Those who regularly send parcels, advise that the postal services flat rate box is the perfect choice. These perfect boxes are more like shoe boxes wherein you can stuff things that you wish to send to the soldiers. The postal service department also sends you boxes along with labels. The labels are not charged for. Donors must not overstuff the box. The weight of the box is not a concern until it stays in shape. The postal department charges you a flat fee for this box. Donors can now order their boxes online through the postal department’s website i.e. usps.com.

Military Package Kits- do’s and don’ts

The other best thing that donors can think of doing is order a complete Military Care Package Kit online from USPS. The families miss their loved ones who are deployed overseas for their job. Making a care package doesn’t actually mean picking things from the market and sending it. The Military care package needs special care and has to be prepared keeping in mind the restrictions imposed by the postal service department of United States. To help families create and send care packages, USPS has created a ‘Mili- Kit’. The Mili-Kit contains items that are most needed by the military like:

        ·         Three (3) each of flat rate boxes O-FRB1 and O-FRB2

        ·         Two (2) each of Cube boxes OBOX7

        ·         Address labels - Label # 228 8 each

        ·         Address labels - Label # 106-A 1 each

        ·         Customs FORM 2976-A 8 EA.

        ·         Customs FORM 2976-E 8 EA.

How to order the kit:

·         The kit may be requested by calling 1-800-610-87341-800-610-8734 (Packing Supply)and:

·         Choose your language (1 is English, 2 is Spanish).

·         Choose option 1 (it states it is for Express Mail® service, Priority Mail or Global Express Guaranteed®).

·         When you reach a live agent, request CAREKIT04.

·         Wait patiently for over a week as the department would take some time to process your order and deliver the package to your doorstep. The average weight period ranges from 7-10 days.

Order placers must note that the postal charges are applicable.

Care while sending packages to a deployed soldier:

Sending a parcel to a soldier deployed in far off location is not as easy as picking a gift box, wrapping it and posting it. There certainly are some limitations that make the process a tricky one. The mail processing is always slow it would take more time than considered to be to make a parcel reach soldiers and marines. The other thing that needs concentration is the needs of the soldier or sailor. Do you know what a sailor/soldier wants? Not unless you have been one yourself. Here is a small guide that would come handy to prepare a package that your soldier/ sailor would love to receive:

1.       Do not embarrass the sailor/soldier: The soldier or sailor on duty would definitely love it when you send them your favourite thing. They appreciate the gesture but it is your responsibility that you care for their respect also. A parcel should not embarrass the individual who is receiving the parcel. Sleazy pictures, pink boxers, soft toys are some things that should be avoided being packed in the parcel for your loved one. Soldiers are always on duty and surrounded by colleagues. There are hardly some time when they are left alone. When they receive parcel from you, they are so swept away that they do not wait to reach their rooms to check the contents. Even if they wish to wait, his friends would not allow him to. Receiving your sleazy pictures or a cuddly toy would definitely leave him red faced. His friends might start teasing him. So please think about things that can embarrass him and do not include them in the parcel.

2.       Do not let him be called the perfume guy: He knows your smell and he knows that you miss him as much as he misses you. Your perfume definitely won’t do any help, but will surely get him tagged him as the Christian Dior guy by his friends. Army men are notorious and are known for their nickname giving nature. In the army, every soldier has a nickname that is assigned by his friends. The perfume in which you have soaked the letter or the parcel will be your husband nickname as soon as he receives your parcel.

3.       Chocolates are a strict no: As mentioned, soldier parcels take longer than promised to reach the right hands. The parcels have to wait for longer than expected period in the transit and over the period. This long wait will surely melt chocolates and make its way into the other items packed in the parcel. The gooey sticky parcel would be hard to clean. So, it is an advice by soldier wives that you avoid chocolates to be packed in the parcel.

4.       Do not overdo: A deployed soldier do feels nice when his kids and wife makes something special for him, but the storing those special masterpieces can definitely be a burden for him. Overseas soldier accommodations are not very spacious. Send things that they would need the most and if the kids insist on a special painting for their dad, tell them to make a small one so that their dad can treasure it and carry it in his pocket all the time.

5.       Make him feel he is still at home: like you miss him, he too misses his home. The deployment steals the little pleasure of grocery shopping, solving the quarrel among children’s and making a school project together etc. You can make him feel at home by recording things and sending a DVD to him. He can watch it when free and it will surely make him feel at home. You can also send him a family portrait.

6.       Make the parcel entertaining: Soldiers miss entertainment. They do not get time to check on the latest movies and music videos. When on board, they also have to stay away from their favourite sports. The newspaper is also a rare sight. You can make the parcel an entertaining one by sending some DVD’s, newspapers and his favourite book too. You know what your soldier husband loves, so send him those and make him happy.

7.       Keep sending parcels: yes, this is an important one. Soldiers, without the support of their families, are not soldiers. You are the pillar of his strength. You are the one who can make him stronger and you are the one who can make him weaker too. Keep sending him things that would make him feel that you care for him and you are always there to support him. If you don’t have anything to send, send him a handwritten letter or a card that is handmade.







From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.
--Thomas Jefferson--

We signed up knowing the risk. Those innocent people in New York didn't go to work thinking there was any kind of risk.
--
Pvt. Mike Armendariz-Clark, USMC-- 

Afghanastan, 20 September 2001
As reported on page 1 of the
New York Times

"No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection."
- Joe Gay

"Any ship can be a minesweeper... once."
- Anonymous

"Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do."
- Unknown Marine Recruit

"Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you."
- Your Buddies

"If you see a bomb technician running, follow him."
- USAF Ammo Troop

"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death ... I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."
- At the entrance to the old SR-71 operating base, Kadena, Japan

"You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3."
- Test pilot Paul F. Crickmore

"The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."

"Blue water Navy truism: There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky."
- From an old carrier sailor

"If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter -- and therefore, unsafe."

"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash."