MIL First care package to Iraq

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Mr Roboto, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. Mr Roboto

    Mr Roboto Flat Black Member

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    So, my younger brother just got to Iraq this week, and I want to send him a little care package. So I looked through a few of the older threads here, and put together some stuff it seems like he might want/need. I'm also going to get him some athletic socks, and some gold bond powder, and probably some baby wipes or something like that. Anyone else have any suggestions? Ranger, phantom, I'm looking in your direction...

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  2. Ranger-AO

    Ranger-AO I'm here for the Taliban party. Moderator

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    Does he like to read books? If so, find his favorite author(s) and send as many books as you can. Even better would be to send a series of books by his favorite author.

    Speaking of reading material, magazines are always good. Subscribe to his favorite(s) so you can get a copy in your mailbox before it is available in the stores. When it arrives, you can use that as your memory jogger to prepare and mail out another care package, including the magazine in the box with the other stuff.

    Does he have a digital camera? Extra memory is always good.

    If you know what battery sizes his electronic gadgets take, send rechargeable versions of those sizes. Several of each battery size will give him the ability to keep them rotating through the charger.

    What branch of the service is he in? Any idea how long he'll be deployed? Try to get an idea of what conditions he's living in. My Army son was on a team that was bunking in a bombed out building for a while. During that time, foam camping matresses were in hot demand. Another location he stayed at had thin mattresses on plywood beds. I sent a couple sets of black sheets (black, because he didn't want to see the dirt he was sleeping in).

    Good luck, Mr. Roboto. It's not easy sitting back while a loved one is deployed. Please pass on to him my sincere thanks for his service.

    :hugot:
     
  3. footratfunkface

    footratfunkface New Member

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    Dude, reading material, DVD's, porn, etc. That kind of shit is always useful for breaking the boredom.

    A friend of mine joked that I should send him the subscription cards from all my magazines (as a joke), so I sent him like 5 or 6 Maxims, a couple of FHM's, and then about 50 subscription cards from various other magazines. I also joked that I was going to send him granny porn, and I did. A whole magazine of Over 50 or something like that. Also, I sent him a catalog of horse supplies (like bridles, blankets, saddles, grooming stuff, etc.). Ask him if there's anything he needs for his weapon that you can get him that he can't get through supply. I sent my buddy a $50 side-sling adapter, because I had an extra, and he didn't have a way to get one before he left. ALSO!!!! Candy. Anything that won't melt is good. I sent my buddy a bag of gummy bears, a giant bag of Sour Patch Kids, and a bag of Twizzlers sours.

    Here's another tip when sending anything to an APO, and it'll save you tons of money and hassle. Don't write what's actually in the box on the customs form. Don't be cute with it, either. Remember that there are assholes in the Army mail system that will open your shit if they think there's something cool inside that they can use or sell. The more plain your box looks and is labelled, the better off your package is. Don't ever say anything specific on it. For instance, my best friend sent my other friend a Larue Aimpoint mount, and listed "Larue" on the customs label. That package disappeared, and hasn't been heard from in months. Mine got there in a couple weeks, and was labelled, "Supplies." If you label it with something specific, that something might be exactly what the asshole handling those boxes is craving when he reads the label. "Candy." "Socks." "CD's." Anything like that should be avoided, even though it's not expensive. It's still specific. You can't file an insurance claim on that shit anyways, so you don't need to be specific. "Training materials" could be okay, but the best one I've ever thought up was "Supplies."

    If you end up sending anything worth $200 or more, send it registered mail. Not certified, REGISTERED. It costs a shitload, but it's the only insured mail that goes to APO's, and it WILL NOT get lost, opened, or stolen. Here's why: registered mail gets signed for every time it moves. Not every time it moves from building to building, but more like every time it moves, period. It changes hands VERY few times, if at all, and is heavily documented all the time. If an Army soldier in charge of a piece of registered mail loses it, he gets court martialed. It's that serious. So, if it's 'spensive, sent it registered.
     
  4. DaRkPhAnToM

    DaRkPhAnToM FML OT Supporter

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    yeah gold bond powder for sure (cures the monkey ass) and baby wipes are awesome too. Ranger-AO basically hit it dead on in his post. AXE body spray, i dont know about that, depending on the environment he is in, anything like that will attract insects, so i wouldnt reccomend that shit. ill try to think of some more stuff, ill post again in a few
     
  5. Mr Roboto

    Mr Roboto Flat Black Member

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    Great, thanks guys. I don't know any specifics about his deployment, except for where he is. He's an Army Spc. in a maintenance company, but I'll ask him specifically what he wants in the letter I'll send along. He doesn't even know the box is coming, so he'll have to live with this stuff for a while until I know exactly what he wants/needs. :bigthumb:
     
  6. x6ftundx

    x6ftundx New Member

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    Here is what I have learned. My cousin has been in Iraq since January and I have been sending him stuff at least once a week.

    First you need to go to the post office and get ‘flat rate’ boxes, a Form 2976-A, and shipping label. The boxes come in two sizes. One is just a box for small stuff and the other is a box for magazine size stuff. To ship them over there is only $7.70 no matter how much you put in it, though you have to be able to seal it 

    I have shipped all sorts of stuff to him but things that really are good are:

    Nutrigrain bars. He goes thru about three boxes a week. It’s easy to store in his pack and it’s better than MRE’s

    Crystal Light drink mix. Make sure you get the individual servings instead of the jar. He puts two of them in his camelback and he goes for the whole day. Make sure it’s not sugar free because it doesn’t taste good without sugar 

    Cool aid drink mix. I get mine at Wal-mart they usually have them 5 for $1.00.

    Books it doesn’t matter what of he can trade them for other stuff.

    Magazines again doesn’t matter what type because he can trade them away.

    Hard candy. He uses it for sugar for himself but also to shut up the kids that are around his FOB. Also altoids and bubblegum.

    Beef jerky and slim jims. They last forever over there and are as good as gold for trading stuff.

    Air freshener. Sounds stupid but I sent some incense and they went ape over it. It really smells in his tent so they were really happy about it. The only problem is that every Sir comes around to figure out what it is (and what it isn’t).

    MACH-3 Razor Blade and refills. These are the best because he can shave faster than normal ones and again good for trading.

    Evil sun flower seeds. Yes I shipped a 60 pack over there and all I hear is that they have sun flower seeds all over the tracks (M2) and M114’s.

    Canned fruit. You wouldn’t believe how much canned pears in cinnamon syrup will get you over there!

    SMOKES. Haji smokes are really really bad and PX prices are really really crazy. If he smokes or dips send them to him.

    Make sure you use zip lock bags if you think it can break or leak it will.

    The list can go on and on. Just think about stuff for camping. If you would take it on a camping trip then you are good to go.

    As for the customs form foot is right. Just write really vague and if you send something expensive use one of the nutrigrain boxes to hide it and don’t declare it. Nothing has ever been stolen but you foot is right they do look a lot.

    Also check with a lot of the internet companies. Most of them ship to APO’s.

    If you want to send electronics you need to ship from circuit city or best buy they ship to APO’s now and it’s not much more. They also will make sure it arrives so you don’t have to worry about it. Make sure you have the inverter thingy because most of the FOB’s are 220 but the main bases are 110.

    Overall it will take about 7-10 days to get stuff over there. If you seal up the boxes and don’t go crazy on the pron or electronics no one will be the wiser. For pron make sure you do dvd’s and limit the magazine type. Stuff and Maxium are ok but playboy’s aren’t because they have to hide them from the Sirs or they will take them for themselves.

    Don’t send them first run movies because haji’s have them for sale the day that they come out over here. I don’t know how but I sent him Star Wars and he said he got it from Haji the day it came out. They get them over there for 2-3 bucks.

    Don't think he will be able to send you everything in return. Everything has to go thru inspection so no M4's thru the mail. Gee i really hate this rule. I did get this cool flag all signed by the platoon and some Sadam money.

    Well that’s about it. Sorry for the long post but I hope it helps.
     
  7. DaRkPhAnToM

    DaRkPhAnToM FML OT Supporter

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    good point on the under armour, wonderful stuff. they sell cigs in iraq and afghan in the PXs, so i dont see why you cant mail them :dunno:
     
  8. TRN

    TRN Well-Known Member

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  9. Accord

    Accord New Member

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    fleshlight.
     
  10. Ranger-AO

    Ranger-AO I'm here for the Taliban party. Moderator

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    This thread delivers. :bigok:
     
  11. pakman

    pakman New Member

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    Actually, you can send up to 1 carton of cigarettes from the states, and vice versa. My E-7 here gets a carton of cowboy killers sent every week, and when I went on R&R, I took home a carton of Iraqi cigarettes.
     
  12. Ranger-AO

    Ranger-AO I'm here for the Taliban party. Moderator

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    It may be a unit rule, but when the 3rd ID deployed they were specifically told that they were not to send/receive porn/booze/smokes.

    But I've sent anything/everything (except for booze) and it has always gone through. On the customs declaration form, I list porn as "magazines" and cigarettes as "tobacco products".

    On a side note: If the person you are sending items to is moving around a lot, or is very active, don't send via registered mail. I sent an expensive pair of tactical gloves and they collected dust back at the FOB for almost two months before my son was able to sign for them.
     
  13. i_is_surf

    i_is_surf New Member

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    I dunno about Iraqi import laws at the moment..:dunno:

    But I know that per BATF and Customs guidlines you can only bring 5 packs of cigarettes into the country you didn't pay taxes on.....

    ...But I also know there isn't an AUSA in the US who will touch anything less then 1000+ cartons.. :wiggle:

    Hence why I said "Be careful" either way..

    But for all you smokers out there, if you in-process the AOR from Rhein Mein you can shoot off base really fast and buy cartons of cigarettes for about $18-20 USD..:hsd:
     

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