5 Best Care Packages You Ever Got
Care packages to deployed troops is an old tradition in the U.S. military. They deliver more than just candy, soap and magazines, they deliver a connection to home. Here are five of the best care package finds of veterans of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and the Second World War
1. X-Box and Games
An Iraq veteran said his best care package find was a X-box and games someone had sent to his unit. “We hooked up the X-box to a flat screen TV someone “requisitioned” from the battalion S-2 shop and Ta-Da!...we were up and running, he said. “A funny thing was how popular the war games were. There we were guys taking a break from combat, play games of guys in combat. I wondered how long it would be before the game makers enabled a guy in combat to play a game of a guy playing a game in combat. Kind of messes with your mind huh?
2. A Diana Ross & the Supremes Greatest Hits album.
A Vietnam veteran described the thrill of opening a care package from home to find the newly released Diana Ross and the Supremes Greatest Hits double album set. Somehow is squad had scrounged an old record player but they had few good albums for it. He told of how the sweet sounds of the Supremes were a dramatic and welcome contrast to the long days of boredom interrupted only by brief periods of sheer terror. “We wore that album out, he said. “A favorite was You Keep Me Hangin’ On. I suppose popularity was because that was what many of us were doing, just hanging on until our tour was up and we could go back to the world.”
3. Nerf Mini Basketball Hoop
A Navy veteran said his best care package goodie while aboard ship as sea was a Nerf Mini Basketball Hoop. “On smaller ships, space for recreation is limited, the navy veteran said. “So, a Nerf basketball hoop was a great find. We put it up over the hatch in our crew compartment. It was amazing how, even in the few square feet of floor space we had, we were able to hold some truly epic games.
4. Wool Socks
A World War II former POW said the most valuable thing he ever got from a care package was a pair of wool socks. “The American Red Cross sent care packages with food, toiletries, books and other items,” said a World War II POW held by the Germans. When the Germans would give us the packages, I always went for the socks. It’s amazing how one’s perspective on life is better when your feet are warm and dry.”
5. Letters from Children
We are better connected today than ever before. Email, video conferencing, text messaging and other forms of communications have made it much easier for deployed service members to stay connected with home. However, “don’t underestimate the value of a written letter, especially from children.” said an Afghanistan war veteran. “There is something about a letter written by the hand of another person that carries great value. The crayon pictures my wife sent me kids had drawn for me were the most valued and uplifting items of any care package. It always reminded me of the value of my life and what I had to return home to.”
What was your most favorite care package find?