Gifts for Soldiers
Great Gifts for Soldiers Away From Home
Sending gift packages to soldiers (GIs as I'm used to calling them) can be fun and rewarding not only for the soldier but for you as well. Here I'll explore what to send; how to send them; and have you share your experiences as well.
I am an Army brat so my Dad was overseas a lot when I was growing up. My Mom encouraged us to send letters and gifts to him so he would know we loved him. I'll share some of the things we did for him and my brother-in-law, who was in the Navy as well.
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Soldiers Gift: The gift of letters
Letter show them you miss them
The most important thing you can do is to write to your soldier. Don't worry about your handwriting, spelling or grammar. They really don't care. Just getting mail is a big deal to them. More important is mail from people they love.
It doesn't matter what you write about. Tell them about the latest movie you saw, your job, what the kids did today, what Aunt Bessie said, what you cooked for dinner, the latest joke you heard -- anything at all.
Above all, tell them you miss them and love them. Writing to them shows them you care and love them in a way that nothing else can. They probably know how hard it is to write themselves.
When my father, who was what they call a lifer in the Army, was away (Viet Nam, Korea, Dominican Republic), my mother literally wrote him every single day. I loved her for doing that and I know my Dad did too. She also encouraged us to write him. Which I did even though my handwriting was so horrible.Whenever you think about not writing because you can't think of something to say, imagine her face when it's mail call and her name is called. It will light up even if it's just a simple handwritten note that says, "I love You."
Soldiers Gift: Gift of photos
Send photos to remind them of you
Photos are one of the best gifts you can send a soldier away from home. Sometimes when you are away from a loved one, it's hard to remember what they look like. I know that sounds weird, but it happens. Send them lots a pictures -- pictures in different situations. You or your kids or friends being silly, serious, making an idiot of themselves; receiving an award, opening up Christmas gifts.
Take pictures of all of the occasions you may take for granted but they will be missing with all of their hearts. Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, picnics, little league games, graduations, Jimmy taking his first step or little Mary baking her first cake.
Make up reasons to take pictures. Try seeing your day as your soldier away from home would if she was there. He wants to see it all, so give it to him!
Soldiers who are away from home really miss seeing their loved ones so send them lots and lots of photos -- doing all sorts of things. Not just dress up. How about "a day in the life of" your family. Take pictures of everyone in bed, at the breakfast table, washing the car, watching the game, shooting hoops, cooking, cleaning.
Dig deep, what would make her laugh or smile? What would touch him and let her know that you really miss her?
Kindles Books and Assessories
Trappings of a Soldier
Mobile phones for your soldier - Make it easy for them to call home
Soldiers Gift: Personal Recordings
Send them a cassette player and make weekly recordings of your family talking about their day, what's happening in your neighborhood, church, school or community.
Even the little things you take for granted, they will want to know about. Believe me, they miss the small talk, the mundane, the every day stuff. Nothing is going to be boring to them.
Just hearing your voices will be good for them. It will give them a reason to come home.Don't forget to tell them -- every time you talk to them -- how much you miss them and love them and support them. They will never, ever get tired of hearing that.
Blank Journals or Microrecorders on Amazon
OR, how about sending your soldier a microcassette recorder? Especially good for soldiers who don't like to write.
Don't forget to send them extra batteries and mailing envelopes -- self-stamped with your name and address and postage already on it. Make it as easy for them as possible.
Kodak Pocket Video Recorder - The perfect gift for the soldier
Goodies Box Ideas
Soldiers Gift: Goody Packages
Just thinking about this one brings a smile to my face. I remember making fudge for my brother-in-law who was in the Navy on board ship. I wasn't the best baker, but I made a mean fudge.
Anyway, he couldn't thank me enough. Sent me a very nice thank you letter. Then when he returned, he broke the real story to me -- the fudge melted together and was a pretty big gooey mess.
Games to pass the time
Soldiers Gift: Games for Soldiers
To pass the time, soldiers can play games. The best ones to send are the small travel sets. From chess and cribbage to dominoes or scrabble and solitare.
Just having a deck of cards can make the long days off-duty go by faster.
Travel games on Amazon
Other Organizations Helping Our Soldiers
- Phones for Soldiers!
Our goal is to help our soldiers serving overseas call home. Through generous donations and the recycling of used cell phones from drop-off sites across the country, we have already distributed thousands of calling cards to soldiers in Iraq, Kuwait,
- Fisher House -- Helping Military Families
Scholarships for Military Children Scholarships for Military Children Sponsors Our network of Fisher Houses:
- Armed Forces Relief Trust
Help boost the morale and welfare of our troops, better enabling them to focus on their important mission.
- United States Military Combined Families
Our organization provides support for all military banches and their families.
- Fuzzilicious Thinking: Support the Troops' Families
This team will provide TLC to all family members; (i.e., wives, husbands, and/or friends) in need of encouragement and support [during deployments]. Support will be provided primarily through E-Mail and electronic communications. Taking care of famil
- Soldiers Angel's Living Legends
The Living Legends team conducts one of the most delicate and demanding missions of Soldiers' Angels: comforting the loved ones left behind when a warrior falls on the battlefield. Our goal is to make sure families and friends of America's fallen her
- Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pet - Supporting our military service members, veterans, and their bel
Supporting our military service members, veterans, and their beloved pets through our Foster Home program/service aimed at reuniting pet(s) and owner following deployment or an emergency hardship.
- Soldiers' Angels-
As a volunteer-led nonprofit, we have over 20 different teams and programs supporting all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Through special projects, dedicated teams and individuals supporting our troops, we make a visible difference in the lives of
- OperationHomeFront.net - Supporting Our Troops by Helping the Families They Leave Behind.
Operation Homefront is a non profit community supporting our troops by helping the families they leave behind when the active duty or reserve member deploys in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard. Operation Homefront provides aid t
- Books For Soldiers - Care Packages For The MInd
Books For Soldiers is a soldier support site that ships books, dvds, video games and relief supplies to deployed military members of the US armed forces.
- Operation Gratitute - Care Packages for Soldiers
Operation Gratitude seeks to lift morale and put smiles on faces by sending care packages addressed to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed in harm's way.** Operation Gratitude care packages contain food, hygiene products, enter
Articles and stories about soldiers past and present - Read about the men and women who fight for our freedom
- Polar Bear Soldiers
Madonna University history professor Dr. Roger Crownover and graduate student Phil Naud were tapped by a documentary production company to help out in the creation of a movie about a particular group of Michigan vets, soldiers not so much forgotten a
- Film memorializes plight of Michigan's Polar Bears
As a young woman, Detroit native Pamela Peak heard bits and pieces about her grandfather's service in North Russia at the end of World War I. Now a filmmaker living in California, on Saturday she unveiled her new film about his little-known expeditio
A Reader's Gift to her Husband - The gift of surprise and love
I got the following message yesterday, "Hi. I am an Army wife, and my husband just left for his fourth deployment, this time for Afghanistan. I just thought you would like to know about this blog I posted about supporting our troops and a holiday gift idea for soldiers. Support Our Troops: Gifts for Soldiers http://www.collegiatecamo.com/blog/gifts-for-soldi...
Also, here is a video of me surprising him at the airport right before he deployed. A lot of tears when I had to leave, but it was great to see him one last time and have a quiet, private, personal goodbye."
Below is the video she made.
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