What to Include in a Deployment Care Package

It is safe to say that being in the military is one of the most mentally and physically demanding jobs on the planet. Grueling missions through unforgiving terrain in foreign lands or long days of training can really take its toll.  It is important to send our troops as much love and support as well can to help them perform at their best.  

So what should you include in your care package to your deployed loved one? I would suggest including at least a few items from the following categories:

Food to fill and pack in deployment care package

Unfortunately, our deployed servicemen and women don’t always have access to the wide array of culinary options that we do here. When you have been deployed for months mealtime can become monotonous. I’m sure your loved one would love a special something that reminds them of home.

When packing your care package keep in mind that it will be traveling thousands of miles through temperature extremes. Due to the long journey, it's best not to include food items that easily spoil like fresh fruits and meats or those that melt like chocolate and some hard candy. 

Great items to include:

  • Nuts
  • Dried Fruit
  • Trail Mix - Include a Ziplock bags with it if the bag is not resealable. 
  • Protein bars
  • Baked Goods - Bake your own or send some from a local bakery. It may take 8-11 business days for your package to arrive to your loved one so make sure to vacuum seal your baked goods and place them in a plastic container to prevent them from getting crushed. 
  • Beef Jerky
  • Candy
  • Powdered Drink Mixes - Crystal Light, Pedialyte, Emergen-C etc. Our loved ones are constantly drinking water to stay hydrated, let's make it a bit more enjoyable.
deployment care package for men ideas

Depending on where your loved one is stationed, access to bathing facilities may be limited or unavailable. Include a few essentials to make their missions a little more comfortable. 

Great items to include:

  • Baby Wipes - Showers aren’t always readily available. Baby wipes are a great way for your loved one to feel a little more clean and comfortable between showers.
  • Q-Tips
  • Oral care - Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash & dental floss
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Foot Powder
  • Razor and Shaving Cream
  • Soap
entertainment ideas for deployed military service members

Even though our service members work incredibly hard they can find themselves with a large amount of downtime. With limited access to the internet and familiar comforts of home, boredom can set in. Make sure to include a few things to help keep them entertained. 

Great items to include:

  • Reading Materials - Books and magazines.
  • Activity Books- Crossword Puzzles, Word search, or Sudoku- you can even make your own - Create a free personalized crossword puzzle here
  • Games - Uno and playing cards are a great way for your deployed loved one and their friends to stay entertained.  
  • Journal
Sentimental gifts for a care package

Probably the most important thing to include in your care package is love. As many of us know, being separated by thousands of miles for months at a time can take its toll. It is important to remind them of how we appreciate their sacrifice and how much they are loved.

Great items to include:

  • Letters- Handwritten letters from family and friends are a great way to reconnect to home.
  • Artwork- Create or have the kids make your deployed loved one a special work of art just for them.
  • Photographs - I use CVS or Walgreens for low-cost prints. 
  • Open When Letters- a great way to stay connected to your loved one. View our Open When Letter Labels here

 military deployment care package flap ideas

Remember, gathering supplies for your care package doesn’t need to cost a lot. Many of the items above can be found at your local Dollar Tree, Dollar General or 99 Cent Store. Shopping at these stores can save you a lot of money and allow you to include more items or send care packages more frequently. 

USPS Flat Rate shipping boxes are free. 

You can order your Military Care Kit at USPS.com the kit includes:

  • Two Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate Boxes
  • Four Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes
  • Priority Mail tape
  • Six Priority Mail address labels
  • Six Custom Forms Envelopes