

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Artur,

 

I think what your doing is very admirable and the troops on the ground I am sure will appreciate what you are doing..

 

I would also consider putting some things in the carepackage that cater to the female Soldier's. They are far too often forgotten and they need the same creature comforts as the men do. There is nothing more depressing than to get a whole bunch of care packages to a unit that has women in it, only to find out that there was nothing included in any package for the female troops.

 

When I was a First Sergeant, that was one of the most important things was to ensure that the female Soldiers under my command were taken care of.

 

You could make a co-ed carepackage that can include some of the sundries that women need and request.

 

Here are some ideas for some products for the women:

 

Items Requested in Military Women’s Care Packages

 

We interviewed several women who are currently served or recently served, and they all agree that basic items for the rest of us actually mean so much to them. Items on their wishlist include the following (trial sizes are great!):

 

•deep conditioner, leave-in conditioners

•flavored chapstick/lip balm

•facial moisturizers and other skin care products

•nice smelling soaps

•nice smelling shampoos & conditioners

•hand sanitizer

•lipgloss

•eyeliner

•mascara

•facial masks

•fashion/women’s magazines

•romance/mystery novels

•manicure/pedicure items like nail polish, polish remover, nail files

•sunblock

•feminine hygiene products

•blank postcards and nice stationery

•Gallon Sized Ziploc Bags

•Shipping Tape

 

Good luck with your project and thank you for supporting the troops..

 

Leigh..

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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A good friend of mine is over in afghan now, and a few weeks ago he took shrapnel to his knee, but hes still over there and the one thing he stresses is mole skin for his feet and a pack of oreos.

Ryan

Semper Fi

looking for ALL items related to china, india, burma, and japan

also modern gear

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  • 2 weeks later...
•deep conditioner, leave-in conditioners

•lipgloss

•eyeliner

•mascara

•facial masks

•manicure/pedicure items like nail polish, polish remover, nail files

 

 

Leigh..

 

Really? WOW...just WOW...they have enough shower time for deep conditioning? And eyeliner and mascara and nail polish in a combat zone? That seems a bit ridiculous. I recall 3 minute combat showers...when we got a shower...in Iraq and Afghanistan was the rule. Hygiene items? Baby wipes, Brush-ems, and eye drops.

 

In regards to the original topic...it really depends on where the package is going. Major logistics bases such as Dwyer, Baghram, etc have large PX and chow halls that provide a lot of the every day basics. Good books and magazines...the MWRs seem to be swapped with romances and topics oriented towards the senior crowd (probably from donations)

 

If in the middle of no where, such as heavily operating units (Grunts, engineers, etc)...baby wipes are great, chap stick, snacks (Jerky and power bars are popular). The usual list that has been mentioned above

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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While there last year we typically worked 12-14 hour days; because of this there was precious little time to dedicate to everything we wanted to. The people you mail your package to may offer little outright thanks in return, but I'm sure they will enjoy whatever you send. I want to say thank you for your support, and impress upon you the essential good packages such as yours do among those of us during a deployment. Thank you.

 

Really? WOW...just WOW...they have enough shower time for deep conditioning? And eyeliner and mascara and nail polish in a combat zone? That seems a bit ridiculous. I recall 3 minute combat showers...when we got a shower...in Iraq and Afghanistan was the rule. Hygiene items? Baby wipes, Brush-ems, and eye drops.

 

As far as the conditioner goes, females have additional need to re-moisturize hair after spending hours in oppressive sun and heat. Mascara/eyeliner? After being away from home for months, without ever being able to wear civilian clothing outside the room, I know of several women in our unit who would 'dress up' for their husband during skype conversations.

 

We were flooded with basic toiletry items such as tooth brushes, shaving cream, sun tan lotion, hand sanitizer, etc. All of these were typically also provided by the USO. Candy and baked goods were also very common, as were writing pads, but oddly enough pencils/pens were not. As alternatives, I would consider adding in a few other things:

- writing utensils (bic pens and mechanical pencils were always a favorite of mine)

- chewing gum

- tobacco products (dip and US-quality cigarettes are in high demand)

- floss picks (no string floss; helps keep fingers out of the mouth)

- cheap clock radio (there are a handful of ISAF-nation stations with decent music, plus the alarm can be a good backup)

- magazines (gaming, fitness, guns, humor are all very popular)

- cheap mp3 player - good as gifts, the gym, or relaxing

- cheap speakers - we used to love music at work

- DVDs are, in most areas, widely available in "hajidisk" format for around $2 apiece. Feel free to send more, but don't break the bank buying them!

 

Also, consider sending items that can be used by service members as gifts for ISAF coalition partners or even Afghan forces - make sure they are marked as such to avoid confusion:

- cheap sunglasses

- cheap watches

- cheap gloves/hats/socks

- postcards of the USA

- 'USA' keychains, thumb drives, etc.

 

There are a lot of great ideas in this thread, and the nature of your care package should, if possible, be tailored to the Soldiers you are supporting. Are they on a large base? Mid-size FOB? A combat outpost?

 

Try, as always, to go for quality over quantity. We would, often as not, get 'goodwill' type boxes - these were filled with dollar store shaving cream, 1980s romance novels (seriously?), home decorating magazines, generic melted hard candy, and various other items on suggested care package listings that were less than stellar in execution. We would much rather have traded a dozen knock-offs for 1-2 quality versions. Just know that whatever you send will still be used and appreciated.

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As far as the conditioner goes, females have additional need to re-moisturize hair after spending hours in oppressive sun and heat. Mascara/eyeliner? After being away from home for months, without ever being able to wear civilian clothing outside the room, I know of several women in our unit who would 'dress up' for their husband during skype conversations.

only a small percentage of junior enlisted personnel in any unit are married...and that doesn't explain the nail polish...but I'll leave it at that before any arguments/debates start. It can't end well, shouldn't have touched it

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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The small things that went over extremly well when I was over seas are:

 

Lots of Koolade single packets --- Because we drank a ton of water everyday.

Original Cholula hot sauce bottle --- The same food gets old after a while, seasoning is better!

Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning --- Its good on breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Mechanical Pencils and small note pads --- Just good to have.

Starbust candy and/or gum --- almost everyone likes it and it is easy to share.

 

With the amount of other care packages with everything else --- these things would go over really well. --- Rick (Old B-1)

Always looking for Rare/Hard to find B-1, B-1A, and B-1B related patches.

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