What to Send and Not to Send a Deployed Service Member?

Receiving a care package from home can be a real morale booster for a deployed service member. Choosing and packing the contents of the package will also help you feel closer to your loved one. Your service member will undoubtedly appreciate anything you send, but some things are particularly useful, and some items can’t be sent at all. Before putting together your service member’s care package, find out what he or she wants, and check to see if there are restrictions on what you can send. What not to send: There may be items you cannot send, depending on where your service member is located. If your service member is in the Middle East or Persian Gulf areas, you should not send anything that would offend people of the Islamic faith, including pork or pork by-products, obscene material, religious materials contrary to Islam, anything depicting nude or semi-nude persons, pornographic or sexual items, alcohol, or non-authorized political materials. What to send: Reminders from home: in every care package, be sure to include a personal note or other special reminder of home. Photographs, drawings, and videotapes of your activities at home will be comforting to your service member. Entertainment and Communication: Reading material, word games, electronics, phone cards, writing material. Food and Drinks: Powdered drink mix, protein bars, snacks, candy and gum. Personal Care and Clothing: Choose small, travel-size containers of personal care products, and avoid aerosol cans. To keep liquids from spilling, cover the opening of the container with plastic wrap, then recap before shipping.

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