Package for Iraq

  1. here's what I need some suggestions for.

    I have a friend who's working in Iraq (not military). Anyway, he's been there a while and I'd like to send him a "care package". I think so far I'll put some snacks in and some copies of some CDs he'd like.....but I don't know what else to include. Perhaps a deck of cards or something???

    So.....what do you all think? What would be good to include? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated! Even if you know stuff that's NOT good to send, that would be good too!

  2. Visit NeuroICURN profile page

    About NeuroICURN

    Joined: Nov '03; Posts: 655; Likes: 44
    Neuro/Trauma ICU Nurse
    Specialty: Neurology, Neurosurgerical & Trauma ICU


  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Here is a list for troops. Your friend may appreciate something from this list too:

    Breakfast-type foods and drinks are the most needed.
    Beefaroni, ravioli, spaghetti & meatballs, etc.
    Candy, gum, trail mix, etc. Fruit, in the small flip top cans. (Put zip-top cans in a plastic bag!) Cereal bars, granola bars, Special-K bars, etc. Coffee, instant and regular, and filters. Coffee cups. (metal, camping types are good.) Coffee makers, hot plates. Canned nuts. Canned chips, like the potato sticks or the small canned Pringles, Doritos, etc. Decent can openers.
    Powdered drinks, pre-sweetened, Kool-Aid, Gatorade, etc. Snacks, brownies,Lil Debbie, snack cakes, etc, nothing with icing that will melt. Soups, chunky, chicken, beef, etc. Tuna, canned and packs.

    Personal Hygiene Items:
    Antibacterial wipes - lots of these! Anti-fungal for their feet - athletes foot creme, foot powder - no aerosol bottles. Band Aids, cough lozenges, small packs of Kleenex, shower-to-shower powder. Combs, paper, pens, envelopes, lip balm, eye drops, q-tips, nail clippers. Eye drops - the cleaning kind - because of all the sand storms...(Put in plastic bag!) Flip flops - shower shoes - so they can air their feet out when they get a break. Sunscreen, insect repellant.

    Comics and paperback books, crossword puzzle books. DVDs & CDs. Game Boys, the ones your kids don't use anymore, and the games...
    (Idea: Have your kids ask around to collect GameBoys and games they don't want anymore...) Magazines. Sports stuff (baseballs, footballs, old gloves, frisbees...)
    (Basics: Small and light, uses AA batteries, nothing rechargeable.)

    Batteries, alkaline - Mostly AA-size, but some AAA also. Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard, . DEET insect spray. Disposable cameras. Flashlights, Music CD's. (Have a portable player you don't use anymore?) Pens, paper, envelopes. (NO stamps! They get free mail.) Phone Cards
    Pillows,small or inflatable, self-inflating camping air mattress. Space "All Weather" blankets. Space "Emergency" blankets. (These are much smaller, easy to keep.) The Oxford Picture Dictionary: English/Arabic. (Basics: Again, think small and light weight. Be SURE to put items that might even possibly leak into
    a few zip-lock bags! ie. toothpaste, shampoo...)
  4. by   eak16
    During a stint in Africa there were a few things that really helped me:
    cleaning wipes- any and all kinds- individually wrapped for toting around, packs of baby wipes for cleaning
    flavor packets- you can usually find tomatoes anywhere- a pack of salsa seasoning makes them special
    little hygeine things- CHAP STICK! nail clippers, these tend to get lost every few months :-)
    a mix CD of whats on the radio here now
    a little stain removing pen, or Shout wipes.
    handheld games- loved Bop-it, and could share it with locals (no language needed)
    a mini-tape recorder, reporter type, to save the sounds and language

    remember bottles can and will explode on planes so double seal- found this out the hard way when my economy packs of Purell hand sanitizer baptized all my clothes :chuckle
  5. by   BRANDY LPN
    Crystal Light is good for troops b/c it is small and is easily aded to their canteens, also my friends dad has worked over there for years (like 15-20) and he swears that bounce dryer sheets tucked in your pockets socks ect. repels sand fleas who knows if it really works. Batteries. I sent my dh one of those mist things with a fan attached.cameras. I will ask dh tommorrow for more I cant think of the things he asked for most, other than snacks.
  6. by   Roy Fokker
    i got a lot of my buddies in the usmc (currently in fallujah). anyways, i hope the following helps! [mods :: please pardon the shameless advertising!]

    want to send a care package to any soldier in harm's way,
    but have no idea of what to send, who to send it to, or how to send it?

    this is who they are.

    any soldier inc. started as a simple family effort to help our son, army sergeant brian horn, who was one of the 1,000 soldiers who parachuted into northern iraq on march 26th, 2003. we knew his unit, the 173rd airborne brigade was living under very rough conditions, and we were sending brian care packages as often as we could.

    we wanted to help the soldiers who were with brian, so his father, himself a 20-year army veteran, made this web site, with hosting provided free by international web solutions on august 26th, 2003, and asked our friends and neighbors to help send their support. the idea caught on, fast.

    the support was massive during the holidays, and many requests came to us to support other military units. on january 1st, 2004, we did just that. at the time, we projected that we would have 50 volunteer contact soldiers by christmas. we were wrong, by june 2nd, 2004, we had our first 100.

    we were contacted by an attorney from jones day, deborah franz, who offered her help in getting us incorporated. she and bill zawrotny, also from jones day, took care of all the matters needed to get us to become "any soldier inc.", a non-profit corporation registered in the state of maryland on june 2004.
    i'd like to see some additions/suggestions from some of our troops that are there or have been there that frequent this board.
    • instant coffee. there are many flavored coffees that are very good.
    • powdered gatorade. send along a jug too.
    • powdered hot chocolate
    • kool-aid (pre-sweetened of course)
    • tea bags
    • slim jim's
    • crackers and easy (spray) cheese. triscuits and ritz crackers are great.
    • single servings of bagged chips. (the small bags stay fresh longer.)
    • candy, of course. (m & m's are great, hard candy-anything that won't melt.)
    • little debbie snack cakes
    • bubble gum
    • snack mixes- chex mix, gardetto's
    • rice krispie treats
    • applesauce, pudding or fruit cups with the pop-off lids. send a couple plastic spoons, too.
    • dry cereal. (the small, individual serving boxes stay very fresh.)
    • instant oatmeal or grits
    • pasta anytime dinners
    • kraft easy mac
    • microwave popcorn
    • send board games-the ones they have made into key chains.
    • videotape their favorite shows on tv
    • send favorite magazines (his, not yours!).
    • if they're gone over a holiday, do up one box with just holiday stuff. be creative! use streamers, confetti, balloons (not blown up), etc.
    • lots of disposable cameras. they can take pictures to send back to you!
    • with a cd burner, make a cd of favorite songs.
    • always write letters, but in addition you might record your letters onto a tape.
    • send a few toys. slinky, sidewalk chalk, squirt guns...anything extra silly.
    • send electronic games.
    • get a small baby food jar and fill it up with dirt from their backyard. you could also put sand from their favorite beach with a shell inside. it's oddly comforting.
    • make a miniature scrapbook. go to the craft store and get a small scrapbook (about 5"x7"). get a few supplies and go crazy! do a theme book-"a day in our life" where you take pictures all in one day for the book.
    • blow up a balloon, but don't tie it. holding it closed, use a permanent marker to write a saying or a short letter on the balloon. deflate it and send with a note that says to blow it up.
    • books on tape are nice, or for an avid reader send small paperback books that they can give away when they are done.
    • if they're gone over their birthday, send a birthday box with streamers, hats, noise makers, a birthday card, and a birthday cookie decorated with icing (refer to the tips section on how to ship cookies!). record yourself and the kids singing happy birthday.
    • foam footballs and basketballs, the miniature size. these will be used constantly!
    • very carefully open a box of cracker jacks and remove the prize. put your own prize in the box (use the prize somewhere else in your care package.) put in a little note or a bigger prize. then carefully seal up the box so they don't see that you've tampered with it.
    • have the kids draw a picture or write a story every day. put them all in a big envelope and send them with the care packages.
    • print a digital picture onto an iron-on transfer and adhere to a plain white t-shirt. he can wear a picture of those that heloves close to his heart.
    • take video of the kids playing at the park, any school activities or just sitting down and saying a personal message.
    • get some computer printer magnetic paper. let the kids use paint markers to draw a picture on it so the parent can easily hang it on the metal rack that they sleep in.
    • let the kids do their very own care package. let them put in whatever they want.
    • use a casting kit to create a miniature plaster "sculpture" of a new baby's foot or hand.
    • soap would always be apprecciated. try the patriotic soap at sweet
    • clorox wipes
    • baby wipes
    • razors, shaving cream
    • foot powder
    • shampoo, conditioner
    • after shave lotion
    • soap or body wash
    • mouth wash
    • deodorant
    • laundry detergent, the kind you use at home
    • gel insoles
    • t-shirts, underwear and socks, monthly.
    • a big fluffy towel
    • eye drops, especially for those in the desert.
    • send batteries. it sounds simple, but people forget.
    • sunblock
    • a stress ball.
    • stamps, paper and envelopes with a nice writing pen might inspire a few more letters home.
    • a padded mailing envelope, just in case they need to send home something they bought in port for you.
    • phone card (try [color=#3b4914] for great rates!)
    • if your special one is a reader, send a paperback book or magazine with love notes tucked inside at different places inside. they'll love finding the treasures as they read.
    for shipping info, this link will tell you based on the apo/fpo zip what the restrictions are for what you can send and the maximum size of the packages: [color=#3b4914]
    i also mod at a military site (i knon that you mentioned that your firend was non-military, but i don;t think anyone would object to these packages!) -- so anyone need anymore help, please don't hesitate to let me know :-)

    good luck!
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Nov 10, '04
  7. by   Roy Fokker
    here's somemore ideas (sorry if they repeat and i spologise if i seem to be spamming the thread):::

    "think small--as if you were packing for a child's lunch on food item sizes; trial size on personal hygiene items. (they will love anything so pick and choose according to your personality!) place as much as possible in ziploc-type bags to guard from sand & water.
    food items:
    - hot chocolate instant mix or flavored coffee mixes ( it will be cool through april)
    - ready to eat soups--just add hot water.
    - pop tarts, cereal bars, "milk & cereal" bars, granola bars
    - beef jerky (no pork allowed)
    - canned nacho cheese/salsa (must be canned or in a plastic bag)
    - pringles or other chips in sturdy containers
    - packets of condiments from fast food restaurants (ask, don't steal!)--taco bell salsa--firery hot, ketchup, mustard, mayo., salt, pepper, jelly, bq sauce, relish. coffee cream. sugar (can be used to flavor their mres-meals ready to eat)
    - presweetened kool-aid or country time lemonade, or dry gatorade--small packages work best
    - cracker packs with cheese, tuna
    - individual chip & dip packs
    - individual pudding or fruit packs (may want to include a plastic spoon)
    - hard candies
    - candy bars
    - breath mints
    - gummie bears, skittles, etc
    - chocolate may be sent during the winter months only
    - mixed nuts
    no glass containers, no fresh fruit, no pork--slim jims contain pork and are not allowed in the middle east! look for turkey jerky--it does exist!

    personal hygiene:
    - powder
    - waterless soap
    - trial size containers of:
    - toothpaste (gel)
    - mouthwash
    - shampoo
    - clear deodorant
    - motrin, tylenol, excedrin, etc.
    - handiwipes (like baby wipes)--they only get to shower once a week)
    - sunscreen
    - mach iii razor refills or other type as requested
    - face wash, like clearasil
    - eye drops for dry eyes
    - jock itch spray
    - sunglasses
    (goggle-type sunglasses are requested very frequently)
    - throat lozenges
    - moleskin
    (for pads on sore feet, you'll find it with dr. scholls type things at walmart or drug stores)
    - hand sanitizer, waterless soap, liquid body wash
    - foot powder
    - sun block
    - flea collars (to help with sand fleas; vietnam vets wore them around their ankles.)

    - heavy duty socks--green or black
    - underwear
    - dr. school shoe liners
    - college t-shirt or cap--(auburn!)

    - pens, paper, envelopes
    - batteries--aa most requested
    - ziploc bags--quart, and gallon size (must seal!)
    - blistex
    - chap stick
    - moisturizing lotions
    - toilet paper - strong american type! (take the card board out and smoosh it)
    - disposable cameras
    - electrical tape--brown or green (does it really come in different colors?)
    - duct tape -- tactical duct tape: military green, tan, black, or gray if you can't find anything else
    - flashlight with a red lens

    - brain teaser type games from the "wiz kid" type stores
    - playing cards
    - nerf type footballs, or other throwing items (like a vortex)
    - stress balls (handheld soft balls to squeeze away the stress with!)
    - in summer, cheap handheld fans-just for fun.
    - magazines: no porn. not even something like maxime! this is kuwait's law and isn't it great!!!!!!
    - word searches
    - news magazines
    - entertainment magazines
    - "people", "newsweek", entertainment today, etc.
    - movie reviews printed off the internet
    - magnetic picture frames (walmart has them for $2)
  8. by   NeuroICURN
    Thanks for all the suggestions so far, they've been great!

    Glad someone posted on stuff not to send too....because two of the things on the list were things I'd considered sending! :chuckle

    Keep 'em coming!
  9. by   saskrn
    This is a great thread! I've used plenty of these suggestions! Thanks!