According to Business Insider, The Department of Defense (DOD) announced that the actively deployed troops assigned to the US-Mexico border will be staying there until at least January 31st, 2019.
These men and women are not the only troops who won't be able to spend the holiday season with their families. There are about 14,000 active duty military members who are currently deployed in Syria and Afghanistan, as well as others who are on missions around the world.
While nothing can come even remotely close to spending time with family, friends and loved ones during the holiday season, they can still receive care packages to make them feel a little closer to home.
What to send:
If you're wondering what to send, non-perishable food is always a great thing! Items like jerky, nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter, and tuna. Anything that can be added to MREs are also a huge plus, anything can make them taste better, including Ramen, hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, and seasonings. Items that are likely to melt or get stick in the shipping process should be avoided. If you would like to send chocolate, gummies, or gum it is suggested to put it in a plastic bag.
A lot of people in the military use tobacco product, sending products such as dip, or cigarettes are allowed, however, alcohol and drugs are not.
Other items they'd appreciate include hygiene products such as baby wipes, mouthwash, razors, shaving cream, hand sanitizer, deodorant, sunscreen, and lotion. Unscented supplies such as these is recommended.
It can be a little slow sometimes, playing cards and games can relieve stress and be fun. They also appreciate letters, cards and comics.
How to send and Organizations that can help:
Even if you don't know someone who is deployed you can still send care packages. Here are a couple of organizations that can help.
- USO- they offer choices of gifts online to buy and send. There's also a form you can submit to request a package.
- Operation Support Our Troops
- Soldiers' Angels
Those who live near a military, national guard, or reserves base, and would like to provide support and send a care package to one of its units deployed, contacting the local public affairs office is the best way.
For sending packages through the USPS regular restricted items apply. Check out a link for service guidelines. You can also check out the USPS's special military mail supplies and rates, as well as examples on how to address the care package.
Military.com has a list of more organizations you can send packages through as well as more of what to send over seas.
Pinterest also has some great ideas for deployment packages too!