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Care Package Item Ideas




Care package item ideas

Care Packages are for those in Tech School and Beyond!

Did you know that CARE packages actually got their start being sent FROM the military?
Read here to get the history of CARE packages.

Guidelines and Restrictions

In addition to the military's guidelines, each country has its own customs regulations regarding incoming mail. So, before you send a letter or package to one of our troops overseas, make sure you're aware of the restrictions. PLEASE READ THIS.

  • Although there are specific restrictions for each 5-digit Military Post Office ZIP Code (APO/FPO/DPO), generally, the following are prohibited in certain areas of operation...
  • Obscene articles (prints, paintings, cards, films, videotapes, etc).
  • Any matter depicting nude or seminude persons, pornographic or sexual items, or non-authorized political materials. (Such as Weight Building Magazines and Victoria Secret Magazines are NOT acceptable)
  • Bulk quantities of religious materials contrary to the Islamic faith. Items for the personal use of the addressee are permissible.
  • Pork or pork by-products. 
  • A question was asked if a package could be sent to an airman in technical training that contains dry ice. There is no hard fast rule or easy answer for this question as every training base has their local regulations in what the airman may or may not possess. Dry ice is considered a hazardous material and all shipping agencies will follow federal regulations for its use. However, the key here is to take the lead from your airman and ensure he/she asks the first shirt in their CQ office in tech school.
    Many schools do not allow airman to possess any hazardous or toxic materials.
    For those of you with post Technical Training airman.
    **Please note is is against Federal regulations to send dry ice overseas or to any APO/FPO/DPO address.

Because we want to make sure that what we send is both acceptable, fun and will give our troops a smile, we have gathered the following information with suggestions. Always ask your military person if there is a specific need.    

  • This Care Package list is meant for those serving in the "Sandbox". However you can use many of these items for those that are stateside.
  • The sand covers EVERYTHING with a nasty film, so Ziploc bags (sandwich, qt., gal. sizes) & Plastic Rubbermaid containers (small to large) are in huge demand for them over there =) The bags are also useful to put some items in that could potential leak in your package, then can be re-used by them.
  • NOTHING SEXUAL or POLITICAL, no tobacco products (You could get them OR yourself into trouble)
  • Please note that items must be new and unopened
  • NO Canned foods other than prepackaged microwavable foods (keep in mind the heat)
  • GLASS is not a good idea
  • NON-AEROSOL for all sprays
  • Food Items:

NOTE** Any foods or food products that contain "Hemp" will show up as a positive for illegal or street drug substance if required to produce a urine sample. Do NOT use anything that may have "Hemp" including "Hemp Seed or Hemp Oil"

Cake in a Jar/Brownie in a Jar

Canned meats (NO pork products) (Pork is ok for stateside)


Cheese spread (no aerosol cans!)

Chef Boyardee Microwavable Items Chips & Pretzels (in snack sizes)

Coffee (singles), Tea Bags

Condiments (salt, pepper, sugar, seasoned salt)

Crackers & Cookies

Dried fruit

Hot Chocolate Packets

Fizzy tablets at Cracker Barrel that when you put them in a bottle of water it taste like root beer soda


Granola bars

Hard candy (individually-wrapped)


Jerky: Beef, Chicken or Turkey (NO Pork products) (pork is ok stateside)

Microwavable Mac & Cheese Singles

Nuts, Sunflower Seeds

Peanut butter


Pop Corn

Pop Tarts

Powdered Drink Mixes (indiv. packets are best)

Pudding Snack Packs

Ramen noodles

Raisins Red Licorice twists Slim Jims

Snack cakes

Tootsie Rolls (both candy and lollipops)

Trail mix, Chex Mix

Tuna in a pouch

Hygiene / Med Supplies

Aspirin, Tylenol

Band Aids

Bar Soap (Ivory-scentless)

Body wash

Condoms (would not send to certain regions, so please check with you airman)

Dental Floss


Eye drops, Saline Solution

Facial cleansing pads

Feminine Products (Pads, Tampons) Send Tampons to the men too! This is no joke. They can be used in wounds to stop the bleeding because it will absorb and expand! It also is a sure way to start a fire if need be and can also purify/clean water as it drips thru. (Read the story further down).

Flea Collars

Fly Strips

Swatters Foot powder

Gel Insoles

Imodium D

Lip Balm (Chap-stick)

Memory sticks for computers

Moisturizing Lotion

Mosquito Netting for their racks

Mouth Wash

Mouse Traps

Nail Care (files, clippers, tweezers)

Nasal Spray


Off Bug Spray

Pepto Bismol

Plastic Pill Bottles (this is also good to put q-tips in)

Powder Laundry Detergent 

Preparation H Wipes



Rolaids / Tums

Sewing Kit (travel size)

Shampoo and Conditioner

Shaving Cream


Shower In A Bag Wipes

Throat Lozenges

Tissues (Kleenex)

Toilet Paper (something soft)

Toothpaste Toothbrushes

Waterless Hand Soap / Sanitizer

Wet Wipes

  • Miscellaneous

Beanie Hats (dark or tan colored)

Blank Greeting cards

Cloth rags/Towels (dark or tan, wash cloth & bandanna size)

Electrical Tape

Envelops Letters

Notebooks (letter size & pocket sized)

Paint Brushes (quick gun cleaning)

Panty Hose (tan, for gun covers)

Pens, Pencils, Sharpeners

Phone Cards

Pipe Cleaners (quick gun cleaning)

Scarves (dark colored, to warp around face)

Sunglasses (wrap around kind, dark)

Tan Boot Laces

Tee Shirts (tan)

OLD CELL PHONES (with or without the chargers)

  • Sports Equipment


Baseball gloves



Hacky Sacks

Mini Flashlights

Nerf Toys Squirt guns

Soccer balls



AA & AAA batteries

Books (soft cover: mysteries, action, drama, science fiction) *Note special wrapping instructions when shipping.

CD's \ DVD's

Craft kits

Crossword puzzles


Disposable Cameras

Magazines (sports, news, entertainment etc.)

Playing cards

Poker Chips

Portable CD & DVD players

Small hand-held games

  • Tampons:
  • I found this on an Army page I'm on. Send your Men & Women Tampons!!!


    I had to share this email I got today...Be sure to read to the end!!!

    Don't let the title of this e-mail fool you! It is very good reading!!!!

    Panties size 20.... True story please read the whole thing....You'll love it!

    Be reminded that "God Works in Mysterious Ways "

    Tampons (A TRUE STORY)

    Tampons to the rescue in Iraq !! Don't worry, it's a good story. And worth reading. It's even humorous in parts. It's from the Mother of a Marine in Iraq .

    My son told me how wonderful the care packages we had sent them from the ladies auxiliary were and wanted me to tell Everyone thank you.

    He said that one guy we'll call Marine X, got a female care package and everyone was giving him a hard time. My son said, 'Marine X got some really nice smelling lotion and everyone really likes it, so every time he goes to sleep they steal it from him. 'I told my son I was really sorry about the mistake, and if he wanted I would send Marine X another package.

    He told me not to worry about Marine X, because every time I send something to him, he shares it with Marine X.

    He said when my husband and I sent the last care package, Marine X came over to his cot picked up the box, started fishing through it, and said, 'What'd we get this time?'

    But my son said they had the most fun with Marine X's package. He said he wasn't sure who it was supposed to go to, but the panties were size 20, and he said one of the guys got on top of the Humvee and jumped off with the panties over his head and yelled, 'Look at me, I'm an Airborne Ranger!!!!'

    One of the guys attached the panties to an antenna and it blew in the wind like a windsock. He said it entertained them for quite awhile. Then of course.......they had those tampons. When he brought this up, my imagination just went running, but he continued.

    My son said they had to go on a mission and Marine X wanted the Chap-Stick and lotion for the trip. He grabbed a bunch of the items from his care package and got in the Humvee. As luck would have it, he grabbed the tampons too, and my son said they were ambushed and a Marine was shot. He said the wound was pretty clean, but it was deep. He said they were administering first aid but couldn't get the bleeding to slow down, and someone said, 'Hey! Use Marine X's tampons!' My son said they put the tampon in the wound. At this point my son profoundly told me, 'Mom, did you know that tampons expand?' ('Well....yeah!')

    They successfully slowed the bleeding until the guy got better medical attention. When they went to check on him later, the surgeon told them, 'You guys saved his life. If you hadn't stopped that bleeding he would have bled to death.' My Son said, 'Mom, the tampons sent by the Marine Moms by mistake saved a Marine's life.'

    At this point I asked him, 'Well, what did you do with the rest of the tampons?'

    He said, 'Oh, we divided them up and we all have them in our flak jackets, and I kept two for our first aid kit.'

    I am absolutely amazed by the ingenuity of our Marines. I can't believe that something that started out as a mistake then turned into a joke, ended up saving someone's life. My sister said she doesn't believe in mistakes. She believes God had a plan all along. She believes that 'female care package was sent to Marine X to save our Marine.

(FYI: tampons can also be used for starting fires & purifying water.)

Either way, our efforts have boosted the morale of many Marines, provided much needed items for our troops, AND saved the life of a Marine! God bless every one of you for your efforts and hard work, and God bless our Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force and all our military service personnel.



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*All other information is considered ©AirForceMOMSBMT for personal use only not to be used in part or whole for or by any other group without explicit written consent from Lorraine Silva