Kelly in Columbus is a romance reader, RT Convention volunteer, and the keeper of a list of deployed personnel seeking mail. Her list includes individuals as well as whole units. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Readers often ask what they should write or send when signing up to correspond with deployed personnel. All Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and Coasties enjoy cards. Here's a suggestion:
1. Ask for several names (or a whole unit).
2. Grab the neighborhood kids, church youth group, and/or Scouts.
3. Pass out construction paper, fold in half, and have the kids write the cards:
Front cover: Greetings from (town, county, state)
Inside card: Thank you for serving. We know you are away from home. But we will think of you as we enjoy freedom and liberty. Signed, First Name.
4. Include a pack of gum, an individual tea packet, an individual drink powder, etc.
5. Insert into an envelope. Address to the individuals. If they are assigned to a unit, you can group together into one envelope to save on postage.
If you are interested in sending a care package, I recommend the priority mail flat rate box. the boxes are free and the USPS discounts the mailing cost to APO addresses. I refer to Tamara Argyle, @tamara_argyle, a romance reader I met at RT/09 in Orlando. As a Navy surgeon, she has plenty of experience being at sea .. and in the desert. Here's what she recommends:
1. Soap and shampoos, especially the kind that soldiers can use while holding a spout over their head.
2. Foot powder and other personal hygiene items.
3. Air freshener.
4. Individual packets of drink mix that will replace lost electrolytes from sweating in the extreme heat. She noted that care packages often include a large container with drink mix, which is thoughtful, but difficult to use if no pitcher is available. The individual packets can always be mixed into water bottles.
5. Candy that doesn't melt.
6. Paperbacks, crossword books, and Sudoku books.
7. No batteries - they require special disposal to prevent them from being used for bombs.
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City