Home Page




























Current Wish List for Care Packages:

             support ribbon

  • Cold drink mixes – Gatorade, Crystal Lite, Kool Aid or the individual flavor straws you add to bottled water
  • Ground Coffee (not instant) and hot tea. Coffee creamer and sugar packets too!
  • Power Bars, cereal bars, trail mix, granola bars and healthy snacks ramen Noodle packs (the big cups are hard to pack and limit what we can fit in the packages)
  • Slim Jims, Beef or Turkey Jerky                                                                                                                                           
  • Sunflower Seeds & Nuts
  • Individual snacks like chips, crackers, cookies, cheese/cracker kits
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly – small size plastic jars please
  • Small sewing kits and manicure kits
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent, Chap Stick with sunscreen, Carmex, Blistex                                              
  • Body wash mens and ladies
  • Shampoo - mens and ladies
  • Toothbrushes only, NO toothpaste  
  • Deodorant
  • Foot Powder and foot cream for athlete's foot
  • Odor Eaters (for boots), Dr. Scholl's foot pads, blister pads
  • Hand Sanitizer - small size bottles to carry with them
  • Shave cream – non-aerosol only and good razors  
  • Mens and Ladies underwear in sizes Small, Med, Large
  • Mens and Ladies calf high socks or boot socks in black or white.
  • New or used game systems like PS3, PS2, WII, Xbox or Xbox 360
  • Video games for the systems above or small hand-held games
  • CDs and DVDs - New or used are fine. Current releases are appreciated
  • AT&T Global Pre-Paid Calling Cards

Christmas Ideas for deployed Soldiers...

I recently received an email asking for advice about what to get a young Marine, who is likely to be deployed soon, for Christmas. That got me thinking, and I am guessing that there are a whole lot of people out there this Christmas who are wondering the same thing. With such a large amount of troops either deployed or deploying, it can’t hurt to put up a generic Christmas list that would be good for almost any Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine.

As I mentioned in my reply to the received email, Soldiers generally like things that are: 1. Time Saving 2. Time Consuming 3. Functional 4. Pointy.

I am going to break it down into categories according to cost. The Christmas present from a niece or nephew in middle school is not going to be the same as the one from Mom and Dad for their son or daughter’s first deployment.

Relatively Inexpensive- (trying to keep it under or around 30 bucks…)

Time Saving: Care packages with necessary items, such as soap, shampoo, razors, shaving cream, baby wipes, stationary, pens, AA batteries etc. This is mainly for the guys who are already deployed. They can get this stuff there, but it saves them a trip and they’ll definitely use it. Include some good stuff like Beef Jerky, Slim Jims, hard candy, or whatever they like.

Time Consuming: These are the things that will keep them busy during down time between missions. They are working hard over there, but they will usually have some free time here and there, and boredom sucks. DVDs, CDs, and books are great. If you send DVDs you might want to avoid sending the latest blockbuster, since most of them will already have seen it. Try to send either a specific movie that you know they like, or one of the classics. If you know they are a Monty Python fan, send them the Holy Grail or Meaning of Life for instance. If you know they like Chevy Chase or Alfred Hitchcock, send a box set. There are certain movies that are almost universally popular among the military. Of course they are war movies, but not all war movies are the same. I would say the top three classics are We Were Soldiers, Saving Private Ryan, and Blackhawk Down, as long as you know they don’t have them already.

Books are more difficult to pick, and fewer people seem to read today than in the past. Then again, a lot of people read books on deployments who wouldn’t otherwise. If you know they like Fantasy or Science Fiction, I would recommend something by Robert Jordan, George R. R. Martin, Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks, or of course J. R. R. Tolkien. I also like the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

If your Soldier is a little on the intellectual side, with a good (but maybe odd) sense of humor, try the Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. If they like that they’ll like the next three books that make up The System of The World also.

If they like military related book s, there are several series out there that are worthwhile. Anything by Stephen Ambrose is going to be good. His books are basically history given from first hand accounts of the soldiers who lived it. Michael Shaara wrote The Killer Angels, and then his son Jeff took it from there and has written several excellent books about the Civil and Revolutionary Wars. The Glorious Cause and Rise to Rebellion are outstanding.

Functional: Anything that will make their professional life easier. Commonly used items are notebooks, good pens (the Army supplies pens, but I personally hate having to use the old Skilcraft. I do it because I’m cheap, but prefer the better gel or higher end roller ball pens.), Map Pens are a big item also. The standard map markers are made by Lumocolor. A selection of six or more colors should do it, and include several extra black and at least one correction pen. Fine point is preferable.
Available at Ranger Joe's

Pointy: I don’t know a Soldier who doesn’t like knives at least a little bit. Some of us get downright obsessed with them. And everyone carries one, there are just too many times during the day that they come in handy. In the inexpensive category are going to be the small, useful, everyday knives that fit easily into a pocket or clip onto a belt. Some of the better inexpensive knives are made by Buck, Spyderco, and Gerber. Nearly any small folding knife by an established company would be welcome. If I were going to name a few favorites for around 30 bucks they would be these…

The Gerber Gator. Common and classic, great knives… I have one.
Look Here

One of the Bucklite series. I don’t have one, but this is just a basic useful knife that doesn’t have any deficiencies I know of…
Look here|price=3|submit=Find%20It!

Spyderco Ladybug. I know with a name like Ladybug your average grunt isn’t going to buy one, but not everyone is a grunt and I had a spyderco one size larger that was one of my favorites for a long time. I used to use it to de-rig my guntruck after air assaults. S lices through 550 cord like butter. I like serrated edges on an everyday knife like this because I don’t have to sharpen it all the time.
Look here

A little more expensive- (Shooting for between 30-130 bucks…)

Time Saving: Hmmm… this is a tough category…

Time Consuming: First things first. Of all the movies that I don’t have, the one I want most is probably the Band of Brothers box set. It runs around 80 bucks on DVD and if you haven’t watched the whole series, you should. It follows Easy Company, 506th PIR from training in the states all the way through Normandy, Bastogne, and the end of WWII. The book was written by Stephen Ambrose and is about as historically accurate as it could b e. The box set includes commentary from the actual men of E Co, who, to me and many other Soldiers from the 101st, are literally legends and heroes. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this for a gift whether they’ve already watched it or not. Another box set high on the list would be the Sopranos. I didn’t start watching it until just recently and I’m completely hooked. Not quite on the same level as Band of Brothers, but definitely a good series.

Another good idea would be an inexpensive MP3 player. I can tell you from experience that CDs are difficult to care for in harsh conditions.

Functional: Multi tools are always popular. There is a strong possibility that they already have one, but if they don’t then they are wishing they did. I can’t imagine one much better than the Swisstool by Victorinox, but I haven’t had to really look for one since I’ve carried this one for around five years.
Here it is

I’ve also heard good things about the Leatherman Wave (they have a cool
“tool finder” on their site… ) and Gerber Evolution, but haven’t carried them so can’t say for sure. Gerber Evolution

Pointy: In this price range, I really can’t think of any knife I love more than the Applegate-Fairbairn by Gerber. I wanted one for sev eral years and my wife bought me one on our first anniversary. I’ve carried it for the last seven years and use it constantly. Mine has field dressed two deer this year and butchered one, and still has a fine edge. It’s the first knife I pick up in any situation and it still draws admiration from anyone who loves knives and sees it. Incidentally it was the “Blade of the Year” or something when it first came out and is still just as popular today. Very, very useful, but just dangerous looking enough to attract attention.

EXCALIBUR... uhhh I mean the Applegate-Fairbairn.

Big Bucks- (just about anything short of taking out a second mortgage…)

Time Saving: Bah…

Time Consuming: If they don’t have one, a mini-DVD player would be handy. Laptop Computers are always good, and be sure to include a DVD drive if you’re going to spend that much anyway. A high end MP3 player with a lot of memory would be good. If you get them one, you might want to have one of their siblings or friends load it up with their favorite music before you send it to save them the trouble and expense of downloading. Have them load up a couple of CD-Rs with all the music they can and send them as well.

Functional: I guess the laptop would fall into this category as well.

Pointy: The one category I never have trouble with. If you want to send a gift that is very personal and timeless with a strong military history, there is no better knife, than the Randall. Randall Knives are handmade and have been around since WWII. They are expensive, but will only increase in value as they get older. The only Randall Knife I own is the one carried by my father-in-law during V ietnam. He bought it for 35 bucks in around 1966. Unfortunately I can’t really carry it to the field with me because it is valued at between $2500 and $3000 today.

The waiting list to have a Randall made is around four years. You can buy them from a few dealers, but obviously the price will go up. A Model 14 from Randall will cost around $290. If you buy one on Ebay, you’ll probably pay a good hundred dollars more. If the knife is a little older, you could end up in four figures pretty easily.

One of the reasons I like Randalls so much is their connection with the military. Like I said, the wait is around 4 years, but if it is being shipped to a service member they will have it there in around 6-8 weeks. All they need is either an active duty military ID (copy), or an APO address.

I believe there is no charge to have name and rank etched in tthe blade during fabrication.

Randall Knives
Urgent Request!!
Our Troops are in need of all types of flea products to fight sand fleas.
(room sprays, foggers, "Off" spray, etc.)
Please Help.

Military Care Packages

Mini Products For The Troops



EYE DROPS                                    RAZORS (MEN & WOMEN)
FLAVOR - ICE POPS                        KOOL- AID
BABY POWDER                               WATER GUNS
AIR FRESHENERS                            FEBREEZE
FLY STRIPS                                      SOAP
AT&T PHONECARDS                         BUG SPRAY
FLEA COLLARS                                 LOTION
GAMES                                             SHAMPOO
ANY KIND OF SNACKS                      BEEF STICKS
All sizes, male or female, are acceptable. Items in bold most needed!
Socks & Shoes (dress and tennis)
Scarves/Mittens/ Gloves/Woolen hats
Flat single sheets
Sleeping bags
Dresses /Winter dresses (no short skirts as this is a Muslim culture)
Baseball caps
Sweat shirts and sweat pants
Book bags/backpacks
Pants (for males or very young girls only)
Baby clothes
Baby bottles (plastic) no disposable bottles
Dry baby formula
Undershirts (plain no markings or logos)
Long underwear
No short pants or cut-offs please.
Marines are in need of GREEN T-shirts. The PX only has brown.
Coleman makes a sock liner that can be worn under socks to help between laundry day
Disposable cameras

Chips are in high demand. Make sure they're the "pringles" type in cannisters, to reduce breakage.
Ketchup ... all they have is tomato paste
Beef jerky
Single serve cans of potted meats (SPAM, etc.)
Single serve cans of beans (baked, pork n')
Packaged cookies, (such as Oreos), canned seafood, cereal (healthy and sweetened), instant packages of oatmeal, flavored coffee, powder chai tea mix, fruit snacks, crackers, slim jims, spices (such as curry, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin).  There is always a shortage of Ziploc sandwich bags, disposable bowls, plates, and plastic ware.  Toiletry items such as full sized bath soap, shampoo, toothpaste, shave cream, tooth brushes are always appreciated.
Please place all cookies/ candies in a zip lock bag and place in a metal cookie tin or plastic shoebox size containers with lids taped down after postal clerk has inspected the items! This helps the soldier store his items AND keep the critters out! Some are still living in Tents!

Homemade candy/cookies are the best But they spoil faster in the climate here, So Please send store bought items as they do last longer!

Soldiers have asked everyone to Please Do Not Send Fruitcake!

Please Do Not Gift-wrap the item(s),due to the critters and climate. [Decorated tins/plastic boxes with sealable lids are much preferred!] Remember to leave one side or top of gift open and/or untapped, as the postal workers need to see and verify what is in the tins or gifts! This is not to be mean but for everyone’s safety and it’s the law!

Thank you, to everyone for helping us

Also, please remember Aerosols are not allowed to be mailed to Iraq. No Exceptions.


Some examples/ needs are:

Little Debbie Snack Cakes~ All kinds, Except Fruitcake!

Socks- any color/brand/style mostly men’s thick boot socks

Laundry Bags- preferably Mesh, Sm--Xlg

Bath Towel Sets~ Please send Bright Colors

Shower Soap/Gel Sets Men & Women

Cologne/ aftershave sets

Hand held electronic games, With batteries please!

Tins of Danish Butter Cookies preferred but all others accepted

Very Small Amount of Candy Canes

More Items

**** = Items that are a hot commodity over Here

1. Toilet Paper (take out cardboard and flatten)
2. Sun block (at least SPF-15)
3. Magazines, joke books & comics
4. Light weight tan colored cloth (sandstorm season is upon us)
5. Small flash lights or book lights
6. ****Paperback books or novels
7. Local newspapers & post cards from your home town
8. Tooth brushes and toothpaste
9. Dental floss and mouth wash
10. Disposable Razors & shave gel or foam
11. Baby wipes and refills
12. Keri lotion (not oil based for faces)
13. Chap Stick or Carmex, Talcum Powder
14. Wash rags, big fluffy towels (for the Ladies), facial cleansing pads,
15. Nail Clippers, files, Nail Polish (neutral colors not flashy)
16. Disposable cameras
17. Deodorant, Shampoo, Bar Soap, Body Wash (liquid), Q-tips,
18. Feminine hygiene products
19. Hair bands, clips, Hair Spray, Hair Gel, Brushes and Combs
20. ****Eye Drops
21. Insoles for boots or shoes
22. Black boot socks
23. Cotton balls
24. Frisbees, Nerf footballs, basket balls, electronic hand held games, Cd's & players, hackie sacks, Yo-Yo's, Kids drawings, ****squirt guns (especially with the hot season coming up)
25. Envelopes and Paper
26. Batteries any size
27. Kleenex, Saline nasal spray, Dayquil, Nyquil, pain relievers
28. Sewing Kits
29. Small Mirrors
30. Plain Black sunglasses
31. Clorox wipes
32. Zip lock bags
33. Powder laundry detergent, dryer sheets
34. Cigarettes, Copenhagen
35. Socks, t-shirts, underwear (various sizes)
36. Contact lens cleaner
37. Liquid hand sanitizer
38. ****After shave Lotion
39. Crossword, word search puzzles
40. AT&T phone cards, AT&T phone cards, AT&T phone cards

Food Items:
1. Instant Soups
2. Instant Oatmeal ? Grits
3. Tea Bags
4. Dried Fruits
5. Dried Meats Jerky (Home Made A Plus) ****
6. Slim Jims (They Go Fast) ****
7. Powdered Gatorade ****
8. Cookies in package or Ziploc bag
9. Crackers, easy cheese,
10. Chex Mix ****
11. Single serve chips
12. Gum, hard candy, Tic-Tacs, breathe mints
13. Trail Mix
14. Microwave Popcorn
15. Granola bars
16. Tuna
17. Spices, condiments
18. Summer Sausage
19. Power Bars
20. Kool Aid (with sugar)
21. Dry Cereal (individual boxes)
22. Little Debby Snack Cakes
23. Kraft Easy Mac
24. Ragu Express
25. Powdered drinks ? pre-sweetened / juice boxes
26. Sunflower seeds

Please keep all food items in original packaging. The troops do not know you personally and have become wary of eating anything not in a sealed package.

NO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS PLEASE Toothbrushes & Toothpaste
Hand soap
Band-Aids &Gauze
Aspirin, Motrin, Aleve, etc. (no jell capsule forms as they are generally pork base)
Feminine supplies
Baby formula (powder)
Baby Shampoo/baby wash
Vaseline & Baby oil
Baby wipes
Cloth diapers (cloth)
Composition Notebooks
Dry erase markers
Dry erase boards
Notebook Paper
Stuffed toys
No electronic games please
Card games
Soccer balls and air pumps
Baseball, gloves, bats
Rubber balls of all types
Sports toys of all types
Children books early learning



   To ensure that baked goods will withstand the high desert heat, please
review the tips below:

No butter, margarine, peanut butter or nuts should be used. These fats will
go rancid too fast in the high heat. Butter flavored vegetable shortening is
a better alternative.

No brown sugar, corn sugar, honey, or molasses should be used. The baked goods will be too soft and possibly become moldy. Only white table sugar should be used.

Chocolate & butterscotch can be used in baked goods. Once chocolate has been baked into the product and has the chance to take up moisture from the batter, the chocolate will stay rather firm.

Bar cookies and brownies are the best bets for safe packing and are quickest for baking large quantities.

Baked goods should be wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, which provides the
best barrier against humidity.

Pack goodies in sturdy boxes and surround them with foam packaging material such as Styrofoam "peanuts."

When you send baked goods, I was told by an veteran mom it’s a good idea to place a piece of bread on top of it and packed in a tin can. That helps with keeping it fresh on it’s long trip.
I’ve sent over cookies and brownies in a plastic bag with a slice of bread in them. You can also use unsalted unbuttered popcorn. I’m not sure exactly what it does, but it sure does help to keep the baked goods fresh.
 I have sent many packages with homemade baked goods. They have taken as long as 3 weeks to get there and they were still fresh when he opened them. Wrap them in plastic wrap, then foil and put in a plastic baggy.
When I send cookies/brownies, etc. I Saran Wrap each one indivually, place them in plastic baggies and then seal them up in those disposable Gladware containers. You can use tins too, when I used a tin I also lined the top with foil before I closed the lid to seal in the freshness. I read somewhere that if you put a piece of bread in as well it helps keep them fresh, but I have never done that and my boyfriend says the cookies have been fresh anyway. He’s been lucky enough to get my packages in about 7-10 days so if you think it might be longer you may want to include a piece of bread.

A really neat way to send a cake and it stays fresh!! They love this!!!!!!!!!

Cake in a Jar

Get wide-mouth canning jars (pint size). You can find them at Walmart, other stores, or online.

Boil the jars to sterilize.

1 (18.25 oz.) package cake mix (you can use ANY cake recipe instead of packaged)

8 jars with lids and rings

1. Make the cake according to the package instructions or recipe

2. Grease the jar. Put 1 cup of batter in each jar and keep the rims of the jar clean. (I fill mine up 1/2 way–try one first before you make all of them so you know how far to fill)

3. Place jars on cookie sheet on rack on the oven (to prevent them from tipping over). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes clean

4. While baking, boil jar lids in a pan of water ( I do rings too, but I’m anal)

5. When cake is done, take one jar out at a time and cover with hot lid. Screw on jar ring tightening it slightly.

6. The lid will seal as it cools. Listen to hear them “ping” as they seal. But if they don’t, wait until completely cool and then press on the top of the lid. If it doesn’t move at all, it’s sealed.

7. As the cake cools, it will pull away from the jar slightly. That’s ok. It just means that it will slide out of the jar easily.

8. Unsealed jars should be stored in fridge and eaten within 2 weeks. Sealed jars can also be stored in freezer; however, they should last sealed and unrefrigerated for quite a long time.

9. DO NOT FROST cake in the jar! Send frosting along.

10. Make sure you wrap the jars well (bubble wrap’s preferable, but wadded newspaper or clothing and other items will pad it too).

I’d suggest that you do a trial run of cake in a jars before you decide you’re going to send them. Try ONE jar in the oven before you fill the rest. If you don’t do this, you won’t know how far to fill them and could end up underfilling or overfilling them. If they’re slightly overfilled, mash the lid on top and screw the ring down. It’ll seal and be just fine!

Don’t forget a plastic knife (or two) for the frosting and some plastic forks.

You might want to send instructions on how to get them out–unseal, tap gently, pour out. Or the guys can eat them right out of the jar.

Desert-Safe Recipes

Recipes that follow the Middle East guidelines and tips from the Toll House

Try a "desert-safe" recipe to send to your loved one overseas. This recipe
has been tested in the Nestle kitchen and does meet Middle East guidelines, as well as U.S. Postal Service mailing regulations.

Creative Pan Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons water

2 cups  TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

2 1/4 cups quick oats, uncooked

1 cup chopped dried apple slices, or raisins

PREHEAT oven to 375`C).

COMBINE flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small mixer bowl. Beat
sugar and shortening in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs.
Gradually add flour mixture and water. Stir in morsels, oats and apples.
Spread batter into ungreased 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.

BAKE for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan
on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Makes 48 bars.

Butterscotch Scotchies

Try a "desert-safe" recipe to send to your loved one overseas. This recipe
has been tested in the Nestle kitchen and does meet Middle East guidelines, as well as U.S. Postal Service mailing regulations.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange peel, (1 medium orange)

2 tablespoons water

3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked

1 2/3 cups (11-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Butterscotch Flavored Morsels

PREHEAT oven to 375º F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small mixer bowl. Beat
shortening, sugar, eggs and orange peel in large mixer bowl until creamy.
Gradually beat in flour mixture and water. Stir in oats and morsels. Spread
batter into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Makes 48 bars.

Double Chocolate Brownies

Try a "desert-safe" recipe to send to your loved one overseas. This recipe
has been tested in the Nestle kitchen and does meet Middle East guidelines, as well as U.S. Postal Service mailing regulations.Source:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 cups (a 12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided use

2 large eggs

PREHEAT oven to 325º F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.

HEAT shortening, sugar and water in medium saucepan to boiling, stirring
constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup morsels; stir until smooth.

ADD eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add in
flour mixture. Stir in remaining morsels. Spread into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out
slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack; cut into squares.

Makes 16 brownies.

Irresistible Brownies

Try a "desert-safe" recipe to send to your loved one overseas. This recipe
has been tested in the Nestle kitchen and does meet Middle East guidelines, as well as U.S. Postal Service mailing regulations.Source:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Baking Cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLE  TOLL HOUSE Premier White Morsels

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

COMBINE flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Beat shortening, sugar and eggs in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Pour into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares.

Makes 30 brownies.