Be Discreet, or Go All Out!
At any stage in a military member’s career, hearing from loved ones at home is comforting and motivating. But when it comes to their birthday, things can get a little more complicated depending on where they are and what they’re doing.
To simplify your decision-making about what to do for your soldier’s or recruit’s birthday, My Hero Crate is here to give you some great ideas.
Birthdays at Boot Camp
Most recruits are pretty young — fresh out of high school, or even college-age — although, of course, there are plenty that are a little older, too. Birthdays are still pretty special to them, especially as they reach landmark years: leaving their teens, or turning 21.
If your recruit’s birthday falls during their time away at boot camp, we have some bad news. Boot camp is actually not the best time to send your recruit a military care package, let alone a birthday gift. There’s a reason recruits are instructed to not bring much with them to basic combat training, and that’s because whichever branch they’ve enlisted in, be it Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard, they provide what they need to get through.
However, that isn’t to say you shouldn’t acknowledge your recruit’s birthday. Instead of a soldier care package, consider sending a heartfelt letter through the mail. Reflect on previous celebrations, talk about how proud you are of them for joining the military, and wish them happy birthday in a way that won’t bring the ire of their drill sergeant down upon them. The one thing you definitely don’t want during boot camp is special attention!
Birthdays After Basic Training
When your recruit graduates to soldier and their birthday comes around, finding creative ways to celebrate or send a gift to a military base is totally OK!
Some people prefer to keep it simple and follow the boot camp rules for celebrating birthdays. But if your soldier really loves their birthday, you might want to send a special Army care package, or build your own Navy gift box — or whatever branch they’re in — to send to your soldier.
If you want to keep it simple, My Hero Crate can take care of the packaging and shipping for you. Just select what type of care package you’d like to send, and your hero will receive their military care package directly from us.
If you prefer to create your own, know you will need to carefully package the contents to prevent them from being crushed, especially if you’re including anything fragile (like certain snacks). A popular item to receive is the famous cake-in-a-jar, which is a personal-sized cake baked directly inside a canning jar. Other ideas include necessities like underwear or sunblock; snacks, like chips, nuts, jerky, trail mix, or drink mixes in single-serving packages; simple games like cards or puzzle books (but not jigsaw puzzles); stationery supplies without stamps; and photos and special notes.
Birthdays During Deployment
It’s hard enough to be deployed to another part of the world, let alone when you’re deployed on your birthday. Just as you might send your soldier a birthday gift when they’re stateside, you also can send them a gift while they’re deployed for the domestic cost of shipping.
The United States Postal Service offers a reduced rate for military mail. You need only pay domestic postage on anything going to an APO or FPO address, as long as you have the APO/FPO/DPO and the zip code. Double-check with your soldier that you’ve written their mailing address down correctly before shipping a gift to them.
If assembling overseas-quality sturdy packaging and securing shipping just isn’t your forte, but you still want to send something special, My Hero Crate can take care of you in this situation, too! Our soldier care packages ship free 100% of the time. You’re already paying the emotional toll of having a loved one in the military; you don’t need to be nickel-and-dimed for postage, too.
Shop Now at My Hero Crate
Ready to send a care package and let us handle everything for you? Perfect! We’re ready to do it! Start by browsing our selection of care packages. You can even choose to sign your soldier up for a care package subscription service, and we’ll send a gift box every month!
When you place the gift box order with us, you’ll include your billing address, and your soldier’s shipping address. Then, we’ll take care of the rest. The next thing you know, you’ll get a phone call or letter thanking you for the care package full of snacks and sweet treats.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for accuracy. It was originally published on May 5, 2020.