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Tips For Shipping Military Care Packages

Published August 07, 2013        by Sarah

Image by Official U.S. Navy Imagery on FlickrIf you have someone you love in the military or if you want to send a care package to a soldier in the armed forces, there are some guidelines you should follow.

Even though you may have the best of intentions, there are some items you just can’t ship to the military that are deployed overseas.

Some of the items you can’t send include:

  • Firearms and bullets
  • Anything flammable like aerosol cans, spray paints, etc.
  • Pork or pork products
  • Fruit
  • Live plants
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Anything that might be best suited for just 'adult' eyes

A good tip is to use your best judgment. If you think an item is questionable, leave it out rather than risking the package being confiscated and not delivered at all.

Don’t ship food that is loose in the same container as liquids. The result may be a sticky mess by the time it arrives. Instead, if you are shipping toiletries, pack them in individual plastic sealable bags. And pack foods separately. A good rule is to pack any food gifts, especially home baked items, in plastic resealing containers. This will help for two reasons. One is that the recipient can use the plastic container again to store other things and also it will help contain the food from pests.

Open packages (those packed just in tin foil or plastic wrap) can draw ants and rats to the base, which is the last thing you want to do. Depending on where you have shipped the package, it may sit in the heat for quite some time. The better you pack the products, the better it will be for everyone both in spoilage protection, mess, and keeping rodents and pests away.

Image by vastateparksstaff on FlickrGo ahead and send items that you think a soldier may need. If you are sending to a family member, you can of course ask them what they would like. But you can also ship to any soldier you like at sites like This site will allow you to choose where you want to send a package. It’s all voluntarily run. You can choose to send to a Marine, Sailor, Airman, or Coast Guard member. You choose what to send and you are given an address to send it to. You can include letters and food items as well as socks, toiletries and more. Soldiers can list their requests and you can fill them. Many soldiers ask for insoles for their boots and boot cleaner as well as many other items that they can’t get where they are stationed like beef jerky.

One thing that many soldiers ask for is Beanie Babies. Those little stuffed animals are not for the soldiers themselves, but for the soldiers to take to kids in war torn areas. They are easy for the soldiers to carry and they can brighten the lives of children who have nothing. Send your old ones in every care package and you’ll be doing everyone a great favor.

There’s a whole list of facts on the site that will tell you what to send, how to pack it, and what custom forms and specifics are required. It’s actually very easy and a simple way to send some love from your hometown to the people serving overseas.

Whether you’re sending to your own family member or just a courageous service person, your gift will be very much appreciated.