Ideas for care packages to the Middle East for the holiday season?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by lotsofbooks, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. lotsofbooks

    lotsofbooks 5-Year Member

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    We want to send a care package to our SIL who is currently deployed to in the middle east as a pilot. (until January) I figured a lot of the normal suggestions are out of date and I haven't heard of many suggestions lately. The lists contained a lot of food items like snacks- granola bars, or lemonade mix ,beef jerky, homemade treats etc. We want to send something useful and worthwhile. I figured they just read on e readers otherwise I might send some paperbacks but I wasn't sure about that. thanks so much!
     
  2. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    Your list is still pretty accurate. My son is home right now for a visit so I asked him. He said jerky, gum, fruit snacks/fruit strips, individual bags of chips/snacks, packs of crackers, cookies, candy (no chocolate or things that can melt). Anything they can take in the jet with them when they have 8 hours of burning holes in the sky. He also said chewing tobacco is big even if they don't chew, it is a very good bartering/gifting item for maintenance/crew chiefs or other pilots.

    Stealth_81
     
  3. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012 5-Year Member

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    Anything that melts or would get crushed or pulverized is a no-go.
    Most "practical" things are likely available on base, obviously depending heavily on where he is.

    Favorite things I have gotten:
    -Homemade treats, but not everything successfully makes the journey.
    -Small personal items that are special from home. For example, my parents sent me a shirt from a local company and treats only available back home.
    -Books. I burn through books like it's cool and can only periodically refresh my tablet. Plus, it's neat getting books that are chosen/recommended by family and friends.
    -HEALTHY SNACKS. Junk food is readily available at PXs/ship stores/whatever. It's difficult to eat healthy and even getting stuff like dehydrated fruit is nice.

    I'll second the dip recommendation. That stuff is its own currency. If he's trying to get swole, like a lot of people do on deployment, a particular brand of protein or preworkout.
    The best gift, obviously, is booze smuggled in Listerine bottles.
     
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  4. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    I assume this is a joke.

    With all the righteous admonitions about duty and honor on this forum we should add good judgement.

    I explained to my DS--who just returned Thursday from spending 19 of the last 20 months over there--they may be lazy, self-righteous and ungrateful but you are still a guest. Americans have enough of a reputation of ignoring local customs. Besides there is plenty of legal and openly consumable booze to be had close by over a long weekend.

    BTW Don't let them see you chewing gum during Ramadan.
     
  5. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    Girl Scout Cookies always brightened my day.
     
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  6. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    Perhaps it is more of an infantry thing, but my son in law (Army combat medic) really appreciated baby wipes when he was deployed.
     
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  7. lotsofbooks

    lotsofbooks 5-Year Member

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    Thank you thank you! Those are great ideas and it helped to reaffirm those items before I went out and purchased a bunch of things (that we don't use ourselves) ..I did think of one more item (we're in the NW) , smoked salmon, in the foil pouches, that travels well and goes great with crackers! The book list is a great suggestion as my husband reads (mainly NF) all the time and this is a way he can contribute. The SIL has interest in my husband's work and ideas (he does investments) , it's basically a lifetime of reading so this gives him a way to share... I guess we'll load up the list on Amazon so he can access it online. We wouldn't have thought of that on our own! thanks again!
     
  8. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    Amazon should have a registry (recommended items as above) so that we could buy items for donation to troops overseas. Free shipping & tax free of course, they can afford it.
     
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  9. lotsofbooks

    lotsofbooks 5-Year Member

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    thanks for information, the package is on it's way. The USPS gives a $1 discount off the large flat fee box for military so it's about $17 ish to send it. My daughter encouraged me to send something homemade as she said they are arriving in about 8 days she thought. So I sent some cookies. She said home made is always a hit she said they get enough food and basic items are always available (at least for the pilots) .
    Amazon did have a 'patriot pack' one could purchase.
    This is about the books - we picked some non fiction items of interest (older books) , the kindle edition was about $10 per book, and the used price on Amazon with shipping was around $6 so we just decided to go with the hard copies at the moment as at least they could be shared. We considered the kindle subscription but my other daughter said that it's really just a library of selections and the selections are limited. So don't fall for the kindle membership if you want specific books, you don't have a choice of just any book you would like fyi. I'm glad I didn't pursue that option after she explained that to me. thanks again for all the advice...
     
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  10. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    Could you supply more info on Amazon; I put "patriot pack" in the search bar but only a holster showed up, thanks.
     
  11. lotsofbooks

    lotsofbooks 5-Year Member

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    Wow, here you go! There's some different companies so I think plenty to choose from . I heard from my SIL he said he would love to have books on kindle as he is in his plane for 10 hours--. So I will pick out some other titles he can use on his kindle. fyi, the paperback books we chose are 'No one would listen' about Madoff, the 'King of California ' about a farming empire and how it started, and 'the Big Short' are three titles that my husband liked, he does investments for a living so he reads a lot of NF and the SIL is a little interested also. My daughter said the personal touch like something homemade or some small Christmas decorations are most appreciated... see below for some of the Amazon ideas.


    https://www.amazon.com/Package-Ulti...11911784&sr=8-14&keywords=military+food+packs

    https://www.amazon.com/Package-Vari...911863&sr=8-15&keywords=military+food+package

    https://www.amazon.com/Military-Car...31&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=patriot+food+package

    https://www.amazon.com/TastefulTrea...31&sr=1-3-spell&keywords=patriot+food+package
     
  12. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    thank you
     
  13. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    My wife sends packages with all those incidental snacks. They love them and they go fast in the Fleet. She also has her 1st grade class write some letters to the deployed. They love to read them. Find a grade school class that can adopt a deployed and send letters with the package. Save them they are priceless.
     
  14. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    Good food that travels well. Something like a dried ham, maybe some cheeses. Depends on what they like.
    Even at a FOB, mess hall food gets old, to the point where you can tell what day it is by what they serve. And "lobster"?? Please. What they serve is not lobster. Real lobster has claws.
     
  15. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    Not in Kuwait you don't. Pork is is right there with alcohol in Islam. Some Muslim countries do, in fact, permit alcohol and/or pork, but Kuwait is not one of them. If you intend to send any meat products, be sure and check what is allowed. Also, check if imported meat needs to be certified as "Halal," roughly the Islamic equivalent of "kosher".
     
  16. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    Yeah, we'll give our service members Pork Rib MRE's that taste like worm infested dog feces, but heaven forbid they get a cured ham in the mail. And the generals will fly around lecturing troops on illicit alcohol in theater, then hop their flight to Qatar for a "briefing" and martini lunch.:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  17. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    You’ll probably appreciate this.
    Prior to my R&R flight home they lectured us on not drinking until we were home and behind closed doors. I mean heaven forbid the AMERICAN public should see a service member on the way home from a combat zone having a cold one.
    Well, the SRO on the flight was a USMC bird colonel. At our Shanon fuel stop he gets on the aircraft PA and announces, “I’m Colonel ________, USMC. I know hat you were told before we left, but I haven’t had a beer in 9 months and I intend to have one now. Anyone object?” Silence. “Anyone want to join me?” The airplane full of Army troops gave a loud “OORAH!”, and we stormed off the airplane.
    In DFW, my stop in the way Home I intended to be good and just have a steak. But suddenly beers started showing up. Of course I could not insult my fellow citizens by turning down their display of hospitality.
     
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  18. lotsofbooks

    lotsofbooks 5-Year Member

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    Feedback! The SIL arrived home safely just before Christmas and I spoke with him to make sure the two packages arrived in time... He said he was very appreciative and reading between the lines it sounded like an 'event' for him to share with his crew. The first one contained some homemade cookies (I was doubtful about the condition after the trip) but he said they were all gobbled up so guess that answered my question . ( I sent oatmeal raisin according to a recommendation I found for shipping cookies) The second box contained a smoked salmon (in a foil bag) from Costco, and he said that really made a hit with the group and created a nice 'party' as they shared it together. He said everything in the boxes was appreciated! We sent some books and compared notes about them and that was really fun. I'm going to start a new thread about the books.... thanks again!
     
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