15 Things Service Members Secretly Want in a Care Package

military care packages

We love our service members, and we know that one of the best ways to make them feel loved during deployment is to send care packages stuffed with fabulous goodies. But what, exactly, do they truly want in those care packages? We’ve surveyed experienced spouses and service members to get the truth behind this shouldn’t-be-complicated-but-it-is question. They tell us what they really do want…

  1. Pictures and artwork from home.
  2. Pre-marked calendar counting down their deployment.
  3. Beef jerky and fruit cups.
  4. Home-made baked goodies. (Tip: pack a slice of white bread in with your home baked goodies and pack them in plastic containers. It keeps them fresh and they will reuse the containers when packing to come home!)
  5. Air fresheners. (Honestly. They can never have too many!)
  6. Flavored powered drink mix for bottled water.
  7. Power converters that work in the country where they are serving.
  8. Electric blanket (depending on season and power converter).
  9. New workout shoes, gloves or headphones/ear buds for working out.
  10. Protein bars and protein powder (Tip: if your spouse likes protein powder, we suggest sending a funnel for their powder. It’s easier to use disposable water bottles instead of shakers. No washing required.)
  11. iTunes gift cards.
  12. New movies or TV series on DVD
  13. Video games (new or used)
  14. Board games
  15. K-cup for Keurig machines (tea, coffee, and hot chocolate)

5 Things You Shouldn’t Send

  1. Anything embarrassing to open in public. Privacy is at a minimum when you are deployed. (Sounds obvious, we know, but sometimes it can be easy to forget!)
  2. Canned meats.
  3. Care packages that are gender-specific and not marked that way.
  4. Off-brand toiletries-they want brand-name only, please.
  5. Anything sent priority mail. Save your money: the military, not the post office, prioritizes mail.
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