Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jesse's Care Packages: What TO do and what NOT to do!

First of all, I would like to say that my thoughts and prayers are going out to Ft. Hood tonight.  How horrible that was!  It's very tough to see soldiers turning on soldiers in the worst way possible.  Being a spouse of a soldier it hits so close to home.  There is enough danger and worry as a spouse (or a close family member or friend) to someone in the military, and its even worse to hear of this type of situation.  Its hard thinking that this is the first time something like this has hit a military base, and it adds salt to the wound to find that this tragedy was created by people who live, eat, and breathe this same life as Jesse and I do along with many of our friends.  It is just heartbreaking.  It should be interesting to see if this event changes security measures on our posts nationwide.

Here at home my mother had off today and decided to do some much needed cleaning and decorating (for Thanksgiving) and my father got home early from work.  He did get laid off, an event that happens quite often in his career as an ironworker.  It is good to hear the economy is picking up, for they are expecting more work again in January.  So there is that possibility that he may not have a job through this Holiday season.

He and I took a trip to the store (I'm a little obsessed with finding stuff I can send to Jesse), and bought a lot of stuff.  Or at least probably more than I need to buy at the moment.  But, I feel good enough about it.  I also was on the hunt for some very large cardboard photo mailers for some large photos I'm going to be sending out around Thanksgiving.  Most everyone that follows this blog will likely get a photo of Jesse in or with their Christmas card this year.  I also mailed my Thanksgiving cards today, which I know seems a bit premature, but I had a couple people I wanted to get them out to sooner than later so I just sent them all!  I also stocked up on my stamps, I'm gonna need 'em!

So, my point to this blog today (other than my aforementioned updates) is to try and give you some do's and don'ts for Jesse's specific care packages.  I also will offer some suggestions.  I know many of you remember Jesse's last deployment and sent things to him then, but I may bring up some points you want to consider.  I also may bring up some stuff that may be cheaper and easier to do.  All things I am discovering myself through this deployment along with Jesse's experience with his past deployment!

DO's & DON'Ts:
  - Keep in mind Jesse will have to likely carry around anything you send him.  Many sites recommend sending "fun" stuff like mini Christmas trees, decorations, etc.  Most likely that is something Jesse will not do, for in the Infantry they often times don't sit at a desk, they are going out and doing missions.  If you send something like that Jesse (nothing against the person who sends/wants to send the gift) will throw it away.
  - Try and avoid sending things/packages that aren't disposable or that you wouldn't want thrown in the trash (ie cookie tins).  I personally will be sending goodies (such as cookies and other food related items) in small, sturdy boxes within a bigger box which will prevent the goods from being crushed.
  - If you send cookies/goodies/food, it's best to send everything with (or in) a ziplock bag.  I'm probably going to use a food saver and include a ziplock bag with them so he can transfer them from the food saver bag (which keeps the food fresh) into something he can carry around and seal (to avoid sand/dirt).
  - To keep things fresh I've been told adding a piece of bread to the cookies to help with moisture issues is a good idea.  Like I said before, it can take up to 22 days to get to him.
  - Sending candy is fine, as long as it won't melt in high heat.  I wouldn't send chocolate for that reason, even though chocolate chips in cookies and such should be fine to send.  Besides that, Jesse doesn't really care for chocolate candy anyway, he prefers things like Mamba's, Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, etc.  Include a ziplock bag with anything like that you send!
  - Postage is like sending something stateside!
  - Letters & drawings/pictures from kids would be a good morale booster for Jesse!  He may not hold onto them for a long period of time but I know he would appreciate them!  Please don't send anything that you would NOT want to be thrown away.
  - I am going to send any Thanksgiving and Christmas cards that I receive onto Jesse so that he can see them.  Please let me know if you need my address.  If you want to send cards to Jesse that is fine too.  I likely will be sending him packages bi-weekly and letters daily.
  - USPS offers FREE boxes, larger envelopes, and priority mail tape to military families (and probably friends too).  This includes 10 boxes, 10 customs forms with envelopes, 10 shipping envelopes, and a roll of the tape.  Call (800) 610-8734 for this "Mili-Pack."  It does take money to ship the box but it's a flat rate.  You can visit and look up "Supporting Our Troops."
  - Also, make 100% sure you send it addressed to Jesse specifically.  When I get the address I will post it EXACTLY how you need to send a package to get to Jesse.  If you are interested in sending a care package to any soldier, visit, do NOT send it to an address with the name as "Any Soldier" or anything of the like.  It will not go anywhere.

I may add/subtract from this list so I don't keep posting stuff about care packages on every blog.  So if you need a reference it'll be here!  I do not have an address for Jesse yet, I'm thinking I will by the end of the weekend!

Sites that I found interesting with care package information:

There ARE restrictions to what you can send.  Please take note of those, even though I don't believe anyone will send most of the things they list!  Please e-mail me with any questions.  My e-mail is:!

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