Unless you’ve deployed as a woman wearing a uniform, shoes and equipment designed for men, you’ll never know how heavenly it is to receive a military care package designed specifically for a woman.
As a female veteran, I do know first-hand how meaningful a military care package for women is and creating one is just as much fun to make as it is to receive.
Veterans Day is on November 11th and November is National Military Family Month, so this is the perfect time to create a military care package. But there are also 11 other perfect months and 365 perfect days to create care packages for our military troops.
Not only am a female veteran and have deployed, but my father, brother, husband, 2 uncles and 4 cousins are all veterans, with most of them having deployed. You could say I know a little bit about sending care packages for troops, what is truly appreciated, what you shouldn’t send and insider tips.
When you’re deployed, you truly appreciate gifts from home. It’s wonderful to know that someone is thinking of you. The excitement of opening a gift and amilitary care package can lift your spirits for days.
Many of the most appreciated and needed items are the same for men and women, but there are some unique items you can include for a woman to thank her for her service and meet her unique needs.
Female military members are proud of their service and all that they achieve in a male-dominated career field. You’ll rarely hear a complaint from female military members. I will tell you that it really means a lot to receive a care package with items that are meant for a specifically for a woman. She will never forget her feminine side, even while wearing utility uniforms designed for men and working in a predominately male environment. It is a wonderful luxury to be able to feel feminine once in a while while deployed.
The purpose of a military care package is to provide items that are needed, wanted and will be a treat. Here are ideas of items to include for women in all three of those categories.
Military Care Package Ideas for Deployed Women
Personal Care Items for Deployed Women
Avoid products with strong scents, but do look for products designed for women. Look for fun colors and designs. When she is working hard every day and and living in an environment of camouflage, black, green and brown, it’s nice to have something bright and cheerful, designed for a woman’s specific needs and preferences.
- Feminine Hygiene Products – Tampons and individually wrapped panty liners are most appreciated. It’s easier to carry individually wrapped items in the range of complicated situations she faces when deployed.
- Baby Wipes
- Wash Cloth & Towel
- Loofah with the Soap Already Inside (It’s the yellow loofah above with the little white pieces of soap. How cool is that?!)
- Lip Balm
- Eye Drops
- Foot Powder
- Nail Clippers and Emery Boards
- Disposable Razors
- Toothbrushes, Tooth Paste, Dental Floss
Hair Care Items for Deployed Women
Some deployed women choose to cut their hair, but not all do. And even when she does cut her hair shorter, she often still needs hair care accessories. Choose functional accessories in brown, black or conservative colors.
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Hair Brush & Comb
- Hair Bands
- Medium Hair Clips and Large Hair Clips
- Bobby Pins
- Bandanna, Hair Scarf or Hair Wrap
Snacks for a Deployment Care Package
Don’t send homemade treats in your military care package, especially to people you don’t know. She’ll have to throw them away for safety reasons. It’s best to send store-bought items. Also, don’t send candy that will melt in high temperatures.
Individually packaged items are great because it makes it easy to keep food fresh and to carry with her.
- Beef Jerkey (not pork)
- Hard Candy
- Individual Drink Mixes that Can Be Added to Water
- Individual Tea and Coffee Packets
- Trail Mix, Nuts, Dried Seeds, Dried Fruit
- Granola Bars
- Cheese Crackers and Peanut Butter Crackers
- Crackers, Especially Flavored
- Small Boxes or Bags of Cereal
- Individual Bags of Chips and Pretzels
- Canned Shelf-Stable Dips
- Instant Soups in a Cup
- Condiments in Individual Serving Sizes
- Hot Sauce
- Mustard, Ketchup, Relish
- Soy Sauce
- Peanut Butter
As busy as you are when you’re deployed, there’s also down time. It’s invaluable to have things to do for entertainment. The options for entertainment are often limited.
Look for entertainment options marketed for women. You’ll be surprised how many products have a version designed for women.
I linked to items below that are pink, Wonder Woman themed, floral or otherwise designated as designed for women. Bright, happy colored items are always a good choice, too.
If your military member interacts with local children and families, it’s fun to include some small toys that she can hand out. Choose toys that are universally understood, modest and don’t require batteries.
- Paperback Books & Magazines – Look for publications that would interest a deployed woman
- Inflatable Beach Balls, Footballs, Soccer Balls & Frisbees
- Bonus points for sending a pump for the soccer ball
- Board Games
- Crossword Puzzles, Word Search Books and Adult Coloring Books with Colored Pencils
- Small Toys that Will Bring a Smile
- Cards for Her to Send and Letter Writing Supplies
Whether you know the deployed military woman or not, be sure to include a friendly, encouraging note. If you have children, include drawings. There’s nothing more pure and uplifting than a child’s drawing. You might be surprised to know how many are hung up on walls all around the world by deployed troops.
What Not to Send in a Military Care Package
Be sure to check with the post office for mailing restrictions by country and also check for any mailing restrictions to a specific APO/FPO address. When in doubt, error on the side of caution. Place items that could leak in zippered plastic bags to secure the contents of your military care package.
- No Glitter
- No Homemade Baked Goods
- No Chocolate
- No Political Shirts or Items
- No Shirts or Items with Curse Words
- No Alcohol
- No Pornography
- Nail Polish
- Nothing Flammable, Corrosive or Hazardous
Decorate the Box
Take a little extra time to decorate the box and make the surprise of opening a military care package even more special for her.
Add her favorite color to the the box. If you don’t know her favorite color, bright yellow (like the yellow ribbons to remember deployed military members) is a perfect choice.
“You’re my shero.” Get it? She-ro, like hero. I wish I could take credit for that, but I can’t. I do think it’s a fun way to say thank you to a female military member.
You can download the “You are my shero” sign now and add it to your decorated military care package box.
Pin now so you can find these military care package ideas for deployed women for all the many times you want to send a care package.