When I was in the sand box, I was asked by friends what I wanted or needed. At the time the stuff I really wanted I couldn't have, and I somehow had a great deal of difficulty sitting down and devoting a few minutes to itemize the things I wanted or needed. So now for all you folks putting together goody boxes for your friends loved ones or folks you found out about on places like www.anysoldier.com...here is my list of things that soldiers dig...Expensive Stuff
For all you big spenders out there...this is the good stuff I would like getting if I was still there.
When you buy DVDs the thing to remember is TV series. The show "24" was popular along with "CSI", "The Simpsons", and "Family Guy". The great thing about series is you get more bang for the buck. For instance with the show "24" you get 24 one hour episodes for around 55 bucks at your favorite on-line store. Compare that to a popular movie, say "Happy Gilmore" which clocks in at 12-13 bucks, or a just released movie that comes in around 20 smackers. Of course if they don't like the series then you've got 24 hours of crap.
It's been my experience that if you go with comedy you won't go wrong. The more silly and juvenile the better in most cases. I sat in my trailer in Taji and watched the entire first season of "The Andy Griffith Show" and laughed my ass off.
Even if the person you are sending the stuff to doesn't like the movie or show chances are someone in his/her unit will enjoy it...so don't hurt yourself thinking about it.
Gadgets and Gear
I wouldn't send too much of this stuff unless you know the person and they specifically asked for it. Good stuff might be Flashlights (Surefire, 1 EA), Laser sights etc...but I would say ask the person you are sending it to.The Moderate/Cheep Stuff
For everyone else here's some more good stuff...
Batteries, Batteries, Batteries. All types and kinds feel free to toss in a card of Double A's in your next care package.
I personally enjoyed receiving salty snacks; peanuts, chips and my desert fav...Shoestring Potatoes
Any magazine that you've finished reading (sorry no Playboy or Penthouse please...there's that damned General Order #1 again) throw it in the box.
Kool Aid all flavors...I like Cherry!
In the cooler months (NOV-MAR) feel free to send Chocolate (Mounds Bars)and other candy it won't melt.
I needed White Cotton Athletic type socks, yeah it doesn't comply with AR-670-1 but the difference was unbelievable. White socks rule! CSMs everywhere are having heart attacks right now.
I made the mistake while deployed of mentioning to a friend that I really missed getting a Dr. Pepper when I wanted so in a few days I received a shipment of DP that had to be the most expensive 12 pack ever...believe me it was greatly appreciated, and it made me feel guilty that someone would go to such lengths to give a guy a favorite soft drink...is this a great country or what?