Packages To Iraq

Sending Packages to Iraq

     I got the urge to send a couple of care packages to the Marines serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, wanting to do something to show my support rather than just fly the flags every day.  I started by reading all the support sites we have been made aware of.   Each site has a list of the things that the troops ask for most often, and tips on packaging them.  There were several places where I could have sent my money and they would send a package of things they had already selected.  But I was not happy with their selections and the fact that I was paying them a fee for sending it.  Also I did not think that it reflected any personal involvement on my part.

     After explaining to my wife what I intended to do she expressed a desire to be come involved also.  As I was planning to use my monthly allowance to finance the project the addition of her money would allow us to expand our scope.  I had intended to try to keep each box to a average of $20, I soon found that this  was not to be.

     First we had to determine how we would send the packages.  On of the more thourogh  sites said to use UPS flat rate boxes.  These are boxes available through the Postal Department that can b shipped anywhere for the rate of $8.98 regardless of weight.  I later found out that there was a limit of 20# for international shipping.  A trip to the post office gave me six boxes that measure 11’x8.5″x5.5″.  Also included were six shipping labels and the required international custom forms needed to ship out of country.  Since the packages are going to the military they will be going to either San Francisco or the East Coast military shipping point.  We are located in California, so our point will be SF.

     The custom form must be filled out and includes a list of contents.  It was stressed that items be listed so as to show if electronics are included and items like soap, be listed as well so if X-ray-ed they will not be mistaken as explosives and the package destroyed.    It was also advised that things be wrapped separately so as to prevent breakage and contamination of other products.  Especially listed was soap be sealed so that in the heat of shipping, food products will not wind up absorbing the odor of the soap.  On one of my sites I visit regularly I asked for advise from others who have shipped or received packages.  One girl responded that she sent a package to a friend and he had asked for Tabasco sauce, a item listed on all the sites, and she did not seal it separately and it was broken in shipping and every thing was contaminated with Tabasco smell.

      I have requested the names of four Marines and two female Marines.  So here is a list of some of the things we have assembled.  In each box I have included for the Males a adventure magazine from the National Geographic Society and two once read paperback books.  For the Females a new People magazine and a double story, soft back book.  On each list it included socks so we are sending each four pair of cushioned boot length socks.  At the local farmers market I picked up six pair of what we call Hobo gloves, the kind with the finger tips open, (I have been watching the weather over there and it has been chilly lately, heck it snowed in Baghdad last week).  We are sending each some soap bars, dial for the guys and my wife picked out some dove for the girls, along with some female hygiene products.  Each will receive a bottle of eye drops.  Several ball point pens along with some writing material’s will be included.

     Lord, we kinda went hog wild in the snack department.  We have a box of instant coffee bags, and various  little packets of drink mix for their water bottles and a large box of instant hot chocolate packets to be divided among them.  Then several different boxes of snack bars, and large box of cookie packs.  And yes I found some small bottles of hot sauce at the market to day.  I know I have left some things out, but these boxes are kinds small.  After I pack as much into each as I can, I will have a lot left over, maybe next month I will pick up some more socks at Costco and some soap and writing material and pack up the four extra boxes I picked up last Friday while at the post office and send off four more care packages.  Yes, I bought a new box of zip lock bags to separate all the stuff before packing and plan to wrap the Tabasco and soap with press and seal before placing in individual zip bags.

     I waited until I got my stuff together before asking for the names and now am waiting for the them.  The lady who runs the site I went to said she would send them to me by E-mail, so we are just waiting  now. 

     Anyone who is interest can go to–

troopcarepackage.com  or operationshoebox.com

for more information.

     Oh yes, my $20 has jumped up to $40 plus the $8.98 shipping for each box.

If we receive any communication from the recipients in the future I will post them.

as always thanks for stopping by.

ramblingbob

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10 Responses to “Packages To Iraq”

  1. Dale Says:

    How did this go and any response from the recipients?

  2. ramblingbob Says:

    Yes, We recieved one letter from one Marine Sgt. in the M.P.s, just before he returned home. He expressed his thanks for our thinking of them and said what a moral booster it was. I tried to respond to his letter but got it back by return mail. I felt lucky that I heard from one out of the six I sent. He said they had been very busy and that was why it took him so long to write. I kinda thought I might hear from the two Army girls but nothing. My grandson leaves for Afghanistan the first of Nov. We will be send him and his squad regular packages, at least one a month.

  3. Dale Says:

    I was interested in sending some packages as well(2-3 per month each to new people) and had wondered if I should try to offer correspondence with the recipients by including an email address.

    I had spent time getting things like books/CDs/little toys/lists of snacks/ect. sorted and organized for family and friends to send to me when I planned to join but I got hurt prior tearing the cartilage in my shoulder, surgery “fixed” things but didn’t make them better. Figured if I can’t go I can at least send things to try and help the people in my place

    I had heard it was easier for them to dress up(or cover up) the food they were given by default with the condiments like tobasco or barbeque than trying to receive and carry whole food/snack items from home .

    I also would have expected a reply from the girls, it seems like they would have been more likely to consider it than the males but I guess the males had numbers on their side ^_^

    Thanks

    Regards,
    -Dale

  4. Patty Johnson Says:

    My son just went to Irag last month and I would like to send him brownies (his favorite thing). Do you have any suggestions on how to pack it to stay fresh?

  5. ramblingbob Says:

    Patty, I know many people have sent, cookies and brownies. The best suggestions I have seen are, pack them in the now avaliable zip lock bags that you ben vacume the air out of. include a slice of white bread to help keep them moist ( how this works i do not know but have read) place popcorn in all the loose spaces in the box to help cussion the rough handeling the package will recieve. Do you know about the APO boxes now availabe through the oost office? 12x12x5 1/2 flat rate postage of $10.98, for service use only. Good luck and God Bless your son for serving. Our grandson just deployed to Afgahinstan early this month.

  6. ramblingbob Says:

    Patty, I know many people have sent, cookies and brownies. The best suggestions I have seen are, pack them in the now avaliable zip lock bags that you ben vacume the air out of. include a slice of white bread to help keep them moist ( how this works i do not know but have read) place popcorn in all the loose spaces in the box to help cussion the rough handeling the package will recieve. Do you know about the APO boxes now availabe through the oost office? 12x12x5 1/2 flat rate postage of $10.98, for service use only. Good luck and God Bless your son for serving. Our grandson just deployed to Afgahinstan early this month.

  7. Thanks2All Says:

    Hello, I’m not a recipient of THESE particular care packages, but when I served in Iraq, I know people who received such packages. My message is short and to the point: Your kindness and generosity provides a HUGE morale boost to Soldiers in Iraq (and Afghanistan). Your efforts and time are SINCERELY appreciated, and please keep in mind that you brought a smile to the face of someone who is living and working in a very harsh environment. When deployed, and even after you’ve returned home, its easy to start thinking that the rest of America is going on about its business without a single thought of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When you take a moment to send a package or even a card, it helps reminds Soldiers that their service is not forgotten. Thank you for posting this, and thank you for your kindness.

    • ramblingbob Says:

      Thanks for your comments. We now hqave a grandson in ths 3/8 weapons company in Afghanistan. We and my son have been sending packages to him and his squad of 17. We just heard from him , he finally go two of what should be 7 boxes. we have the right address but the Marines showed him in a diffrent area than where the boxes were going. He was helping sort mail and saw two of them going to the other area. My son works on the dock at The port of Long Beach and his fellow workers chiped in and gathered over $700 for him to by stuff for the guys. One of the boxes he got today is from my son with some special gloves they were wanting.
      so we will keep him going over there. Thanks again ramblingbob

  8. How to Get Six Pack Fast Says:

    If you want to see a reader’s feedback🙂 , I rate this post for 4/5. Decent info, but I just have to go to that damn msn to find the missed pieces. Thanks, anyway!

  9. Thoubleheme Says:

    Interesting site. will definitely come back again:)

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