Category: Soldier Care Package

We Salute You on the National Day of the Deployed

Observe the Day by Sending a Military Care Package

On October 26, the military acknowledges the National Day of the Deployed, a day to thank all military serving outside the U.S., and their families who hold down the fort back home.

Soldiers don’t get to choose their deployment locations or durations. They sacrifice their own freedoms as they work to defend the United States and its allies overseas – which is why we think deployed troops are pretty deserving of recognition on this day, and all the rest.

How the Day Got Its Start

The first National Day of the Deployed was acknowledged in 2006. Shelle Michaels Aberle approached John Hoeven, governor of her state of North Dakota, to request a proclamation for a day to honor the military members actively serving outside the confines of the country. Hoeven thought it was a great idea, so he issued a formal proclamation to declare October 26 as National Day of the Deployed. The date is special; it was the birthday of Aberle’s cousin, who was actively serving in Iraq when the idea came to her.

In 2011, Hoeven was elected a state senator and sponsored a resolution to designate the day across the country. The resolution passed unanimously, and today, all 50 states observe the holiday. Although it isn’t a federal holiday, in which banks and schools close, it is still an important one to us at My Hero Crate. Why? It’s literally our job to make sure America’s troops get the thanks they deserve!

How You Can Celebrate

The National Day of the Deployed is more of a symbolic holiday than one that calls for elaborate celebration and camaraderie – although if you want to celebrate it like that, we’d love to be invited! Simpler ways you can join in on acknowledging the importance of the day include:

-Posting on social media, thanking our deployed troops for their service, and explaining the importance of the day. If you have a loved one who is deployed, include their photo in your post so your friends and followers can put a face to the day. This will help create an emotional connection, which may encourage others to celebrate the day, too, even if they don’t know anyone currently deployed.

 

-Volunteer with an organization that benefits deployed soldiers. There’s always something you can do to brighten the days of our soldiers working and living abroad. Some nonprofit agencies assemble care packages to send to deployed troops, while others organize letter-writing campaigns to send them well-wishes. If either of these sound like fun to you, do a bit of quick internet research to find an organization near you.

 

Send your deployed military hero a care package or two. They can keep the treats for themselves, or share with the rest of their unit. Because shipping from My Hero Crate is always free to DPO, FPO, and APO addresses, even those overseas, it’s an affordable way to connect with your loved ones without having to find the contents of a snack box or gift box on your own. Also, all our snacks are from American distributors, and we’re an American company, based in Ohio. Our dedication to our country is obvious – and we want to help you celebrate your favorite hero.

How to Order a Military Care Package

My Hero Crate makes it easy to send a gift to your deployed soldier overseas. Follow these simple steps:

1. Visit MyHeroCrate.com. Click “Shop” in the top menu.

2. Choose the care package you think your deployed soldier will love the most. We even have snack boxes for special dietary needs, and gift boxes designed to inspire relaxation in our deployed heroes.

3. Once you find the package you like, select whether you’d like to send a one-time gift, or keep ‘em coming month after month by subscribing. Your soldier will get a brand-new snack box, thanks to AutoPay, so you never have to remember to schedule a delivery.

4. Check out! Just like you’d check out on any website, My Hero Crate makes it easy to pay, and to tell us exactly where to send your special gift. You can even include a custom gift message to send well-wishes to your love done.

It really is as easy as that! Start shopping today, so your gift arrives by the National Day of the Deployed on October 26.

New Military Gift Boxes for Your Heroes!

Encourage Your Loved Ones to Take Time for Themselves on Base or at Home

It seems like our world is getting busier, despite the fact that we’re staying at home more. Soldiers on military bases continue to work their jobs, while staying in peak physical condition, and keeping connected to loved ones far away. It is this that inspired My Hero Crate to develop two brand-new military gift boxes to promote rest and relaxation. Let’s take a look at what’s in these crates, so you can place your order ASAP for a special autumn surprise.

What’s in the Men’s R&R Gift Box?

gift box for himBased on the concept of rest and relaxation, this men’s box makes your soldier’s free time both tasty and soothing. Inside each box, your loved one will find:

Gourmet Food and Drink-Themed Items

-Bacon Cheese Dip

-Bottle of gourmet hot sauce

-Wine corkscrew

-Cocktail mixer set

Grooming Items

-Beard oil

-Precision Groomer

-Dolce & Gabbana sample-size cologne

-Luxe shave cream

Restful Items

-Cigar cutter

-Drink coaster

Imagine your hero enjoying a night off in his easy chair, snacking on bacon cheese dip with his favorite crackers, enjoying a small cocktail and cigar, or primping for a fun night out with friends – or with you. That’s leisure time well-spent!

Order the Men’s R&R Gift Box Now

What’s in the Women’s Relaxation Gift Box?

gift box for herStereotypically, women neglect self care in favor of nurturing others. Our special gift box full of spa and beauty items give her everything she needs to devote a day to herself and come out on the other side feeling great.

Mani-Pedi Supplies

-Manicure set
-Pedicure callus remover

Squeaky Clean Must-Haves

-Premium facial soap

-Facial cleansing pads

-Bath bomb

-Loofah

-Beach Bum soap

Beauty Necessities

-EOS lip balm

-Dual-sided tweezer

-EOS shea butter hand cream

-Sheet masks

Even if your hero doesn’t have an entire day to devote to beauty, she’ll enjoy sparing a few moments every day to feel special with the contents of this thoughtful gift box.

Order the Women’s Relaxation Gift Box Now

Why Choose My Hero Crate

My Hero Crate is an American company that assembles gift boxes full of all-American snack and gift items to acknowledge the efforts and dedication American soldiers in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard give to our country every day.

Delivery to APO, DPO, and FPO addresses is always free, even overseas. My Hero Crate is proud of our troops, and this is how we serve them. Let us help you say “thank you,” no matter where your hero is stationed, with one of our specialty care packages or snack gift boxes

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)

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. 

Salute to America! Fourth of July Party Ideas with Social Distancing Measures

Get Your Holiday Snacks with a Military Care Package from My Hero Crate

This year’s Independence Day celebrations will look very different from what we’ve become accustomed to over the years. With social distancing guidelines in place all over the United States, people are still working to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, while celebrating the birth of our country.

It’s possible to throw a Fourth of July party and stay safe at the same time. At My Hero Crate, we’ve compiled ideas for celebrating July Fourth in special ways to prevent the spread of germs while still spending quality time with the ones you love, including your favorite soldier!

Serve Individual Meals and Snacks

It sounds extreme, but purchasing snacks in individually wrapped packages can help slow the spread of disease. When snacks come in their own bags or wrappers, no one is diving in, fingers-first, to hand-pick chips, nuts, or candy from a big bowl, and no one can cough directly into a serving vessel, either.

If your goal is to stay healthy, we recommend serving plated meals over buffet-style family dining, and setting up a snack table with individually-wrapped snacks. Include a couple bottles of hand sanitizer, and spread out the lawn chairs, and you’ll have a socially-distant good time! Stock up on your favorite individually-wrapped snacks with a military snack box from My Hero Crate.

Stay Outdoors

The fresh air outdoors can help decrease the likelihood of disease transmission, rather than sitting indoors where air recirculates through the HVAC system. When your partygoers stay outdoors, the summer breeze can carry away airborne droplets. Of course, it isn’t fool-proof, so sitting separately, not sharing drinks or utensils, and practicing good hygiene are a must. Thankfully, a classic American barbecue is hosted outside, and that’s the perfect party theme for the Fourth of July!

Plan Your Own Fireworks Show

If it’s legal to purchase fireworks where you live, consider having your own family fireworks show instead of attending a public one in the park. Have a bucket of water handy for dousing any stray sparks, and practice good fireworks safety by admiring lit fireworks from afar and never aiming them at a building, pet, or person. Older children can enjoy lighting smoke bombs, popping snaps, pulling confetti poppers, or waving sparklers at night, with adult supervision.

Watch Fireworks on TV

If fireworks are not legal to set off where you live, and your local fireworks display has been canceled this year, consider watching fireworks on television with your household instead. While it’s not the same as sitting outdoors, as the smoke wafts through the sky, it can be just as amazing to watch! Turn off all the lights, open the windows for an outdoor feel, and stream a fireworks show on your TV after enjoying a special meal together and serving delicious snacks. (Order a big stash of snacks with a care package from My Hero Crate!)

Video Conference Your Family

If you’re away from home, schedule a time to video conference your family, either on your cell phone or other device. Time it right to sit down to a meal together (you can even prepare the same thing), then watch fireworks through your screens as you ooh and ahh at the beautiful colors in the sky. Video conferences are also a great way to include family members who cannot gather at your house in person for their own health reasons. Harness the power of technology to make your holiday special.

Avoid Fireworks Altogether and Choose Another Fun Activity Instead

If the sounds of fireworks create more stress and discomfort than entertainment in your household, consider opting out of fireworks altogether. For some combat veterans, fireworks bring up traumatic moments in their military careers. While it’s important to find ways of managing PTSD symptoms, sometimes it’s better to avoid those feelings and memories altogether. Watch a movie as a family instead, try out virtual reality video games, or host a board game night. With music playing in the background, and treats to snack on, you can create a festive, patriotic spirit even without fireworks!

Build your holiday snack supply by ordering a military snack box from My Hero Crate. Our boxes are full of a variety of treats from American suppliers, and ordering one will save you time making a shopping list and searching for each item at the grocery store. You can even send one to your soldier, anywhere in the world, including overseas, with free standard shipping. Shop now.

Fun Games to Play via the Mail

Add an Element of Fun to your Letters

If your favorite member of the military is deployed overseas or away at basic combat training, your interactions are limited to short phone calls and heartfelt letters sent in the mail. It’s sometimes hard to come up with motivating and inspiring words to share in your notes when you’re missing your soldier or soldier-in-training and wish they were back home with you.

The fact is, no matter what you say in your letters, no matter how mundane the topic of conversation is, your soldier treasures your handwritten mail because it’s a connection to you — a fiancée, parent, sibling, or dear friend.

Liven up your weekly letters by adding a quick, paper-based game on a sticky note or index card. Play your first turn, and mail it to your soldier. They’ll play their turn, and send it back to you with their next letter, continuing until the game is complete. Here are a few games you can play via the United States Postal Service!

Tic Tac Toe

This classic game doesn’t need explaining; everyone knows how to play! Draw up your nine-sectioned game board, and decide who will be Xs and who will be Os — and write it on your note so no one forgets! Who will win this game of strategy? You’ll soon find out!

Dots and Boxes

For a longer-term pencil-and-paper game, draw up an empty grid of dots in the desired size. Take turns adding a single horizontal or vertical line between two unjoined, adjacent dots — no diagonals allowed! The player who completes the fourth side of a box earns a point and writes their initial inside the box before taking another turn. The game is over when every box is claimed. The person with the most completed boxes wins.

Hangman

Come up with a word or short phrase, but keep it a secret! Instead, draw lines with spaces between to represent each letter. Your loved one can take guesses as to which letters fit into the words, Wheel of Fortune style, without the spinning! If they get a letter right, write it into the space. If the letter is wrong, add a component to a hangman drawing. If you don’t like the idea of drawing a hangman, your drawing can be anything — a dog, cat, boat, car, or anything else you prefer, to keep the game light.

Sprouts

Draw several dots in a random pattern on your sheet of paper. We recommend starting with four or five, but you can play with as few as two. Each player will take turns drawing a line between two dots (or a dot back to itself) and adding a new spot somewhere along the line. The lines can be straight or curved, but can never touch or cross a line. The new dot a player adds cannot be placed on an existing endpoint, and no spot can have more than three lines attached to it. The game is over when a player is the last to draw a line that follows these rules. Like Dots and Boxes, this game is rooted in mathematical strategy!

Gifts for Military Members

When basic combat training is over, or if you’re looking for something more special than a pencil-and-paper game board to send your loved one overseas or stationed on base away from home, My Hero Crate builds and sends military care packages for your heroes!

Each My Hero Crate contains an assortment of military-approved snacks and treats, all sourced from American suppliers. Choose from our specialty military care packages, including gift boxes for soldiers with special diet requirements, or purchase a monthly snack box subscription so your hero gets an Army care package twelve times a year — or whichever branch of military your loved one serves in!

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