When you’re deployed overseas, there is nothing quite like receiving a care package. It is extremely difficult to be thousands and thousands of miles away from your loved ones as you work to defend your country. A care package is the beacon of hope that tells you that you are loved and someone is thinking of you, particularly when it comes from your beloved partner. With this in mind, you want to inspire this feeling in your military spouse as much as you can, but there are some practical obstacles to sending a care package daily. Therefore, when you do send something, you want it to be extra special. In this blog, we will go over some tips for composing a care package that will make your military mate smile.
Get a Military Care Kit
Unfortunately, it can get quite expensive to send care packages overseas. Fortunately, the United States Postal Office (U.S.P.S.) offers a way to offset the cost of sending packages to military loved ones — their Military Care Kit, in which they offer free packing materials to sending things to deployed people. You can call 1-800-610-8734 to ask them to send a kit to you.
Most service members will tell you that the hardest part of being deployed is being away from their families. Many of our troops are missing the big moments in their loved ones’ lives, from birthday parties to weddings to graduations. This can make it hard to feel connected to family and friends. That’s why it is a great idea to include recent photos in the care package for your military spouse. Take pictures of the kids, the house, the pets, their friends, and anything else you think your beloved may be missing overseas.
You can send hard copies of these photos, or if you are trying to include a large number, consider sending a USB flash drive with digital copies instead. Alternatively, you could make a photo calendar through a photo-sharing site like Snapfish or use a digital picture frame to create a slideshow for them to enjoy.
Bake Up Some Goods
Now that you have engaged their sense of sight with photos, you can engage their sense of taste with some homemade baked goods. This way, they can fully immerse themselves in the feeling of home. The important thing to keep in mind is that not all of your baked goods will survive the trip. The package may travel for a week and a half to two weeks, or even more, depending on where your loved one is stationed. Whatever you make should be able to withstand the trip so they don’t end up with something inedible at the end of the journey. One idea that may help is to make a jar cake. Essentially, you bake a cake in a jar, and this storage option makes it so your baked good remains moist in transit.
They say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but this is really true for all genders. Everyone feels loved and appreciated when someone takes the time to provide them with food. Make sure your military spouse is properly fueled for duty by including some non-perishable snacks in your care package. Some popular options include canned tuna, trail mix, beef jerky, and Pringles®. The key here is to choose foods that are packaged in such a way that they won’t be crushed in transit. Also, keep in mind that it’s likely that your package will experience a wide range of temperatures en route, so don’t pick anything that’s going to melt.
Include Practical Necessities
While your service member spouse may have access to necessities like toiletries, they won’t necessarily include their preferred brands. Before you send your care package, go to the drug store and find their favorite shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, chapstick, sunscreen, cough drops, and batteries. Make sure to put any items with liquids or gels into plastic bags to prevent them from destroying the package.
There is some downtime involved in being a service member, and this can get boring quickly if they have the same material they have had through the course of their service. You can add a little variety in their lives by including entertainment options. Send along books, magazines, coloring books, crossword puzzles, Sudoku — pretty much anything you think they will find interesting. You can also include iTunes gift cards to give them the option to buy music, TV shows, or movies. If they don’t already have some, a nice pair of headphones or earbuds can be a great gift for a service member. Don’t forget the pens, notepads, and envelopes as well so they can write letters to you and their other loved ones.
Customize Your Care Package
Beyond these ideas, you can add special touches to make the care package unique to your love. Kids can make artwork for their parent and can also decorate the box to add a special touch. You might also include something of yours sprayed with your signature perfume or cologne to remind your spouse of holding you.
You can also personalize this care package by including your spouse’s special interests. If they love working out, for example, you could include new activewear like socks, shorts, and shirts. Alternatively, if they are a movie buff, you could include a DVD of a movie you think they will enjoy along with some microwave popcorn and their favorite movie theatre snacks. Anything to make them feel that you have thoughtfully composed this care package just for them will warm their heart and make them feel closer to you, even when you’re miles away.
Include a Wireless Internet Hotspot
If your military spouse doesn’t already have a wireless internet hotspot, the Sapphire MiFi device is an incredibly thoughtful gift. With our portable wifi device, you can have access to reliable internet in more than 100 countries around the world. This handy hotspot is perfect for the deployed service member who wants to stay in touch with their family back home. Shop Sapphire for convenient internet access during deployment.