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Since it's time to think about Christmas packages, here's part of an email I sent out this morning to some friends who wanted ideas. Thought some of you could use them, too.

My sailor just called and added to the list. He said on ship, they want jerky, Easy Mac, fruit cups. When deployed on land, he said neck travel pillows, wipes, and rechargeable batteries. I also remember sending him stuff for tooth aches and tooth putty for loosing a filling because he couldn’t get to the dentist right away. He gave away hundreds of kids’ mittens when he was in Afghanistan, too. Right after Christmas, I bought little ones at Jewel/Osco 3 for $1. At Kohl’s I bought little kid fleece jackets and sweatshirts for about $3 that he gave a few kids, too. I’d guess you could go to Goodwill and Salvation Army, too.

Here are some ideas that were sent from a sailor on ship deployment. It’s a good general list that most deployed would like getting. If you pack things in ziplock baggies, they use the baggies for other things. I know they like sugary cereal for snacking, too. Beef jerky is like gold on a ship—Sam’s has the cheapest price. Little cans of fruit and tuna/chicken packets are always welcome, too.

I used to send fragrance free wipes—used to clean weapons as well as themselves—and the softest toilet paper I could find—take out the cardboard roll to pack in the box or fill it with something like batteries.

White t- shirts,
Hanes Boxer Briefs comfort waistline,
Old spice deodorant,
Gillette razors the 5 blade kind,
beef jerky,
body wash and fluffy thing, [I love his description!]
any kind of snack food,
a new pillow

*Thanks, Michelle, for reminding me about the drink packets. My son also told me to add them to the list. He said that the lemonade is the best--like Crystal Lite. How could I have forgotten the dozens of boxes of those that I sent! You can find store brand.

He also told me that some of the guys like Vienna sausages. Aldi's carries a canned chicken and dumplings and stew that aren't too bad. Use the flat rate boxes to ship several. If the person is outside the wire, include plastic forks and spoons.

The best places to shop that I've found--Sam's, Dollar General (any of the "dollar" type stores), Aldi's, K-Mart and Wal-Mart.

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Comment by Anti M on September 25, 2009 at 12:40pm
If you can, send two packages, food in one and personal grooming items in another. The scents can transfer into the foods.
Comment by Suzy on September 26, 2009 at 5:28pm
Is it true that you cannot send anything except letters while they are in basic?
Comment by Ruth, Gun's Mom on September 26, 2009 at 5:37pm
Suzy, you're right. Don't send any packages, just letters. Like it or not, the Navy is their only momma during that time. Well, not really, but recruits are pretty controlled and restricted. Not a good idea to make them stand out by getting something more than a letter.
Comment by Michelle on September 27, 2009 at 9:16am
Another thing my son on deployment has asked for is the packets to flavor water. I guess good tasting water is sometimes hard to find when not in United States.
Comment by Ruth, Gun's Mom on September 27, 2009 at 10:28am
Michelle, thanks. My son told me that, too. I sent dozens of boxes when he was deployed in Afghanistan. I added several others things to my blog.
Comment by nylindat on April 20, 2010 at 8:19pm
Hi fellow Navy Moms,
My son is deployed on the USS Mesa Verde until August. Any other moms out there in the same scenario?
He is married and his new bride leaves with us and we both miss him terribly. Can we get any news on them?
Comment by Ruth, Gun's Mom on April 20, 2010 at 9:50pm
nylindat, I think you want to post this somewhere else to get answers. Have you looked for a group for your son's ship? Your daughter-in-law might want to join the group for wives, too. You'll find lots of support here, but you're probably not going to get much response on a blog for what to send. Hang in there!
Comment by Justin's Mom on October 30, 2012 at 10:35am

Since it is hard to find flavor packets that are not full of artificial sweeteners. I buy kool aid packets, mix them well with 1/2 - 1 cup of sugar and divide it into 8 snack baggies. One baggie should flavor a bottle of water. My only problem, is my son refuses to respond to how they tasted... lol he also refuses to answer any questions really.


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