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Christmas Ideas for Marine in Afghanistan
Old 11-07-2009, 12:47 PM   #1
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Christmas Ideas for Marine in Afghanistan

My nephew is newly arrived in Afghanistan. We never had anyone in the service in the family, and I need ideas about what might be appreciated in a christmas package-- or anytime for that matter.

Also, any idea how long it takes to get a package there?

Thanks in adivance!
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:53 PM   #2
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My son was in Iraq and the main thing he requested was baby wipes (in lieu of a shower). Beef jerky, gum,phone cards and koolaid were also requested. There are a few places online that will give you guidelines and time frames. Good luck !
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Old 11-07-2009, 01:19 PM   #3
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Perhaps this website may be of some help....


The Fun Times Guide

Well the above website was a bit cranky, so I found this one...

http://www.bootsonground.com/soldier...sted-items.htm
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:52 PM   #4
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The last time DH was deployed, I mostly sent him magazines. I just picked up a bunch of used ones at the library or thrift store and sent a few at a time in those flat rate envelopes from the Post Office. He said they always had lots of "People" and such, so I tried to get more offbeat ones. A lot of it is that it's just really nice to get mail and know that people are thinking of you.

DVDs are always popular as well.
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Old 11-07-2009, 04:40 PM   #5
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My office sends boxes to the troops on a monthly basis(these are family and friends of people who work in the office who are deployed). This month there are 3 soldiers and we are mailing in each box a small fully decorated and lighted Christmas tree, pouches of tuna and salmon, soups, beef jerky, candy, movie DVDs, CDs of Christmas music, nuts, paperbacks, socks, sunscreen, etc. Occasionally we get back letters and photos from the recipients, and we are always happy to learn when someone is coming home.
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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The few soldiers I ever had a chance to speak to seem to love cookies and foods most.
Where I am living now there is a really old multi-generational old fashioned ice cream and chocolate maker. Soldiers from this area just get tickled pink to get their chocolates.
Maybe something that they loved to eat that has "home" memories? Anything from his/her area that they loved and would remind them of their youth foodwise?
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:25 PM   #7
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The post office has a large flat rate box that ships to APO addresses for $11.95 for this purpose . Two years ago a group of us sent boxes to the troops . We sent socks ,gum,candy ,paper backs ,beef jerky , and magazines.
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoDaresWins View Post
My office sends boxes to the troops on a monthly basis(these are family and friends of people who work in the office who are deployed). This month there are 3 soldiers and we are mailing in each box a small fully decorated and lighted Christmas tree, pouches of tuna and salmon, soups, beef jerky, candy, movie DVDs, CDs of Christmas music, nuts, paperbacks, socks, sunscreen, etc. Occasionally we get back letters and photos from the recipients, and we are always happy to learn when someone is coming home.
All good ideas!
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:51 PM   #9
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Power Bars and ground coffee. In our case we sent Kona. It's more of a barter currency than a beverage...
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bizlady View Post
My nephew is newly arrived in Afghanistan. We never had anyone in the service in the family, and I need ideas about what might be appreciated in a christmas package-- or anytime for that matter.

Also, any idea how long it takes to get a package there?

Thanks in adivance!
My son is a marine in Afghanistan. Mail and package delivery is slow in remote places in Afghanistan. We just received letters this weekend from our son dated September 14-20. And we stopped sending packages to him this week because he'll likely be ending his tour this Winter. Go to www.marineparents.com and there's lots of information on this site about deployments and care packages; there's also bulletin boards for specific units. Also, www.motomail.us is an internet-based mail delivery program for the military.

Here's a few things to consider sending this Winter: (1) socks, hand and toe warmers, and gloves (sleek ones to use with weapons); (2) baby wipes and butt paste, (3) candy, pens and pencils to hand out to local children, (4) cigarettes -- even if your nephew doesn't smoke, many marines and local do and the smokes can be good currency, (5) beef jerky, (6) crank radio with MP3 capabilities, (7) flashlight and batteries, (8) magazines on the usual male stuff like cars, poker, etc., (9) pictures of family and friends, every now and then and (10) rum cakes which didn't spoil for our marine and got past customs.

Keep the letters flowing; I can't stress enough how important mail call is to marines or soldiers in desolate parts of the world in a combat environment. Every now and then we're able to get a phone call from our marine or see images of him from the media -- but these are rare events and occurrences. In addition to the regular media, www.defenseimagery.mil will post images of marine and soldier unit operations in Afghanistan. Just search for your nephew's unit: X Battalion, X marines, once he settles in Afghanistan.
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:29 PM   #11
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If I were there, along with "goodies", I would LOVE to have this:

A DVD of my friends sending me personal messages, my family doing something goofy and spontaneous on tape, and a video log of some of my favorite places to relax near home. I would watch that sucker for hours.......
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This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:48 PM   #12
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I know some deployed men and women. In Kabul, they can get their mail in 2-3 weeks. Farther afield, it is like being on another planet and mail can take 2 months. Some favorite care package contents:

1) Electronic games for whatever portable game-box your soldier has. These get traded back and forth.

2) We are instructed not to send any homemade goodies. They will be confiscated at the military post office, because of the fear that bad people might hide bad things in them. Remember that your package is likely to experience temperature extremes.

3) Handwritten letters mean so much, and are re-read over and over. Enclose photos for best effect...pictures from home get handed around and admired by all. Send disposable cameras, and ask that they return one of them to you with (undeveloped) photos of their experiences (to the extent they are permitted to take pictures). You will get some amazing, educational photos in return.

4) Paperback books in whatever genres your soldier likes. These, too, will get traded around.

5) Consider throwing in some items he can share with the women. In Afghanistan's dry, dusty climate, women appreciate quality scented hand and body creams, cleansing lotions, and soft cosmetic puffs. Heck, the men probably appreciate them too, albeit with less scent Choose small sizes, to fit in packs and lockers.

Good luck to your brave nephew.

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Old 11-11-2009, 07:26 PM   #13
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A very dear friend who is a NYANG Chaplain deployed for 6 months, 2nd time around, at the beginning of this year. I asked him what was the best thing I could send him.
He told me the usual things were covered by his unit and family, but his biggest wish was to see photos of the changing seasons and the countryside. I gave him my email address and he said he would email me right away when he got settled.
In the meantime, I hopped in my car and took simple photos of every beautiful nature scene I could locally. I even took pictures of small town main street stores and traffic lights, farmhouses, lakes, road crews, cows in the fields, pumpkins en masse, cornfields, anything Americana.
I sent the pics in small batches, maybe 2-3 per email. He used my photos in his sermons, not to make soldiers homesick, but to give them a visual reminder of the USA. He said my pics were so well received because they could have come from Anywhere USA.
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