Some years back my husband was in the military and spent many years overseas. One such year, hubby was having a bad go of it and his fellow brothers-in-arms shared the sentiment. Being that it was November, Veterans' day was right around the corner along with my spouses' birthday, so I decided to send a care package (as I did many times during those long years). I usually sent extra things that he could save or share but he needed a new box every few months or so.
Now, if you've never sent a care package internationally, let me tell you that it can be quite the process. There are things you can and absolutely CANNOT send. Snacks were a perfect go to as it is hard to come across anything familiar overseas. I had sent enough snacks to know that they would immediately become dorm property and fought over once opened so I elected to send the boys something a little better this year. With the help of a website called Bake-me-a-wish, whose generosity and skill allow them to send baked goods overseas, I sent them a cake to share. Although it was a bit pricey, it was worth every single cent. Mr. Blogger would report that the cake had been torn open and devoured at once with only a single slice left for himself.
The good news is that particular holiday was made brighter for them and many others who received a treat box during those long months away from family and friends. The bad news is that there are always some soldiers that are not provided for. For times like these, there are a great number of organizations that take it upon themselves to buy and ship supplies. Volunteers from around the country make holidays, birthdays, national celebrations, and even regular days a blessing for these warriors. With Veterans' Day coming up, care packages are in short supply and are a much needed luxury for our men and women across the ocean.
Keep in Mind what these people do for a living and what they are willing to sacrifice. A little compassion and generosity really can change a whole deployment. If you are unsure what you can send or what you can do, having a chat with your neighborhoods' "prior enlisted" goes a long way into finding out what would work best. It is truly the thought that counts in these situations and any small gesture of gratitude has the capability to change a life. If you don't believe that, look into Buddy Check 22 on Facebook. They have all the information on the subject that you could need.
Local FRG communities, Soldiers Angels, The VA, and others all have people who dedicate their time to gathering donated goods (or buy the goods themselves) to send across the world and give back to the service members. They also help provide activities for them and post letters or gifts back home to their families; for those that can't afford it. When I was an avid part of military life, these angels were the backbone to our survival and mental health. They selflessly give their days and lives to the benefit of the armed services. Not surprisingly, they could always use more help. There are many ways to get involved and give back, not all having to do with money. Please take the time out of your day just to say "Thank you!" to a Veteran on the 11th of November and perhaps be inspired to do a little more.
To send a care package to any "non-specific" soldier please click HERE
If you are a frequent poster of articles that aim to spread hope and awareness for causes such as this, please consider sharing this one. If you want a more active role in support, please consider visiting these websites and others like them to see how you can also help give back.
HCPL Veterans Services Committee is working on a page of wide-ranging resources for veterans and their families that will be unveiled early in 2021!
Comment below on things you like to donate to these organizations, websites that others can visit, or if you have a relative/friend that would benefit from services like these!