Author: Jenifer Calandra

What’s in an MRE?

We Send Snacks, Ready to Eat in a Military Care Package to Your Hero

Your deployed hero might have called them “Meals Rejected by Everyone” or “Meals Rarely Edible.” Yes, we’re talking about the humble MRE, which actually stands for “Meal Ready to Eat.” And while we don’t include MREs in our military snack boxes, we do think they’re pretty fascinating, not only for the macronutrients that pack, but also for the science that has gone into developing them.

MRE Nutrition

MREs are self-contained, individual rations for service members in combat or conditions where a food facility isn’t available. MREs do not need a dedicated kitchen space to be prepared, or even a table. They don’t need to be refrigerated, and they’re lightweight.

Amazingly, each MRE provides about 1,250 calories. Why so much? Because service members who must eat MREs are burning more than 4,000 calories per day, according to the Institute of Medicine. The macronutrient breakdown is:

  • -13% protein
  • -36% fat
  • -53% carbohydrates

These proportions make for a filling meal, three times per day, with no nutritional need for snacks to supplement them. (But that doesn’t mean a military snack box won’t be appreciated and consumed!)

MRE Contents

Every MRE includes a flameless ration heater, which, when activated, brings the food to the temperature you’d expect for a hot meal. Instructions with the MRE explain how to pour water into the heater and insert the food packet into it. 

Most meals come only with a plastic spoon and no other utensils. Rarely do they come with a full set, though it isn’t unheard of. This means most MREs can be easily eaten using only a single utensil. We dare you to try it at home.

Inside, your soldier will find what is called an “accessory pack,” which contains things like chewing gum, a matchbook, napkin or toilet paper, a moist towelette, and extra seasons. Every MRE also comes with a powdered beverage, like instant coffee, a fruit drink, cocoa, a sport drink, or even a dairy-based shake. 

Food-wise, there’s quite a lot inside: the main course, a side dish, a dessert or snack, crackers or bread, and a spread (usually cheese, jam, or peanut butter). Candy is also quite common. 

Sample Menus

We know they aren’t quite like home-cooking, but we can’t help but to feel a little hungry reading these three sample MRE menus, courtesy of GoArmy.com.

Chili w/ Beans

Mexican-style corn

Crackers and jam

Dairy shake

Candy

Red pepper seasoning

Flameless heater
Hot beverage bag

Veggie Burger in BBQ Sauce
Dried fruit
Chocolate banana muffin top
Wheat snack bread
Gum
Hot sauce
Lemon Tea
Flameless heater
Hot beverage bag
Chicken Fajita Tortilla
Chocolate pudding
Baked snack crackers
Cheese spread
Seasoning Blend
Coffee, Irish Cream flavor
Flameless heater
Hot beverage bag 

Fun MRE Facts

When you’re in the field, you can’t be picky about your food. MREs are the perfect solution, but they’re also actually pretty darn cool. For example:

 

  • -MREs are capable of withstanding parachute drops of 1,250 feet, and non-parachute drops of 100 feet. 
  • -Their shelf life is 3.5 years at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or nine months at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • -The Department of Defense continues to develop upgrades to MREs, such as the “Beverage Bag,” introduced in 2006, a period of time when hydration bladders were more commonly used than metal canteens. The bags include measuring marks to indicate how much water to add to powdered drink mixes, and, for coffee, can be heated inside the flameless heater provided in the meal.  
  • -In 2005, writers for Airman, an Air Force magazine, taste-tested every variety of MRE in one sitting, and ranked them based on how good they tasted. Two of the most popular were the Beef Roast with Vegetables and the Pork Rib with New England Style Clam Chowder. 

A Military Snack Box that Far Exceeds MRE Quality

Want to make up for your hero’s stint eating MREs cooked with a flameless heater? Or just want to say “thank you,” or “I love you,” or “I miss you,” or “Happy Birthday!,” or literally any other sentiment you can think of? We got you! The military care package experts here at My Hero Crate create and assemble the best armed forces snack boxes and send them to the recipient of your choice, no matter what branch of the military they’re in. Shipping is free, and yes — we even ship overseas!

Learn more about our military snack boxes, and place your order today

How to Talk About Suicide

Ways You Can Help Your Hero in Need

My Hero Crate has made it our mission to improve the lives of veterans. Our method is to build military care packages for every branch of the armed forces and to ship them anywhere in the world, wherever your hero is living. We also support nonprofit, veteran-focused organizations because we put our money where our mouth is.

We are not experts in mental health or military suicides. We aren’t trained psychiatrists with an in-depth knowledge of how the brain works. But we do care a whole lot. And that’s why this month, National Suicide Prevention Month, we wanted to share with you some of the research we found about helping military veterans access the care they need, should they ever experience suicidal ideation. If this blog post helps even one veteran and the people that care about them get through a difficult time, then writing it will have been worth it. 

A Long History of Veteran Suicide

It is more than unfortunate that United States military veteran suicide has been a phenomenon for decades; the very first suicide prevention center opened in 1958 because of the prolific number of veteran suicides. In the years since, the U.S. and Veterans Affairs have taken steps to reduce rates of suicide by establishing additional mental health resources and legislation. It is difficult, however, to fix the root cause of the problem.

According to a report published by the VA in 2016, an average of 20 veterans die from suicide each day. Further analysis of the VA study shows that the rate varies by age group. Sixty-nine percent of suicides involved veterans 50 and older, whereas 31 percent involved younger veterans. Ninety-seven percent of victims were male.

The cause? It’s not precise, but the majority of veterans who commit suicide reportedly struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and combat-related guilt. Transitioning back to civilian life can also be quite difficult, especially after years in the military. 

Risk Factors for Veteran Suicide

The National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah and the VA both say there are risk factors that increase the likelihood of military veterans experiencing suicidal ideation:

  • -Feelings of depression or hopelessness
  • -PTSD and/or a history of trauma
  • -Access to firearms
  • -Combat experience and combat-related guilt (although combat doesn’t always play a primary role in suicidal ideation); severe combat conditions
  • -Lengthy or frequent deployments, or longer times at war
  • -Location of deployment
  • -Branch of military
  • -Lower level of education
  • -Divorce soon after the end of deployment
  • -Sustaining life-altering injuries
  • -Brain/head trauma
  • -Witnessing traumatic events, such as their fellow soldiers being killed 
  • -Military structure and re-acclimating to civilian life

Suicide Warning Signs to Watch For

It’s difficult to predict when someone may be considering suicide, especially if they tend to hide their emotions. However, there is a set of common warning signs you can watch for as you interact with your hero at home, over the phone, or via mail.

  • -They make statements about suicide, such as “I wish I were dead,” or, more specifically, “I’m going to kill myself.” 
  • -They withdraw from social contact, including their friends and other family members.
  • -They seem preoccupied with death and dying, or violence.
  • -Their personalities may change, or they may have severe mood swings.
  • -They participate in risky behaviors, including using drugs, abusing alcohol, or driving recklessly.
  • -They express that they feel trapped or hopeless.
  • -They say goodbye to people as though they’ll never see them again.
  • -They change their normal routine, including when and how often they eat or sleep.
  • -They give away their belongings or “get their affairs in order.”
  • -They have acquired means to commit suicide, including purchasing a gun, accessing pills, etc. 

How to Start the Conversation with Your Hero

Don’t worry that if you ask your hero about suicidal thoughts or feelings, you push them into actually doing it. Giving them a chance to express their feelings can actually reduce their risk of acting on them. To do so, you can start your one-on-one conversation by asking some sensitive questions, like:

  • -How are you coping with what has happened in your life?
  • -How are you feeling about everything that has happened with you?

You should also ask some direct questions, like:

  • -Are you thinking about hurting yourself? 
  • -Are you thinking about suicide?
  • -Are you thinking about dying?

Your questions can continue to delve into more detail, like:

  • -Have you ever thought about suicide before?
  • -Have you ever tried to hurt yourself before?
  • -Have you thought about how or when you’d do it?
  • -Do you have access to weapons, or other things you could use to hurt yourself?

What Not to Say

Most suicidologists agree that committing suicide isn’t a decision. In an essay by Gerben Meynen, a professor of forensic psychiatry at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, he argues that “having a mental disorder takes away a person’s ability to choose alternatives.”

In fact, until the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), “loss of freedom” was listed as a component of mental illness. This description has now been updated to an “impairment in one or more important areas of functioning,” which is said to include “one or more losses of freedom.” 

It makes sense, then, that talking about suicide in a way that insinuates it is your hero’s choice would not be productive, and would instead shame them for their struggle. Never refer to committing suicide as selfish, stupid, cowardly or weak, a choice, or a sin, regardless of your personal beliefs.

You should also avoid “making it about you.” It is likely your hero has already thought about the repercussions of suicide and how it may affect their loved ones, but still views it as the only escape from their feelings.

What You Should Do

If your hero is considering suicide, you can help them get the resources they need. You can encourage them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, and offer to sit with them as they make the call. To access responders with experience helping veterans, your hero should press “1” at the prompt. If they prefer to text with a responder at the Lifeline, they can send a message to 838255.

Help them locate the phone number for their doctor at the VA to get access to the VA Mental Health program and VA Suicide Prevention program. There are so many non-profit organizations dedicated to veterans’ mental health — just like the ones we donate to with the proceeds from each of our military care packages. You can learn more about them at veteranscrisisline.net. 

Be supportive. Express your love for them, and your concern. 

A Heartfelt Sign-Off from Your Favorite Military Care Package Experts

Your personal military hero is also ours. It is our sincere hope that you and your veteran will learn to stave off the thoughts of suicide while living your best possible lives together.

What is Patriot Day?

Join My Hero Crate’s Military Care Package Experts in Solemnly Acknowledging This Holiday

Most people remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they learned that both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists using hijacked commercial airlines, and when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, a foiled attack that killed everyone aboard.

The news was devastating and played 24/7 for weeks as the American people reeled in shock, and New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania began clean-up efforts and the search for survivors; there weren’t many.

Unlike other tragic events like this one, we remember it all by the date: September 11, 2001.

How the Day of Mourning Came to Be

After the terrible attacks on civilians in our country, heroes assembled at the plane crash sites to try to find survivors among the wreckage, including firefighters, police officers, and members of our armed forces.

Just over a month later, on October 25, 2001, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill to make September 11 a national day of mourning. The Senate unanimously voted in favor. As a result, President George W. Bush declared the first Patriot Day in 2002.

How to Observe Patriot Day

Although Patriot Day is not a federal holiday, so schools and businesses remain open, people still take steps to observe the day of mourning. 

 

-Some people hold a moment of silence at the same time the jet hit the first tower of the World Trade Center: 8:46 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.


-Americans are encouraged to display flags outside their homes to express their love of the country.

 

-Some New Yorkers spend the day quietly and without flair, especially those who experienced the aftermath or lost loved ones in the attacks.

 

-The United States flag is flown at half-mast throughout the world.

 

-Memorial events are held in honor of the 2,977 victims who perished and those who lost their lives during search and rescue efforts.

 

-Non-profit organizations assemble volunteer opportunities for special projects across the country.

 

How You Can Observe this Day

If you’re looking for a unique way to memorialize Patriot Day, consider doing small things close to home to impact the lives of those around you.


Send a thank-you letter or snack box.

You can thank your local firefighters for their everyday bravery in the face of danger as they rescue people from burning buildings. You can thank your local National Guard unit for their willingness to sacrifice their time to serve regionally and sometimes overseas. You can say thanks to the troops stationed at one of America’s many military bases. If you know of a hero from the September 11 attacks, say thank you to them, too. Receiving a note or snack box will make their day.

Do something kind for someone else.
Spend your day performing good deeds and requesting nothing in return. Gather a few extra shopping carts and put them in the cart return at the grocery store. Pick up litter in your local park. Offer to mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn for free. 

Display a flag.
Fly an American flag in your yard to display your patriotism for all to see. Be sure to follow Flag Code and be respectful as you observe the day.

Take your own moment of silence.
At 8:46 a.m. eastern time, sit quietly, with the TV off and your phone on vibrate and reflect on why you’re thankful for living in the U.S. as you remember those who perished in 2001.

Donate to an organization with a mission important to you. Research a nonprofit or charity group that you think is doing amazing work for the American people, and make a monetary donation to them to contribute to their projects. At My Hero Crate, we pledge to donate a portion of our proceeds to a veteran-focused nonprofit for every military care package we sell. If you’re able to make a regular donation, rather than an annual one, consider doing it.

Let Us Know Your Plans for Patriot Day

Are you doing something special in observance of this important day? Tag us on Instagram @myherocrate to show us how you’re paying tribute.

Why Human Connection is Important

A Care Package from My Hero Crate Can Help Provide It

Humans are social creatures. Sociologists and archaeologists have uncovered proof that even ancient humans lived together, hunted together, and enjoyed social activities. These preferences for socialization are thoroughly ingrained in our daily lives. They provide us with parts of our identity and teach us skills to lead successful lives. Having human connection is so vitally important, and for many reasons.

Joining the military can feel isolating, especially as deployments put unimaginable physical distance between soldiers and their families and other loved ones. Thankfully, part of being in the American armed forces is the camaraderie and team spirit among military branches and units. Discharging from the military, then, can be quite difficult, as veterans are forced back into the civilian world among people who don’t fully understand their experiences. 

So, how can armed services members and veterans still get the valuable human connections and understanding they need when faced with a sense of isolation? And what does human connection look like? This month, My Hero Crate explores this important topic.

Perception of Human Connection

Depending on the environment you grew up in, your personal preferences, and your mental state, human connection may look different to you than it does to others. Data from university research shows that simply having access to a supportive person is sufficient to help someone adapt to stress — including stress of a new lifestyle. 

In this case, there is no physical, ongoing human connection, but just the knowledge that it is available. Sometimes, people who are particularly independent need only this to feel connected. However, other people require more intensive interaction to feel a sense of belonging and safety. Human connection looks different to everyone.

The Benefits of Belonging

Having a support system and feeling a sense of belonging is not only necessary to human development, but it also helps our health.

The lack of human connection has been shown to be more harmful to your health than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure individually. Connections also can relieve feelings of anxiety and depression and help us regulate emotions. When we feel a sense of belonging or that people care about us, we tend to have higher self-esteem. People who feel they have strong support systems, including friends and family, tend to have stronger immune systems, too!

Human connection can also help you live longer. A review of 148 separate scientific studies with more than 300,000 participants shows that those with stronger social relationships had a 50 percent increased likelihood of lengthier survival times. These results remained true across a number of factors, including age, initial health status, and cause of death.

Social connectivity and a sense of belonging also decrease the risk of suicide. Although quite a few factors lower the risk of suicide, one of these is connectedness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, connectedness is, “the degree to which a person or group is socially close, interrelated or shares resources with other persons or groups.”

Healthy relationships, friendships, and close family ties are proven to reduce the risk of suicide. This connection, then, is especially important for a demographic like military veterans, of whom 22 die of suicide per day and up to 30 percent suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Getting the Connection

So how can military veterans or current personnel get the most from their opportunities for human connection? Here are a few ways you may find appealing:

-Support groups for veterans

-Volunteer opportunities for a cause you support

-Living near or with a family member or other loved one

-Weekly family dinners if you live separately

-Participating in therapy with a counselor or in a group session

-Joining a club or enrolling in a continuing education class

-Working a job with supportive coworkers and bosses

-Choosing a hobby that requires interaction with others

Show Your Support and Caring with a Military Snack Box

For family members who are far away from their loved ones in the military, showing your support can help remind your favorite soldier that you’re there for them. My Hero Crate’s military care packages can help you do that. Select a care package of your choice, and we’ll send it to your hero, no matter where they’re stationed.

Order a care package today to stay connected to your hero.

All About the Navajo Code Talkers

Celebrate Every Day with Care Packages from My Hero Crate

This year, Navajo Code Talkers Day is recognized on August 14. It’s a special day honoring the contributions of Native Americans during World War II and their contributions to the evolution of the U.S. Code related to Native American languages, as well as First Nations tribe members who participated in the U.S. military.

There is some confusion around this day, and we think it’s worthwhile to clear up some misconceptions and celebrate our First Nations heroes for their contributions to military forces.

Were Navajo Code Talkers all from the Navajo tribe?

Navajo Code Talkers Day doesn’t single out the Navajo tribe for recognition. The name of the holiday — and the code, too — are kind-of misnomers. Navajo code is a broader term for the coded speech used to fool Nazis and Japanese Imperial forces during World War II. Navajo code depended on the complex Navajo language, and it remains one of the only codes used by the U.S. military to have never been broken during conflicts.

Other tribes associated with the World War II efforts include the Cherokee, Choctaw, Comanche, and Hopi.

When was First Nations Code first used?

Some sources say First Nations languages were used as early as World War I, when the Choctaw language was used to code a message in preparation for an attack on German forces. The CIA even claims other countries may send their military members to the U.S. to study the Code after World War I.

Why was the Navajo language used?

Philip Johnston partnered with the U.S. Marines because of his expertise in the Navajo language. He’d been living on Navajo reservations since he was a child, and had the idea to create a security code based on the complex Navajo language. The Marine Corps knew they needed native speakers for the project to be a success, so they recruited 29 members of the First Nations.

Non-native Navajo speakers, like Johnston, are extremely rare. The Code was made even more secure by encrypting communications using Navajo as a word-substitution code. It utilized common cryptography games to apply to war. For example, Navajo bird names were applied to weapons of war.

What did the Code Talkers accomplish?

Aside from assuring the security of American military secrets, the Code Talkers could translate, send, and retranslate a coded message in about 150 seconds, an incredible feat that would normally have taken hours. Military history experts believe the U.S. may not have won the Battle of Iwo Jima without the Code Talkers.

Recognizing Code Talkers Today

The Navajo Code Talkers program was declassified in 1968, but it wasn’t until 1982 when President Ronald Reagan established Navajo Code Talkers Day. In 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded Congressional Gold Medals to 29 Code Talkers, followed by President George W. Bush, who presented medals to even more.

There were about 400 Navajo Code Talkers in total. As of 2019, only five were still living: John Kinsel Sr., Samuel F. Sandoval, Joe Vandever Sr., Thomas H. Begay, and Peter MacDonald.

How to Celebrate

Although the likelihood of you personally knowing any surviving Navajo Code Talkers is rare, you can still acknowledge the day by remembering and talking about their contributions to the U.S. military’s victory in World War I and World War II.

At My Hero Crate, we think every day is a good day to thank a military hero. Express your gratitude to yours with a military care package from My Hero Crate.

Select and send your crate today.

About the image above:

Navajo Code Talkers Peter Macdonald (left) and Roy Hawthorne participated in a ceremony Nov. 10, 2010, at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. to pay tribute to veterans and to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Members of the Coast Guard You Should Know

Send Your Hero Military Care Packages for All Branches of the Armed Forces

The Coast Guard is the oft-overlooked brother of the United States’ eight uniformed armed forces. These heroes defend the coast, conduct search-and-rescue missions, and enforce maritime law. That’s important business!

Just like every other branch of the military, there are famous Coast Guard veterans who served this country and became heroes. These are their stories.

Signalman First Class Douglas Munro

Called “the ultimate hero of the Coast Guard,” Canadian-born Munroe died on Guadalcanal on September 27, 1942. He commanded a group of Higgins boats in the battle and was responsible for the safe evacuation of more than 500 Marines who came under heavy fire. He used his boat as a shield. After he was wounded, his last words were, “Did they get off?” Munro knew his mission, and he gave his life to save hundreds of others.

He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. personal military decoration, the only member of the U.S. Coast Guard to receive the award for service in this military branch. He is also the only non-Marine to have his name on the Wall of Heroes of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Ida Lewis

Before the Lighthouse Service was combined with the Coast Guard, Ida Lewis spent 39 years as keeper of Lime Rock Lighthouse in Rhode Island, and an additional 15 living and working there. She is credited with saving 18 lives, her first when she was just 12 years old, and her last at 63, and was one of the first women in the Lighthouse Service.

Lime Rock Lighthouse was renamed Ida Lewis Light in her honor, along with a coastal buoy tender. She received a silver medal from the Life Saving Benevolent Association of New York, and earned a Gold Lifesaving Medal for her heroic actions. 

Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal

Nathan Bruckenthal and a team of Navy personnel intercepted a boat in the Arabian Gulf in 2004. Terrorists aboard detonated a bomb as Bruckenthal and his team attempted to board. The bomb overturned Bruckenthal’s vessel.

Later, 24-year-old Bruckenthal died from his injuries — the first Coast Guard war casualty since the Vietnam War. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and the Purple Heart.

Lieutenant Thomas Crotty

“Jimmy” Crotty was the first Coast Guard prisoner of war since the War of 1812. After several positions in the Pacific, Crotty was attached to the Marine Corps Fourth Regiment when the Japanese forces attacked the Philippines.

As the Battle of Corregidor raged on, Crotty was captured by the Japanese and held in Cabanatuan Prison in 1942. He died there of diphtheria. His remains weren’t positively identified until 2019. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and a Prisoner of War Medal.

Captain Joseph O. Doyle

A skilled boatbuilder and fisherman before joining the Coast guard, Doyle became the keeper of the Charlotte, New York Life Saving Station. In 1878, he completed two rescue missions that cemented his name in history. First, at the wreck of the schooner B.P. Dorr of Chicago, Doyle rescued six men and women aboard the boat and brought them safely to shore.

A little more than a month later, Doyle showed his bravery once again as he ordered a lantern squad to monitor the shore for any passengers of the schooner Star of Millpoint from Ontario who may have fallen overboard during a fierce storm.

For his efforts, he was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal. The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle, named for the Captain, was commissioned into service in 2019 during a ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard Care Packages

Every Coast Guardsman is a hero, including yours! Send your personal hero a military care package from My Hero Crate, no matter where they’re stationed, with free standard shipping to APO, FPO, and DPO addresses. Our care packages are full of American-sourced, military-approved snacks to help your hero feel at home, and we donate a portion of our proceeds to a meaningful veteran-focused non-profit organization! Shop now.

Navy Sailors to Remember Today

Send Your Navy Hero a Snack Box to Say Thank You

October 13, 1775 marks the birth date of the United States Navy, when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution creating the Continental Navy. When the Revolutionary War ended, the Continental Navy disbanded. But, under President George Washington, the Naval Act of 1794 created the permanent branch of the armed forces that we know today.

Through the years, many American heroes served in the U.S. Navy, on elite SEAL teams, as pilots, and as sailors. Although we couldn’t possibly list every member of the Navy who deserves recognition, we have compiled a list of a few here.

Admiral Eric T. Olson

Olson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1973 and earned the role of SEAL officer just a year later. The first Navy SEAL appointed to three-star and four-star flag rank, and the first naval officer to be the U.S. Special Operations Command combatant commander, Eric Olson served more than 38 years in the United States Navy. Olson has commanded at every level and served in an Underwater Demolition team, Special Boat Squadron, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, SEAL team, and SEAL Delivery Vehicle team. 

Master Chief Petty Officer Rudy Boesch

You might recognize Rudy Boesch from his time as a contestant on the reality TV series Survivor. But what you may not know is that he was on the very first Navy SEALs who served for 45 years before retiring in 1990. His SEAL results were set as physical and operational standards for SEAL Team Two. In Vietnam, Boesch earned a Bronze Star. During that war, he was part of 45 combat missions.

Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle

Perhaps one of the most well-known Navy SEALs because of the American Sniper, the blockbuster biographical movie of his life, Chris Kyle was the most lethal sniper in all U.S. military history during his four tours of Iraq. For his heroism and service in combat, Kyle earned the Silver Star Medal, four Bronze Star Medals with “V” devices, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and numerous other awards. Kyle and a friend were murdered at a shooting range in Texas in 2013.

Captain John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones is known as the father of the U.S. Navy and was the first to hoist the flag over a U.S. naval vessel. During the Revolutionary War, he is credited with defeating the British during battles and for taking over their 50-gun ship, the HMS Serapis. The British accused him of piracy, but you may know him from your history books for his memorable quote, “I have not yet begun to fight!”

Lieutenant Michael “Murph” P. Murphy

A graduate of Penn State, Lt. Murphy chose to join the Navy instead of pursuing law school. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2005, just three years after joining the military. Murph was awarded the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military’s highest decoration, for his actions during his time in Afghanistan, the first member of the Navy to receive the award since Vietnam. He also was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal, which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor, and a Purple Heart. In his honor, a U.S. Navy ship and several military and civilian buildings have been named for him.

Do you have your own personal hero in the Navy — or any military branch — today? For a unique and fun way to thank them for their service, send a special military snack box from My Hero Crate. Our American-sourced snack boxes are shipped straight to their address, even APO/FPO/DPO addresses for free and overseas, and we donate a portion of our proceeds to a veteran-centered non-profit organization. A military snack box is a great choice for birthdays, holidays, or just because. Learn more and order your first care package today.

Top Five Reasons a Military Snack Box Makes a Great Gift

Care Packages to APO/DPO/FPO Addresses Ship for Free

Not a day goes by that you don’t think of your loved one in the military. Whether they’re stationed overseas or on a domestic military base, being far apart can be heart-wrenching. You probably remember the emotions you felt when they first left for basic combat training, and you wrote them letters almost every day. The worry and the pride never fades, and you probably feel compelled to show your love in new ways, ways you didn’t have to consider before because your loved one is nearby.

A thoughtful way you can express your love for your military member and personal hero is by sending them a military snack box from My Hero Crate. Here are five reasons why our armed forces care packages make such great gifts.

1. Active people have strong appetites.

With your loved one taking part in physical activities every day, sometimes all day long, they are sure to get hungry. The contents of our snack boxes are military-approved, so the treats we’ll send to your soldier will be able to be appreciated and consumed. Hearty treats like nuts and beef jerky satisfy appetites until the next meal time.

2. American soldiers deserve all-American gifts.

Our armed services troops are fighting to defend our country, so it only makes sense that our snacks come from American suppliers and are fulfilled by an American company. (That’s us! We’re based in Ohio!). While we’re sure your hero would enjoy any gift you send them, there’s just something special about receiving a patriotic care package!

3. Our memories are tied to food.

Especially in the United States, we tend to tie our most-loved memories to food. Think about it. What memorable family reunion doesn’t include a potluck meal of beloved family recipes? What snacks did you enjoy when you attended a sporting event together? Our military snack boxes contain a variety of treats that are sure to remind your hero of your special times together.

4. We make care package shipping easy.

Of course, you could put together your own care package to send it to your soldier, but you have to worry about finding a suitable package, then visiting the post office to pay for postage. My Hero Crate takes care of all of it for you, which saves you time — time you could spend writing your loved one a letter or accepting their phone calls. And, you don’t need to know any special shipping guidelines, either.

5. Military snack boxes are appropriate for every occasion.

While most military bases are well-stocked with civilian snacks that your loved one can purchase, it’s way more special to receive a big box of treats because it means someone was thinking of you! Our snack boxes are a great gift for every occasion: birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, or celebrating a big achievement. Or, you can send one just because; that’s why we offer our snack box subscription service! 

We created My Hero Crate because we care, and because we know you do, too. To show your military loved one that you’re thinking of them, visit our website and pick out the perfect snack box to send to them, no matter where they’re stationed. 

Army Soldiers Who Did Great Things

Say “Thanks!” to Your Modern-Day Hero with a Military Care Package

A true soldier possesses certain character traits that make them truly special. These characteristics are loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Over the years, members of the Army have displayed these traits and achieved amazing things while serving our country. Do you know the story of these important Army soldiers?

Maj. Gen. John Lincoln Clem

Clem changed his middle name from Joseph to Lincoln before attempting to enlist in the Union Army during the Civil War when he was just nine years old. After being rejected initially, he made it into the 22nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry and killed a Confederate officer who demanded his surrender. Clem was promoted to sergeant before being discharged in 1864. He made his return to the army in 1871 and rose to major general before his retirement in 1915. We don’t know many nine-year-olds are prepared for war today, but we’re thankful for Maj. Gen. Clem’s dedication to this country.

Sgt. Henry Johnson

A “Harlem Hellfigher” during World War I, Johnson found himself in a fight in the Argonne Forest. A dozen German soldiers attacked him and his buddy. Sgt. Johnson was able to hold them off with grenades and rifle fire. When he ran out of ammo, he finished off his attackers with a knife and saved the rest of his unit. President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Johnson a Congressional Medal of Honor; President Bill Clinton posthumously awarded him a Purple Heart. In 2003, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s second highest award, was presented to his son, Herman A. Johnson, a Tuskegee Airman, on behalf of his father. The French government also awarded Johnson the Croix de guerre; he was the first American to receive the award.

Gen. George S. Patton

A West Point graduate, General Patton commanded the army in World War II in the Mediterranean and in France and Germany after D-Day. Although his public statements and motivational speeches to his soldiers were somewhat controversial, today, he is regarded as an American folk hero. During his time in the Army, Gen. Patton earned a Purple Heart, Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, and Legion of Merit. Patton is the subject of several full-length motion pictures that celebrate his achievements and his big personality.

Lt. Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy is considered the greatest combat soldier in the history of the United States. Although he passed away at only 46 years old, his legend lives on today in his Hollywood movie roles. At just 5’5” tall and 110 pounds, Murphy was refused enlistment in both the Marines and paratroopers during World War II. That was their loss, and the Army gladly accepted him. His first assignment was to the 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division, where he fought in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. He earned a battlefield commission for his courage and leadership, as well as every possible medal for valor that the United States awarded. He also earned three French medals and a Belgian medal, making him the most decorated soldier in American history. 

First Lt. Eddie Rickenbacker

Rickenbacker was the most successful American fighter ace in the Army during World War I, with 26 aerial victories. During his time in the Army, he earned the Junior Military Aviator Badge, Medal of Honor, Army Distinguished Service Cross, Medal for Merit, World War I Victory Medal, Legion of Honor from France, and the Croix de guerre from France. Rickenbacker also is famous for his careers as a race car driver, automotive designer, and the long-time leader of Eastern Air Lines.

How to Thank Army Soldiers with a Military Care Package

Although we cannot thank these Army legends in person, we can continue to honor their legacy and dedication by remembering them on Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day. Today’s soldiers are also deserving of our acknowledgement, which is why My Hero Crate was born into existence.

My Hero Crate makes it easy to say “thank you” to any member of the American armed forces. Simply purchase a military care package on our website, and we’ll ship it directly to your favorite soldier, no matter where in the world they’re stationed. Each military care package contains a variety of snacks suitable for any dietary need, and all contents are military-approved. 

Place your order today to thank your personal hero.

Five Important Marines You Should Know

Recognize Your Favorite Marine with a Military Care Package

The Marine Corps were founded as the Continental Marines in November 1775, during the Revolutionary War, for ship-to-shop fighting, assisting in landing forces, providing shipboard security, and enforcing discipline. Since then, the few and the proud have been protecting the United States. Here are a few famous Marines we think are worth knowing. 

Be sure to add your Marine Corps hero to our list, too, and send them a military care package from My Hero Crate.

Marine Sergeant Major Gilbert “Hashmark” Johnson

One of the first African Americans to join the Marine Corps, Johnson served as a drill instructor before being promoted to sergeant major. Johnson requested permission to conduct combat patrols and led 25 of them in Guam during World War II.

Previously, he served in both the Army and Navy for a combined 15 years before joining the Marines. At basic training, he was nicknamed “Hashmark” because he had more service stripes than his instructors. Sgt. Maj. Johnson dedicated his life to serving his country in the armed forces and is definitely deserving of our salute.

Lieutenant General Lewis “Chesty” Puller”

Most every enlisted Marine is familiar with Chesty Puller and the role he played in the Corps. Lt. Gen. Puller served for 30 years and rose to one of the highest ranks while becoming the most decorated Marine in the history of the Corps. 

He earned five Navy Crosses, the nation’s second-highest military honor; no one else has ever achieved the same. He is famous for saying, “All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us. They can’t get away this time,” when his unit was surrounded by the enemy during the Korean War. He also served in World War II and in Nicaragua and Haiti.

Sergeant Major Daniel J. Daly

Known as “the fightinest Marine,” Sgt. Maj. Daly earned his fame by leading a counter attack at the Battle of Belleau Wood during World War I, despite being outnumbered and outgunned. Although this was an incredible act of bravery, he didn’t earn a Medal of Honor for it.

Instead, he received two Medals of Honor for single-handedly holding a wall in China as snipers tried to kill him and for resisting an ambush in Haiti before leading a counterattack against Caco rebels there.

Colonel John Glenn — Yes, THAT John Glenn

You probably know Col. John Glenn for being the first American to orbit the Earth, but he was an incredibly decorated Marine first. Glenn earned six Distinguished Flying Crosses, 18 Air Medals, and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

During World War II and the Korean War, he flew 122 combat missions with three air-to-air kills. He once protected his wingman who was experiencing engine trouble as enemy planes attacked. Glenn drove them off to give his partner time to return to base, ultimately taking down one enemy jet in the process.

Private Minnie Spotted-Wolf

Minnie Spotted-Wolf was the first Native American woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps as a member of the Marine Corps Reserve in 1943. A member of the Blackfoot tribe, Spotted-World described Marine boot camp as “hard, but not too hard.” She served on military bases in California and Hawaii, where she was a heavy equipment operator and driver for general officers.

After serving for five years, she was discharged and became a teacher, a career she enjoyed for 29 years. In 2019, a section of U.S. Highway 89 was dedicated as the “Minnie Spotted-Wolf Memorial Highway.”

Say Thanks to Your Marine Corps Hero

If your loved one is continuing the legacy of excellence of the United States Marine Corps, we think they deserve a very special armed forces snack box from My Hero Crate

Each of our military snack gift baskets contains an assortment of military-approved, American-sourced nuts, chips, candy, and other treats and ships for free, including overseas and to APO, FPO, and DPO addresses. You can send a single snack box, or subscribe so your favorite soldier receives an armed forces care package every month.

Place your order today!

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