My Sister Loves a Soldier

I just packed and sealed my first-ever care package to a United States soldier.  I’ve been peripherally aware of organizations that collect cards and gifts for soldiers during holidays and other times of the year, but I must confess – it’s just been too easy to continue on my merry way and not become involved.

Well, things aren’t so easy to ignore when they hit a bit closer to home.

See, this is my sister Chris:

my sister Chris

and this is the man she loves:

Keith

His name is Keith and his is a Navy Commander currently stationed in Kuwait.

Keith in Kuwait

It has been a long, difficult road for Chris and Keith to finally be in each other’s lives, and nearly as soon as that happened, he was called back into active duty and sent to the Middle East through February.

They are blessed to talk frequently over the phone, and I know both are working hard to keep their spirits up while they are apart.  Keith can’t always tell Chris where’s he’s about to go or what he’s about to do, so my sister is left to just hope that he is kept safe.

And now, I’m standing with her, hoping with her.

When she mentioned a care package she had sent to him, it made me realize that I could send a package, too, to show my support to both my sister and the man she loves (though, honestly, I’ve never even met him.  but I know my sister, and she doesn’t suffer fools.)

I wandered store aisles wondering just what you send to a soldier anyway.  Between my sister’s suggestions and some helpful websites online, I ended up with an interesting mish-mash:  beef jerkey, oreos, trail mix, pop tarts, kleenex, mints, gum, a word puzzle book, a nerf basketball and hoop, a whoopie cushion (you know…just in case), magazines, and some personal pictures.

care package to a soldier

He has instructions to let my sister know if there’s anything he doesn’t like or can’t use, and we’ll skip it the next time around.  We definitely plan on sending more care packages his way, because now I know the importance of news from home, and now I understand through my sister what it’s like to have your heart half a world away.

  • Rachel D

    Awww sweet. What a good sister/SIL you are.

    My brother served two TDY in Afghanistan. (I never mention him on my blog because he asked me not to for as long as he’s active duty, especially when he’s in active combat and could become a POW.) He said that when someone gets a care package from home, everyone gathers around while the recipient opens it. He said people get really excited when someone receives food – they all share. (More like vultures would swarm – but you get the idea.) So I just started sending bulk food – like a tub of Red Vines – but then I’d include a smaller pack that he could quickly tuck away in his flight suit while everyone else picked from the tub. Halloween was great because food was already packaged in bulk, so I picked several old school classics that wouldn’t melt – Fun Dip, Nerds, vampire teeth candy, etc. I sent Peeps for Easter. You get the picture. My brother’s base was big enough that he had local shops – it was more of the gesture.

    Hope your BIL stays safe. Let you sister know I’ll be thinking of her. Take care!

    • I’ll need to keep this in mind with the next package I send – sending more items he can share, I mean. I remember when I’d get packages in college, and it was much the same (though, obviously very different circumstances!). Since all the Halloween candy is out, maybe I’ll buy a ton of that to dump in his next box. 😉

  • Anonymous

    That’s awesome of you to send a package. You know, I think I’m the only one who sent my husband anything when he was deployed other than the Welsh cookies his parents sent at Christmas. I love to see other family members involved. Your sister and her husband will appreciate the support I’m sure! Not all family members are willing to even try to understand what we go through.

    • I thought of you and all the other military spouses I follow online when I wrote this post. I was such a “newbie” at the post office, but this is probably old hat to you by now. 😉

  • Anonymous

    FYI, my step-son was over in that part of the world for two tours, the American government wouldn’t let the beef jerky go through. They wouldn’t let any types of meats or cheeses go through even if they said they were the non-perishable types. They will let nuts go through though. So unless they’ve changed their procedures I’d probably skip the meats and cheeses and anything the government might deem perishable. They told us they do this because sometimes the boxes have to be warehoused for a time in buildings with no heat or moisture control, so temperatures can vary greatly. See your product is shipped by whatever mail form you choose, but it ends up being given over to the government for it’s final shipping to the men and women serving overseas.
    Hope he gets the jerky. Hillshire Farm summer sausage, and various jerky’s is what my poor step-son was craving when he was over there and he never got any. Ahh well, at least he came home safe and that’s what’s important.

    • I’ve often wondered what I would miss most in the same situation. Funny that your step-son missed Hillshire Farms. He’s got great taste! 😉

  • Your Sister Chris

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! Your post made me cry some much needed tears. You see, I haven’t cried very much since he deployed because somehow it makes it seem more “real” that he’s not home. He is going to be so surprised and elated to receive your care package! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such an amazing sister, I couldn’t do this without the support of my amazing family! As for the comment about the beef jerky, I’m not sure if things have changed or it’s just his camp, but he can receive perishable type items. I sent him a box of homemade brownies and cookies that I sealed in a food saver bag. He LOVED them and shared them with a few of his buddies 🙂 I’m sorry to read that @lfhpueblo’s step-son didn’t receive his goodies BUT yes, he’s home safe and sound and that’s all we can ever hope for. As for us, we hope and pray for the same result. Thank you again, my beautiful sister, for your love and support! It means the world to both of us xoxoxo

  • xoxoxo 🙂