By Buddy Blouin
Military care packages are one of the most thoughtful ways to show the people in uniform that you are thinking of them. Deployment can be difficult, even with the advancements in technology that have us more connected than ever before. Putting together the right gifts can help the military member in your life out tremendously. Whether you are making a care package for a friend and are looking for cute deployment care package ideas or trying to help out a loved one in the service, we’ve got you covered!

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Ideas for Military Care Packages

First off, the best way to complete your military care packages is to be thoughtful. The act itself is very thoughtful, of course, but because every soldier is different, you’re going to want to send something that they will personally appreciate. With that in mind, take a closer look at some easy military care package ideas to help you build the ultimate military care packages:
  • Letters

    are always a top-notch idea. A heartfelt letter is the starting point of any care packages for the military. This is especially true for those in basic training where less is more and a full package may end up being stored until after their training is completed anyways. Also, if they are unauthorized to receive a care package, it could lead to negative repercussions. Skip the goods and send a non-decorated, heartfelt letter instead.
  • Photos

    and letters go perfectly together and can help military personnel reconnect with home. Don’t go overboard, but small photos can bring any updates to life.
  • Snacks and homemade treats

    are a tasty way to lift the spirits of anyone. Be sure, of course, that your packaging is secure and that the food you do send won’t spoil for a considerable amount of time. Packaged sauces can also be a great gift to help liven up the taste of the food they are provided. Send it over, and they’ll appreciate it more than you know.
  • Small basic supplies

    are helpful to keep soldiers protected and comfortable. Think of things such as sunscreen, toiletries, hand warmers if it's cold, flip flops for warmer temperatures, etc.
  • Pens, paper, envelopes, and stamps

    can be used by troops send letters back home because cell phone service may not always be available or allowed.
  • Cards, games, and puzzles

    can help troops pass the time and relax during the downtimes of service.
  • IcyHot, aspirin, and allergy medicines

    can help alleviate some of the pains that come with working out, operations, training, etc.
  • Sports equipment

    is another thoughtful gift, such as a soccer ball, football, baseball and glove, etc. While you are unlikely to be able to ship over a basketball goal, sending small sport-related items provides a fun way for troops to unwind.
Want to send a curated care package unique to your service member? Check out this build-your-own care package option from Hero Care Packages. What can you send in a military care package? Things that help your soldier reconnect with home and find comfort in deployment. Serving America is a noble profession, but there are many sacrifices that come along with it. Providing a little ease can boost spirits and raise morale.

What Not To Send in a Military Care Package

Sending the wrong items can result in punishment for you and the soldier receiving the items. It’s best to avoid certain things and stick to what won’t land anyone in trouble, even jail. Remember: Basic training isn’t the right time for a full military care package, but during deployment, it’s important to know what isn’t a good item to send. For important military care package list no-no's, be sure to check out the USPS shipping restrictions, but here’s a short list of things to keep at home:
  • Aerosols, explosives, or pressurized items.
  • Drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and adult materials are forbidden.
  • Food that can perish (or at least perish very quickly).
  • Weapons and ammo.
  • Clothing or other items with profanity or a specific political affiliation.
  • Pork isn’t allowed in many countries, so skip it as part of your snacks when appropriate.
There are many other things to consider, such as revealing clothing for women, most nail polish (though some recent exceptions have been made in the Marines), vapes, mouthwash with alcohol, dry ice, and more. The best thing to do is to err on the side of caution. If it seems like it's borderline, don’t include it. Be sure to review what is allowed by the USPS standards, and speak with your troop about the guidelines set forth by their military branch.

How To Send Military Care Packages for Free

The Military Care Kit from the USPS has everything you need for a successful military care package. It’s a free way to send your goods to a soldier stationed away from home. Each kit comes with six boxes, tape, and labels. You can even track your package online and receive up to five kits for your order.

Crown Royal Military Care Packages

The Canadian whisky powerhouse Crown Royal has teamed up with Packages From Home, a non-profit organization, to help send free military care packages every month through The Purple Bag Project. Crown Royal has sent more than one million care packages through the initiative to American troops serving all around the world. The popular whisky comes packaged in its iconic purple bag, and when customers are finished, they can bring the bag back to participating stores to donate them. The bags are then sent back to the program and filled as military care packages for those in the service. Check back each month to help make the day of a military member who is helping defend America the Beautiful.

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