Monday, February 2, 2009

Deployed Spouses Support Group

On Wednesday nights, the chapel on post hosts a family night. They provide a free dinner, then the kids have youth group and the adults have a number of Bible studies to choose from.

I woudn't care if they made us sit through a time share presentation. It's a dinner I don't have to cook.

I chose to join the study for spouses of deployed soldiers. It's nice to be with a group of women who are sharing how they cope while their husbands are gone.

This week we covered how to keep communication open with our husbands while they are far away. And not just communication between the spouses, but also with the kids.

One of the first things we covered was mailing care packages to our soldiers.

Did you know that the US Postal Service provides free shipping supplies to mail a care package to your soldier? Just call them at 1-800-610-8734 and ask for the Military Care Package Kit and they will send you boxes, address labels and customs forms.

We were warned that these packages are going into a Muslim country and some things are forbidden to be shipped:

No Pork Products
No Porn
No Alcohol
No Mouthwash

I wonder how many women actually mailed their husbands a copy of Playboy, with a bottle of whisky and a big ol' pork sausage? I'm sure it has happened. I just wonder why? Why would you want to get your husband all hot and bothered (and drunk) when he is that far away from you? And don't even get me started on the pork sausage.

And of all the things they could tell you not to mail........mouthwash? Seriously? That's one of the Big Four?

We were also warned not to list anything valuable on the customs form. When these packages enter their country, the customs agents may exercise their right to open "suspicious" packages and remove whatever they want. Many an Ipod has disappeared on its way over there.

To avoid the whole "pork products" issue, Hickory Farms has a whole section of Military Gifts which include beef and turkey sausages, and they give free shipping to APO addresses (which is what Kerry's address will be once he gets there). Yay for Hickory Farms!

One other great product we learned about is Flat Daddies. This company will take a picture of your soldier and turn it into a life sized poster for your kids. You can have "Flat Daddy" come to special events with your kids or just have him around for the kids to say goodnight to. Many of the women in my group said that their younger kids especially really liked this. Kudos to Flatdaddies for a great idea!


  1. This is so cool! I had no idea! I will certainly pass this along to my girlfriends that have a sweetie deployed. Thanks for passing along all the info. Too bad about the mouthwash... Ha!

  2. My sister wrote "aftershave" on one of those customs forms, but that's banned too. She had to open her entire care package, remove the offending article, and retape it. I told her she should have written an ambiguous "toiletries".

  3. Amy,

    Many a bottle of whiskey or rather vodka have been smuggled in disguised as mouthwash.. or rum in a 2 liter coke bottle...not that I would know anything about it, as I recall it was something I heard from a guy who's uncle knew someone who told them it was possible... way back in the Desert Storm days when we were all younger and more foolish.