ExclusiveWhat Can You Send In A Military Care Package

What Can You Send In A Military Care Package


What Not To Send In A Military Care Package Think To Know

Military care packages in jeopardy

If you are a spouse or dependent of a military member and want to show him/her a bit of your support by sending a military care package. It is a nice way to stay connected. However, if you send the wrong items in a military package, you do more harm than good. So, let this guide on what not to send in a military care package guide you.

Besides avoiding prohibited items such as drugs, alcohol, aerosols, etc., there are many things you need to know about to deliver the most suitable care packages. We will provide information on military care packages rules as well as suggestions on items you should include.

To prepare the best military care package, read this until the very end!

My Story: The Best Way To Know What To Send

My experience shows just how important it is to think about the recipient. Knowing what to send is the hardest part about sending a care package. But if I learned one thing from the service, it’s that you should listen to your service member! When I was in the Navy, I used to play catch on our flight deck on Sunday afternoons. As accurate as we may have been, we’d lose baseballs over the side as the ship rocked back and forth. I put the word out to my family: send old baseballs in the next care package. And from then on out, each military care package I got had a couple of beat-up baseballs in it. My grandfather even sent a whole box with just baseballs and a simple note: “Hope this helps.” Well, it did, and I still remember that care package all these years later. It was like a treasure trove for a young sailor who just wanted a bit of normalcy on those long deployments.

But for every baseball I got, I also loved the things that came along with it. And frankly, if all anyone sent me were baseballs, I’d run out of space! That’s why variety is key.

Provide Accurate Shipping Information

Include the recipients unit, last and first name, title, DPO/FPO/APO, and full zip code. The Post Office no longer delivers packages that are addressed Any Service Member.

Provide 2 Shipping Labels

Include a second shipping label inside the box just in case the exterior label becomes damaged and unreadable.

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How To Send Out Your Military Care Package

The first thing you want to have is the free USUP care package kit.

The kit will contain flat rate boxes, tape, address labels and custom forms.

So here you go. We surely hope that this post help you to get your military care package done. Have anything else to add? Leave us a comment!

Care Package Items By Category

Items To Avoid Sending Your Service Member On Deployment

How to Send a Care Package to Your Soldier in Afghanistan
  • Chocolate- it can melt in transit that could take months. If you INSIST on sending chocolate, pack it separately in several zip lock bags to avoid it leaking into the rest of your package.
  • Alcohol- many countries have different laws, rules and regulations surrounding alcohol. And certain deployments might also not allow it fora variety of reasons.
  • USPS also has its own list of prohibited items you cannot mail no matter where itâs going. Check out that list here.

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How To Send A Care Package

Know the timeline. Priority mail packages typically take about 10 to 14 days to reach their country of destination. But depending on where your service member is, more time may pass before the package is in his or her hands. When choosing what to send, keep in mind possible delays as well as any climate extremes the package may be subjected to.

Check on size and weight restrictions for packages. Packages cannot be larger than 108 inches in total circumference , but your service member’s unit may have its own restrictions on the weight and size of packages. These restrictions may change as the unit changes location. It’s best to limit your care packages to the size of a shoebox. You can pick up free Priority Mail boxes at your post office. Use the #4 or #7 size box.

Include a list of contents. Enclose a cardwith the recipient’s name and your name on the card. That way, if the package breaks open and the contents scatter during shipping, mail handlers will know what to repack.

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Prevent possible spills. Place items that may spill or leak in heavy plastic zipper-lock bags. Freezer bags work well and your service member will likely find other uses for the bags.

Write out the complete address. The address should include your service member’s full name , unit and APO/FPO address. Be sure you have the unit name, including the battalion, ship, squadron, platoon, etc., with the nine-digit ZIP code, if one is assigned.

Write To A Deployed Service Member

Letters of support for our military are always welcome and appreciated as well and you can now send an e-card! Simply fill out the form and we will print it out and mail it with a care package overseas for you!

If you would like to mail a card please send them to:


30777 Rancho California Rd. #892521 Temecula, Ca 92589

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Make A Monetary Donation

Cant attend a care package event but would like to support deployed troops? Make a donation via credit card, Venmo, Paypal or check. All donations are tax-deductible and help provide hygiene items, nutrition, cards, and wish list items for troops overseas. We need your help now more than ever!


30777 Rancho California Rd #892521 Temecula, Ca 92589

After Boot Camp Is The Time To Send Military Care Packages

Volunteers send care packages to troops deployed overseas

Service members who have finished basic training or are on deployment generally have more freedom to receive care packages. Sending a military care package is a great way to show your appreciation and love for your service member and all they do for our country.

If you are a parent or other relative, consider sending the music, toiletries, foods and treats your service member likes best. If you are in a relationship with a service member, think about sending notes, cards and small items that remind them how much you care. And, of course, photos from home are always welcome.

Here are some military care package ideas that are appreciated by service members:

  • Necessities, such as sunblock, socks, underwear, flip-flops, lip balm and powder
  • Snacks, including chips, salsa, nuts, cookies, beef jerky, non-melting candy and trail mix in packaging that isnt easily crushed. Drink mixes in single-serving packets are also a good addition.
  • Homemade foods: The most popular items are cookies and cake in a jar, which is a cake baked in a canning jar. Again, the key is sturdy packaging to prevent crushing.
  • Games, such as playing cards/poker chips, crosswords or puzzle books.
  • Stationery is a must if you want to receive any letters from your service member. Send paper, envelopes, address labels and pens, but skip the stamps. They wont need them.
  • that show your support and affection. Maybe get a daily tear-off calendar and write an encouraging note on each page.

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Affordable Ideas For Military Care Packages

Care packages are the best way for loved ones to send a little piece of home to deployed service members. Theyre also a fun way for families to stay connected while apart.

Unfortunately, collecting items to put into care packages can get expensive. But with some creativity and a little help from the discounts offered by your favorite stores, those care packages dont have to make a huge dent in your budget. Here are 7 ideas to get you started:

Awesome Military Care Package Ideas

A few years back when my husband was deployed, I was drawing a blank when it came to creative military care package ideas. I literally used to just throw everything inside a plan old box and send the package on its merry way.

I know better now. There are thousands of creative military care package ideas that you can use for your next box. Many boxes revolve around a theme or idea, which makes it all the more fun. Plus, a fun list of items to include in care packages.

When youre done with your care package, be sure to tuck in a missing him quote or a long-distance relationship quote for an extra special touch .

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What Do They Actually Need

If you find your service member needs essentials, choose small, travel-size containers of personal care products, and avoid aerosol cans. To keep liquids from spilling, cover the opening of the container with plastic wrap, then recap before shipping.

Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, cotton swabs, shaving lotion, disposable razors, shampoo, individually packaged tissues.

Personal care. Individually packaged baby wipes, eye drops, lip balm, lotion, aspirin or another pain reliever, feminine hygiene products for women.

Foot care. Moleskin, medicated foot powder and athletes foot ointment.

Disposable hand warmers. Send these during the winter if your service member is in a cold climate. Also, fingerless gloves, stocking caps and long underwear are good ideas.

Goggle-style sunglasses. Your service member will appreciate these if he or she is deployed in the desert.

Cotton socks and underwear. Make sure the garments are made of 100 percent cotton rather than a cotton blend.

Sending Your Boot Camp Care Package

What to send in a basic training military care package

Before you send your care package, be careful with your timing.

If you send the box near the end of the training and too close to graduation, your service member might already be gone to their technical school before it arrives.

Also, please do not send the package too soon because it takes a few days to get everyone squared away and sorted.

Ideally, you wait until you hear from your recruit and verify an address.

Also, when sending your boot camp care package, be sure to address the letter correctly.

Boot Camp Care Package: Air Force

Air Force basic training has several different squadrons. The TRS/FLT means training squadron and Basic Military Training.

When in doubt, Lackland Air Force Base has a reception center for families, and you can call to verify the address.

AB Last Name, First Name, Middle Initial### TRS / FLT ### JBSA Lackland AFB, TX 78236-####

Boot Camp Care Package: Marines

You will receive a letter from your recruit within the first couple of weeks of training.

You need to ensure you have to platoon and company number for your recruit before sending a boot camp care package or letter.

There are two addresses. One address is for San Diego, while the other is Parris Island.

San Diego Mailing Address:

Recruit First Name and Last Name## Battalion

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Use A Partner Organization

One of the most popular ways to send mail to any soldier is to use AnySoldier.com. Looking to support another branch of services? There are also options for the USMC, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard!

For starters, take a moment to find out how the site works. Basically, its like this:

  • Select your service branch
  • Fill up a box and send it off with the Attn: Any Soldier in the address
  • From there, your contact will receive the box and distribute it to someone in their unit or command who could use some cheering up. This might be the easiest way to fill a box yourself. Plus, AnySoldier is a registered non-profit run by a military family in response to their sons experiences in Iraq during the 2003 surge. They get it.

    Overseas Shipping May Take 5 Weeks

    When shipping overseas, it is important to remember that it can take an upward of 5 weeks for your package to arrive. Make sure to pack your items in a way that prevents damage. It is also important to keep in mind that some items may melt or leak, potentially damaging the entire box. Shipping labels can damage, so to add an extra level of protection, include an information card inside the box with your service members name, rank, and APO/FPO/DPO address.

    It is important to keep in mind that in some locations packages are opened by someone before they get to your service member. Make sure you arent sending anything you wouldnt want someone else to see, items that arent allowed in the particular area your service member is located, or irreplaceable expensive personal items.

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    Its The Thought That Counts

    No matter what you send, your service member will be grateful you thought of them! And, if you happen to send an item they donât need or like, you can bet that theyâll share their goodies with a new friend or buddy in need. After asking around we hear the following items are an all time premium and are the MOST favorites: bug swatters, portable fans, phone charges, back up batteries, beanie babies, hand crafted items, dry shampoo, energy drink packets / squirt bottles, and work out supplements.

    Putting these care packages together are a fun way to make the time pass and great for the whole family to help out with. However, If you donât have the time to put one together you can also order one prepackaged from My Hero Crate. My Hero Crate will proudly ship overseas to our military brothers and sisters stationed or deployed at APO, FPO, and DPO addresses. There are also a wide variety of companies that send free items to deployed soldiers, check out this blog or perform a simple google search to find them.

    If you are a spouse of a deployed service member, donât forget to take care of yourself as well. Consider ordering a Brave Crate, for a special delivery for YOU while your service member is deployed.

    Military Care Kit Includes:

    Florida Army vet on mission to deliver care packages to deployed troops
    • Two Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate Boxes
    • Two Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes
    • Two Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes
    • One Roll Priority Mail Tape
    • Six Priority Mail address labels
    • Six Customs Forms Envelopes

    * According to the US Post Officess website as of March 13, 2020, anyone sending a package to an APO/FPO/MPO address will need to fill out a PS Form 2976-R for in-person shipping or will need to complete a Customs form online.

    Priority mail and Priority mail express shipments also include tracking for peace of mind. You can order the Military Care Kit by calling the US Post Office at 1-800-610-8734 or by ordering directly from the US post offices website.

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    What To Send In A Deployment Care Package

    Receiving a care package from home can be a real morale booster for a deployed service member. Weve come a long way since the beginning of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 2000s, and most service members deployed dont need anything. But everyone loves to get mail!

    Choosing and packing the contents of the package will also help you feel closer to your loved one. Your service member will undoubtedly appreciate anything you send, but some things are particularly useful — and some items can’t be sent at all. Before putting together your service member’s care package, find out what they want, and check to see if there are restrictions on what you can send.

    Putting Together Your Boot Camp Care Package

    When putting together your boot camp care package, remember some key points.

    For example, you want to seal everything very well.

    If you send anything liquid or gel, such as toiletries, tape the top and secure the items in plastic bags for safety.

    Also, the packaging itself is crucial for a boot camp care package. Therefore, you must use sturdy packaging when sending a box.

    However, the United States Post Office has what is called the Military Care Kit.

    The whole kit includes the address labels and tape, as well as customs forms. You wont need the custom forms for boot camp, but the kit is for those who are overseas, as well.

    Finally, the kit is free, but postage is not.

    Remember that military mail is at a reduced rate, so be sure to inquire about that at the post office.

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    What To Send And What Not To Send In A Care Package

    You can find plenty of lists online with different items to include in care packages. You must first decide if you are sending one for a particular holiday, with a theme, or whether the service member has requested specific items. We love this huge list from Jo, My Gosh with ideas to fill up your care package. We also like this idea from The Seasoned Spouse to send an extra care package for those single service members in the unit who arent getting any mail.

    Just be careful not to send any forbidden items that might get your package stopped at Customs. Or worse confiscated.

    Depending on the country, you should avoid sending:

    • Alcohol
    • Flammable items, like lighter fluid
    • Pornographic images
    • Pork products
    • Lithium batteries
    • Anything in aerosol cans
    • Chocolate

    Sending Boot Camp Care Packages: 4 Things You Need To Know

    How to Send a Military Care Package

    Sending a boot camp care package to your Soldier in Training in boot camp is a fantastic way to send a little love and reminders of home.

    Also, it is a fantastic way to build morale and to maintain a connection during this transitional time.

    However, it is essential to remember not all units or military branches allow care packages.

    In all cases, there are only a few allowed items to send in a care package, as well.

    There is not a lot of spare room, so the military care packages should remain small.

    Essentially, your recruit needs very little when they are at boot camp.

    Most items are provided to recruits upon arrival, and drill instructors ensure recruits have access to their funds and the base exchange to purchase other items they may need.

    Also, letters are always welcome, but be sure to send those letters in plain envelopes with a clear mailing address.

    You will likely receive either a letter or postcard from your recruit giving you the exact address, or you will receive a phone call with that information.

    If you send your recruit a boot camp care package, here are some allowed items that are unlikely to get your recruit in trouble.

    When in doubt, refer to the packing list for the military branch to see what items are allowed at boot camp before you shop for your boot camp care package.

    The following are some common acceptable items to include in your care package:

    • Stationery

    Therefore, be cautious with what you send.

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