Packages, etc to overseas troops.

Every once in a while I hear of some simple thing wanted by someone overseas serving with the militaty. This time it was AAA batteries. It seems they’re hard to get right now. I’d be glad to send a box or two over there, but I don’t know of any way to go about it.
I do know of (and support) “care package” groups that send scheduled boxes of goodies, and that’s great, but I’d like to do something more immediate and on a smaller scale. I could have a box of batteries in the mail the next day. All I need is a proper name and address. A clearing house, maybe?
BTW; does mail go free to overseas military as it did for Vietnam? Are any shippers offering free or reduced prices?
mangeorge might be exactly what you’re looking for.

That’s perfect, and I’m on it.

The site has all kinds of information not only on who can use what, but exactly how to address and send items, how to be sure you’re meeting customs requirements, what NOT to send, and so on. Many of the military folks are asking not just for gifts, but are grateful when they can give out simple communications from home. It’s also nice in that you have a person over there who is not just asking for stuff for him/herself, but will distribute items to others in the group. They also collect appropriate toys, school supplies, etc. that they give to children they encounter.

Just don’t go too hogwild. Batteries are probably good, other things are pretty standard needed commodities, but some items apparently vary in their usefulness and availability.

Last year I read numerous claims that soldiers could never get enough electrical tape over there, and that it was useful for many things, so by all means throw in some electrical tape in every care package. So I did, and when I finally heard from my soldier he was all “Thanks, loved the snacks, etc, WTF is up with the electrical tape?” He didn’t need it; no one in his unit or around him had a need for it; none of them had encountered a shortage. It was a waste of space in the box.

That’s the neat thing about You see a letter from a person overseas, and they tell you what they do and don’t need. And you send a package to that exact person to distribute to those in the group. Sometimes it’s a specific favorite local food that they’re homesick for, sometimes people would love to have sports equipment or are collecting beanie babies for the local children. Often they’d just like to have some mail to share with a few folks who don’t have much in the way of letters from home.

That’s what I like about the site. The requests are personal and dated, so you can avoid Cranky’s dilema. is a great site too. Despite the title, it’s more than books involved. They have tons of requests from soldiers, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are very specific, like requests for certain movies, games, books or educational material. Some are from soldiers who don’t get much mail from home and would just like a card or a care package.