Sending packages overseas for the holidays is a great way to help someone in need this season. For Brenda Truitt, it is especially meaningful as her son was an active Marine until December of 2011, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
During his time overseas, Brenda would send him boxes once or twice a month to provide him with every day items he couldn’t get there. “He told me that there were many men and women in the armed forces who don’t receive any mail or boxes. He also told of how the mail was dropped by helicopter and that armed guards would retrieve them in open fields. It makes these boxes even more special when the soldiers finally get them.”
With her son home for the holidays this year, Brenda didn’t want to forget about the troops still fighting for our country during the holidays and all year round. “I asked fellow employees of mine at The Snook Inn if they wished to help. If they would bring in boxes of supplies, I would send them out.
“I spoke with a couple of friends, and my son, and asked them to get me names and addresses for some soldiers overseas. I received responses in 24 hours. The employees of The Snook Inn ended up donating eight boxes filled with donations along with money for shipping.”
According to Brenda, anyone who wishes to do this just has to ask around and will usually find someone very quickly who has a friend or relative stationed overseas. Contacting the local V.A. offices or American Legions may also be a good place to gather names.
Large flat rate boxes are available at the post office and are free of charge. It is about $15 to ship each box and they require a declaration label on them. The post office is great about helping with whatever you may need.
A list of approved items follows:
Band aids, socks, cammo bandanas, canned goods (flip top), magazines, dvd’s, crossword puzzles, books, toothbrushes, small toothpaste, hard candy, soap, lotion, foot powder, razors, shaving gel, anti-biotic cream, zip lock bags, washcloths, deodorant, combs, brushes, local newspapers, (The Coastal Breeze Newspaper went with our boxes!), disposable cameras, flavored powder mix to put in water and instant coffee.
There can not be anything perishable, anything that melts and NO Aerosol cans. The extreme heat (over 120 degrees in Afghanistan) puts a toll on the boxes if they have to sit for any length of time.
Sending packages to our soldiers for the holidays and any time of year brings them joy and brings them a feeling of being at home. It is a gift to be able to do something for these troops that do so much for our country.