5 Holiday Gifts for the Troops Overseas

Politics & Views 10

military giftsIt's easy to get caught up in the holidays and put blinders on until you've got your list finished and your halls decked. Don't.

There are thousands of people who won't make it home for the holidays this year. They're the men and women in the United States military. And they deserve a happy holiday too.

So set aside a spot on your shopping list for some holiday gifts for the troops overseas:

$25 Donation to the USO

That's all it takes to sponsor one care package for a soldier overseas packed up with a personal letter and a box of goodies. The donation is even tax-deductible, and you don't have to try to figure out the pesky postal service rules for mailing to military. They took care of it for you.

food boxFood Box to Operation Support Our Troops

Stephanie Johnson is a mom to two Army captains, and for nine years she's been head of the Sullivan County, New York chapter of Operation Support Our Troops, a national organization originally born at the United States Military Academy at West Point that sends care packages to the troops. Send trail mix, Slim Jims, beef jerky, granola bars/breakfast bars, peanuts, hard candy (individually wrapped), “Chiclets”-type gum, pop-top canned pasta, ready-to-eat tuna pack, microwave popcorn, or drink mix (individual single-serving packets for water bottles) to her home, and she'll get them to a soldier. Her address is 279 Cantrell Road, Monticello, NY 12701, or you can e-mail her about setting up your own chapter: Osot2004@aol.com.

beanie babyBeanie Babies to Operation Shoebox

Spread the joy of the holidays beyond our borders with a little goodwill for the children living in a war-torn area. New dolls are handed out by the soldiers to kids who could use a little pick-me-up.

itunes gift card

iTunes gift cards to Give2theTroops

They're far from home, but they shouldn't be stuck without their tunes (or stuck with that gawd-awful stuff they can't understand). A gift card picked up at any major chain (or purchased online) can be sent for almost nothing to the troops by the group Give2TheTroops.


Your undies to a soldier you know

There's nothing that's going to put a smile on his face like a pair of black lace panties from his honey. Especially if you don't happen to wear those very often (hello motherhood!). One soldier confessed to The Stir that he carried his wife's g-string in his rucksack ... hey, it reminded him of home!

Is there a soldier on your list?

Images via The U.S. Army/Flickr; stevendepolo/Flickr; Amazon; Amazon; Victoria's Secret



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CafeEm CafeEm

These are great suggestions! Also check out soldiersangels.org if you're interested in sending to troops overseas. I am so thankful that my soldier is finally back from Afghanistan! After months of sending birthday presents and carepackages through the mail, it's going to be nice to give a gift, in person, this holiday season :)

nonmember avatar Allboys

This year thankfully we have our soldier home. During his deployment one of the most requested items was batteries and school supplies for the local children.

Tiffany Fisher

this are great suggestions, i am also lucky to have my soldier home this christmas! i would totally send the undies though...lol

Sweet... Sweet_Britt

Awww, cute idea! Except the underwear one...LOL. I mean, unless you know its going to YOUR solider, I think it'd be weird to send it in a care package!

Much love from my family to our men and women serving!<3

Lisa Smith

I Am trying to donate, while I Have no direct spouse or relative/ i'm finding no way to donate as a grateful U.S. Citizen? any help would be appreciated as it is the holidays/ and I'd like to know that somehow I have given just a small token of my gratitude and perhaps make a soldier smile?

                                                                                                      Lisa Smith


Ashly... Ashlynnsmommy07

I used to send care packages to a cao-worker who was deployed. His most requested item was baby wipes. They were portable and good for a quick wipe down (they can get very dusty!). He also loved the jerky!

MomIWant MomIWant

Love, LOVE, LOVE that you made this post!  I always include magazines in our packages.  Oh, and baby wipes is a GREAT idea!

Scout... ScoutsHonorHMR

Heh.  I confess.  I did send my g-string to my husband!  They reminded him of home.  I agree I wouldn't send it to any ol' soldier though. :)

Other items that our family support group gave were handmade stockings in crazy fabrics-- stuffed with silly goodies that remind them of home. Most of my husband's soldiers were 18-21 so they appreciated stuff like pez, wind up cars, pop rocks, gum, anything you would put in a teenager’s stocking. Off hand, anything to make their quarters look homey so maybe strings battery powered Christmas lights

 My husband just came up these in a minute as favorites when they were deployed in the middle east:

As already mentioned--Baby wipes are always appreciated (dusty over there—soft, plump, moist, good ones like Huggies, not cheap house brands).
Latest dvds.
Foot powder
Starbucks Via packets (They didn’t have these back then but he says they’d be great in canteens)
Other flavored Beverage Packets like crystal light and gatorade
Medicated Lip balm

He said he heard of a soldier’s wife sending his flashdrives of the latest music (kind of like a new fangled mixed tape). He’d send back empty flash drives and she’d refill it again.


Carey... Carey2006

Not anymore...my hubby is retired

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