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Send Our Troops a Care Package

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Published January 8th 2012

It's nice to receive a care package and a reminder of home when you're overseas. Several of my friends live in Europe at the moment, so every Christmas I send them the essentials – tins of Milo and packets of Tim Tams.

Now imagine that you're a soldier stationed in a strange country doing a dangerous and thankless job. I bet that Milo would taste pretty good. If you'd like to send a care package to a solider it's a lot easier and a lot cheaper than you would imagine.

This blog has all the information you need, but I'll try to condense it for you. First, you can send packages to Afghanistan, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands, or to the dog handlers. You can also send a postcard or an e-mail.

What can you send? Almost anything. The packages will go through customs so there are a few contrabands such as alcohol, cigarettes, and aerosol cans. As the troops are in largely Muslim areas, pork and pornographic materials are a no-no. And homemade foods will be thrown away.

What should you send? Again, almost anything. Try to think about what you would like to receive if you were stationed overseas. It's recommend that you include some food (long life items that will survive the journey such as tinned tuna, tea or coffee and bags of lollies), some hygiene items (try to choose quality over quantity), and a few entertainment items (such as books, a deck of cards or DVDs). Chocolates are not recommended and socks are the only clothing allowed.

You will find some care package samples here and here. You might like to include a self addressed stamp envelope or an e-mail address so you can get more information about what items the soldiers need, if you plan on sending more than one.

I've saved the best part for last – if your package is less than two kilograms, Australia Post will send it for free!
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