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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Package with Care to your Soldier

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Package with Care to your Soldier

If you are a military spouse or ever intend to send a package overseas, here are some things to consider. Instead of trial and error, or worse....having your hubby end up with a soggy, chocolately mess...become an expert in what to ship!

I started out myself, many years ago, shipping pre-packaged cookies, beef jerky and that horrible tobacco dip which my husband insisted he didn't need for himself but for his buddies. Eventually, I gathered..yeah...this was all nice but when you send the same thing, week after just gets boring...and as much as it is appreciated, here I was in a rut again...and so was my husband.

So, I started to branch out into other things. You always hear, send them toiletries, DVDs, magazines, books, even newspapers. How about socks, tshirts and Silly String? Well, I sent all that stuff and then some. Then I sent it a few more times. I had a few friends tell me their baked goods came out like rocks on the other end, or they melted into one big mass. I finally did a little research, talked to other wives and came up with a few more suggestions of what to put in that box.

  • The Armchair General magazine. It's exactly what is says. This is a great magazine for your military history buffs and put's them in th general's hotseat. My husband says these were passed around a lot.
  • Disposable cameras. Many have already trashed their digital cameras with all the dust and sand. Plus, they don't have to worry about losing or breaking it.
  • Recent photos of places around town. Take a few photos of that favorite fishing hole, restaurant or place he likes to hang out.
  • Homemade DVD recordings. Don't record just you and the family, how about a drive through town or the latest high school football game? Be sure to pan the crowd!
  • Multi-tools (such a Gerber and Leatherman)
  • Batteries. With all the electronics they have, they frequently run out of juice. Gotta have.
  • Icy/hot patches and stuff for feet (such as powders, moleskins and the like). Sore muscles are the norm, and their feet always appreciate something nice.
  • Stack of holiday cards. But not too many...or else they will feel obligated to use them all.
  • Wiley sunglasses and goggles. These can take a lot more abuse than your average pair.
  • Protective hard cases for electronic equipment and laptops, such as the Pelican brand.
Since soldiers seem to like homemade food rather than store bought, here are a few recipes that actually come out just fine on the other end...and edible too. The key is to stay away from butter, nuts, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey or molasses. Send bar cookies and brownies, which travel better. Wrap the goods tightly in tinfoil and then in a ziploc bag. Pack the goods in a sturdy box with styrofoam peanuts and be sure ingredients don't include pork, allspice or nutmeg if you are sending them to the Middle East.

Here are a few more ideas:

Please share your veteran ideas!



Blogger liberal army wife said...

I made chocolate snickerdoodles, when it got too hot for any thing with choc chunks or chips. individually wrapped candies - for those guys who did convoy duty to lob to the kids. Propel type drink mixes, all flavours. the individual ones were appreciated, could fit into pockets well. I sent to 5 different guys, one was in Afghanistan, 1 was my DH on base in Iraq, the others were just guys/women who did a variety of duties, including convoys, visits to schools etc.


November 15, 2007 at 5:24 PM  

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