Boodle Ideas

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One Item that our son and his fellow soldiers have always appreciated is a supply of used steel dental picks or piques from our dentists for cleaning weapons and any other tools where sand and silt get in to all the tight spots. We would just ask our dentists and dental hygienists when we went in.
 
For our twice yearly scraping and etching and they would usually give us a large handful of tools that were immediately shipped to places unknown and according to our son divvied up faster than jerky. Another item that came in handy were the crown royal cloth bags that our local state run liquor stores gave out for free sans the bottle of crown royal, which were useful for storing any number of electroinic gadgets and covering items to protect from dust. 

Shelf stable packaged smoked Alaska wildsalmon (www.akcatch.com)
Battery powered Christmas tree light set
DVDs
Christmas decorations 

Wrap with unique cartoons or write on the packages

TOILETRIES:
Baby Wipes for personal hygiene
Toothpaste, toothbrushes
Shampoo
Deodorant
Soap, anti-bacterial soap
Waterless soap, liquid body wash
Hand Sanitizer
Lotion
Shaving cream
Disposable razors
Electric or battery razors
Toilet Paper
Kleenex (Travel size packets) (Plastic-wrapped package of ten tissues: they stay dry, make great packing material and they can use it for TP, which is in short supply in many areas!)
 
Sunblock, Aloe Vera
Throat Lozenges
Gum, Lifesavers, Mints
Eye Drops (to relieve irritation from blowing sand)
Blistex, Chapstick, Vaseline, Carmex
Aspirin, Motrin, Tylenol, Pain Relievers
Saline spray/drops for sensitive nasal passages
Q-tips
Feminine hygiene products for women
Jock itch spray
Boot liners/insoles Lotrimin AF for athletes foot (send tube of ointment or cream, NOT the spray kind)
Foot Powder (there are some that have ingredients to fight athletes foot)
Travel size Baby Powder, Shower-to-Shower Powder
(NOTE: Be sure the any powder is in it's sealed, original container. Put it in a Ziploc bag as well.) Moleskin (for pads on sore feet, you'll find it with Dr. Scholls type things at Wal-Mart or drug stores) Laundry soap (Small single-load packages, trial sizes, or 'tablets' that are easier to manage and store.)


COMMUNICATION ITEMS:
Envelopes, paper, pens
Small pads of paper
Pre-addressed labels and/or envelopes
Notebooks (a size they can keep in a pocket and keep dry)
Single-Use Cameras
Very small, lightly padded envelopes with correct postage attached to mail back a small cassette tape or single-use cameras
(NOTE: Free mail to the U.S. is limited to letters only; all other items require postage.) Postage stamps if they want to mail items larger than an envelope & letter
1- and 2-gallon zip lock plastic bags (I put all items from my care pkg in a Ziploc...serves two purposes!)


FUN STUFF:
Frisbee
Nerf Footballs
Hacky Sack
Deck of cards
Hand-held games
 
FOOD ITEMS:
Coffee, hot cocoa mix, coffee mixes, tea Lemonade mix, Kool-Aid mix, Tang mix, Gatorade mix Gum,
Lifesavers, Mints
Nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts
Trail mix Power bars, protein bars, nutritional bars
Beef jerky, beef summer sausage (non-perishable; labeled USDA Beef)
Small bags of snacks or individually wrapped snacks
Pop Tarts, cereal bars, "milk & cereal" bars, granola bars Cookies,
Homemade Cookies
Candy and candy bars (chocolate will melt)

comedy movies on  DVD.

Cold Weather (And Other General) Items for Afghanistan
 
Bedding:  flannel sheets, fleece blankets(solid dark color), thin down comforter, arge size heating pad and an extension cord,
 
Clothing: thin black stocking hats to wear under helmets, warm slippers (rubber soles to walk to showers), black wool hat and gloves, heavy duty/military socks, silk underwear (warn him/her of laundry method), possibly an extra pair of military boots cause they do wear out. underarmour leggings and long sleeve undershirts,sock liners,

Food: protein snacks, ( NO PORK ALLOWED), energy bars, nuts, peanut butter/crackers, tuna in a pouch, some may have access to a microwave and can send other types of products.

Warmth: heating wraps ( for the back: last 8 hours), plenty of packs of hand and feet and toe warmers, moleskin can be cut applied to cheeks, nose, to keep the frost off when not wearing a balackava, good quality gaters for boots,
 
other: 
SAD lamp for long periods of dark,
vitamin D or fish products,
headlamp with battery pack
caulking for building, product that prevents goggles from frosting so much,
funnel to help with the drink mix powder into canteens,
dental floss, lip balm,
small packs of tissues to put in pockets for going out on patrol,
flashlight,
large ziplock bags.
 
Bathroom: large baby wipes in soft packs, hand sanitizer, face cleaning pa
ds, mole skin and blister packs for feet, foot powder, athlete footspray, extra socks to keep feet bacteria and dampness free, vitamin E, zinc tablets, vitamin C, products to "fight the common cold", cough drops,
throat lozengers, soft toilet paper,  note: personal hygiene items unscented if possible

My son has deployed to Afghanistan 2 times and had requested a barber brush for cleaning the sand that gets into everything. These can be found at a beauty supply store.  He also requested a headlamp with a clear and red lens which can be used while they are in their tents during the evening. A pillow and flannel pillow cases, tooth brush and tooth paste are also frequently requested items.  It was expensive to ship, but for Christmas I sent him 3 bags of cool ranch Doritos because that's what he wanted!!