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Topic: Military "care" package? for friend who just *had* to join the Army  (Read 2522 times)
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ratjen37
« on: July 08, 2005 07:16:31 AM »

Well, not a care package per se.  My best best best friend is in Basic right now, starting AIT (advanced individual training, I think) in a couple weeks.  I'm allowed to send anything in a box smaller than a shoebox.  I've been sending some much-coveted candy bars lately, and some photos of his dog that I'm watching, but what else can I throw in there?

Also, I'd like to make him something for his graduation (this isn't limited on size), the first time we'll see each other in 5 months! Any ideas? I liked the link (somewhere on here... I have dial-up so I don't want to take half an hour to search) where someone made a writing care package (a case with pockets for pens, paper, envelopes, playing cards, etc.), but was thinking of more of an "I've missed you a lot, asshole! You suck for joining the Army!" package (LOL). We're kinda-sorta-maybe getting married, so it can be sappy. (long story - don't ask, you'll regret it)

Any ideas? Throw 'em out here, no matter how stupid you think they are.  I guarantee they're better than anything I've thought of.

-Jen.


Oh, if there's already a thread to this effect, my humble dial-up apologies. Takes too long to search through the bajillions of links sometimes...  Grin
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I am Hobart, dishwasher as man and machine.
Crafty_Girl25
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2005 08:52:36 AM »

you could send him... Socks, Undies, a decorated flashlight with a note you can write him decopashed (SP?) on so he can read it, some smarties (because they are so yummy), a love bear - you could make him a bear with hearts on her.

yep that's all I could think about. Oh and on his undies you could write things with sharpie on them! Just an Idea. GoOd LuCk!!
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ming
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2005 09:11:09 AM »

My husband is currently deployed to the middle east right now (unfortunately we didn't know each other when he went away to do his month long training in Florida), but before he left, I had our friends and families send words of encouragement, letters, comics, etc., to be included in an envelope for each of the days he will be there so he can open one up every day. I only got through mid August, and he's going to be there until the end of October, so I'm planning to send another package to him in the next few weeks.

Another thing I will be doing this weekend for him is to bake some cookies and food vac them in mason jars to send. I'm a little apprehensive about how long they'll be able to stay fresh during shipping, but I'm willing to take my chances. Jim wrote me a few cards from where he is, they had stationery available to everyone, but most of them were Christmas cards.... Since I collect stationery, I'm going to be sending him lots of paper and items on which he can write cards to me, as well as leave some for his co-workers to use to write to their loved ones.

If you like making cards/books, you could make an interactive story book timelining your relationship. If you want for him to send you letters and cards, make it easier for him by including stamps on a self-addressed envelope. Maybe you can send some items for him to use to pamper his body after working out so hard every day (although he might get crap from his peers so use your own judgement on that one). You could write a mad-lib like story about the two of you. You could also write a long story and send him bits and pieces of it, maybe even telling the story in different forms (written, visual, auditory via recording... etc.). Hope these might spark some ideas for your project.
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pibbgirl
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2005 09:51:42 AM »

cookies, phone cards, pictures of you and friends...they usually don't have alot of space to store stuff during basic training so sending stuff he can use up but reminds him of you is good.  I've dated military guys and had friends join too, but I mostly just wrote them letters to get them through and talked to them on the phone once they were given those privileges.  Its nice that you are sending packages though, basic is rough (or maybe the guys I know where just whimps lol). 

Here's the link you wanted... http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=25378.0 ...I understand dial up issues Wink
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Flareon
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2005 11:27:57 AM »

I am an army wife.  I'll dispense what I've learned so far. 

Yes, basic IS rough.  And no, he won't have a lot of room to store anything.  But that will change during AIT.  Here is the list of practical stuff I sent to him that he appreciated:

Toiletry bag: I chose a green canvas compartmentalized zipper bag and filled it with a soap box, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, eye drops, vitamins, lotion, nail clippers, q-tips, you get the picture.  If he has a bag to store all his toiletries in, they won't get lost or easily stolen.

Flip-flops/slippers: get a nice plastic waterproof one for showering.  Barefeet can spread/catch anthlete's foot, fungus, yucky stuff. 

Baby/antibacterial wipes: army men stink.  Well, except for my husband, who when he couldn't get to a shower would wipe himself down to feel fresh.  You are also less liable to get sick if you keep wipes handy to wipe down keyboards, public phones, etc before using.  Being sick in the army is not fun. 

Razors, shampoos, soaps: he'll need a set for show, and a set to use (he'll explain that).  Buy in bulk, if he has excess he can easily sell them to his bunkmates. 

Blank labeling stickers: this is an awesome idea.  What you do is get fill out one stack with your address and another with his, and mail both to him.  That way, he only has to take one of each and stick them on the envelope of the letters he writes, saving him precious time before lights-out.  He'll really appreciate this. 

These are all for practicalities, and while not as romantic, they will make his life easier. 

Now on to the sappy stuff!

I knitted him "the world's ugliest necktie" and sprayed my perfume on it to remind him of me.

I tatted him a bookmark in "missing you" yellow

I would clip various funnies that reminded me of us (Sherman's Lagoon, Pickles, Sally Forth)

A gorgeous picture of you all dressed up.  Men in the army brag about their girlfriends and spouses, so make your man feel proud by flaunting your hotness. 

I'll write more as they come to me later. 

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ratjen37
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2005 12:54:56 PM »

Thanks for all of your suggestions!  Looks like I'll be busy this week....
He's SUCH a sap, so he'll love the envelope for every day.  I never thought of socks and undies, but thinking back at how quickly he went through them here, I'm kinda grossed out at the thought of what condition his current ones could be in (Ewwww! Guys are so gross!).
And Flareon, thanks so much for the toiletry/necessity ideas.  I'll definitely be shipping some out.
It's nice to hear from people who aren't so negative about the military.  Granted, I may not agree with all that they do, but he's still my best friend in the world, and we'd still do anything for each other.  I fail to see why I should take my political views out on him!
I'll be shipping out a care pkg. for Basic this week.  I think his Basic is over mid- to late July (who knows), but he's still got 10 weeks of AIT, and it turns out his recruiter lied (big surprise  Roll Eyes) about the extent of contact he'll be allowed with his family, so any more suggestions will still be much appreciated.
Thanks again, everyone!  Grin
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I am Hobart, dishwasher as man and machine.
sandyhu26
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2005 03:38:40 PM »

Okay, all the ideas so far look great. Don't forget tweezers...yes, guys use those too, and postage stamps. The two sheets of address labels your/his is the TOP idea, as often they are given a fixed number of envelopes they have to send out (at least in USMC basic).

Another tip, leave his packages plain except for the address and return address only with your first initial and last name. They are at the mercy of whoever is handing out the mail, and little hearts, x's and o's should be saved for the INSIDE of the package. Of course, if you want him to do a gazillion push-ups...

Try to stay positive  in your letters. Just put in a lot of yourself and that is what he will appreciate. Good luck!
USMC Wife - 20 years married - made it through and still interesting!
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Crafty_Girl25
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2005 03:48:12 PM »

Another tip, leave his packages plain except for the address and return address only with your first initial and last name. They are at the mercy of whoever is handing out the mail, and little hearts, x's and o's should be saved for the INSIDE of the package. Of course, if you want him to do a gazillion push-ups...

why would he have to do a ton of push ups?
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ratjen37
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2005 06:07:08 AM »

The Drill Instructors harass the hell out of those guys for ANYTHING.  Dan got push-ups for asking about a (promised) pass to go into town!  Push-ups for hearts on letters, push-ups for having an ugly girlfriend, push-ups for sneezing in formation... you're at their mercy.  LOL.
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I am Hobart, dishwasher as man and machine.
Crafty_Girl25
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2005 08:54:31 AM »

oh that sucks! So what have you decided to get him?
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