In the days before Sampson* departed for this deployment, I was at a bit of a loss as to what I was supposed to do to get myself ready. Oh, we had already taken care of the concrete stuff: my military ID was renewed, the base stickers on my car were updated, we had our powers of attorney and all that good stuff. Sampson was busy at work right up until the day he left, so I had a lot of time on my hands at home with the departure date hanging over my head and not a lot of substance I could do to prepare myself.
One thing I did find to do was make a phone call to the United States Postal Service and request a military care package kit. I hate talking on the phone with strangers, so it took some mental wherewithal to get myself psyched up for waiting on hold until I reached a person, but I am very glad I did. The request was easy to make, and the kind lady with whom I spoke assured me the assortment of boxes and other shipping supplies would arrive in a couple weeks.
It felt good to do something — even a small something — to make me feel I was in control of at least one aspect of the upcoming deployment. I might not have known much, but darn it, I knew for sure how I was going to deal with putting packages together for my husband! Bonus, I got to look forward to the arrival of the kit on my doorstep, which got me looking past the looming goodbye.
It really is a comprehensive kit: assorted Priority Mail flat-rate boxes, address labels, customs forms, the little plastic sleeves for said customs forms, and even a little roll of Priority Mail tape to tie everything together. Everything arrived on my doorstep, neatly wrapped and at no cost to me. Of course, I will still need to pay postage to actually mail the packages, which is no doubt a big part of why the USPS is so happy to give us the kits gratis.
If you are a family member or friend of someone in the military, call up 1-800-610-8734 and ask for the Military Care Kit. All you have to do afterward is dream up wonderful things with which to fill those boxes before you mail them off to make your servicemember’s day.
* Sampson: I finally bestowed upon my husband a bloggish alias, so I need not awkwardly refer to him as “my husband” every time I mention the guy.