If you are deploying, check out the resources below to help you and your family.
United Through Reading, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization, allows a military person to read a book to his or her child via a DVD recording while they are separated. The program allows the units or their United Service Organization partners, both at home and abroad, to host places to record. A selection of books from a lending library is usually available at the location, or Soldiers can bring a personal book to read. At USO-hosted locations, Soldiers are able to send the DVD, as well as the book, to their children. The recording process is easy. For more information on United Through Reading and to view a list of the program’s sites throughout the world, visit the United Through Reading website.
More info is also available at the USO’s United Through Reading® Military Program.
Help for Children During Deployments
Letting children know that they can talk about their fears and worries when preparing for a deployment helps them prepare for stressful situations in the future. Children can learn from that open dialogue because it sets up a problem-solving model, says Dr. Kristy Hagar, a child psychologist. Children can pick up on their parent’s emotions and stress, even when the parent is saying “everything is going to be fine,” she said. For more information on helping children deal with deployments, contact your base Family Readiness Center, visit Military OneSource, and Sesame Street Talk, Listen, Connect.
HeartsApart.org was created to keep families connected while our military men and women are serving abroad. Through the efforts of our community’s finest photographers, HeartsApart.org provides our soon to be deployed servicemen and women with pictures of their spouses and children. The photographs are printed on waterproof and durable bi-folded cards, which fit securely in their uniform pocket.
HeartsApart.org believes that our military personnel deserve and need the memory of their families to carry them through the difficult times that lie ahead.
Founded in North Carolina, home to Pope AFB, Seymour Johnson AFB, Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, MCAS Cherry Point and MCAS New River, we have begun our volunteer efforts in our own backyard but hope to organize and mobilize photographers across the country. The goal of HeartsApart.org is simple. As long as servicemen and women are in harm’s way and separated from their families, we will be taking pictures.
There is no end to the project – just a commitment to continue to serve our Armed Forces while they continue to serve us.
Visit them on the web: HeartsApart.Org
Help a Spouse: Care Package Ideas
When a spouse is deployed, care packages are one of the most fun yet frustrating things to put together. We all want to send them, we all get excited about cramming them with reminders of home –but about two months into deployment the idea well starts to run dry and the whole thing becomes kind of a chore. What’s a person to do?
I can’t help but think I could’ve been slightly more creative with care package contents during our last deployment. My poor husband received more sticks of deodorant than he could possibly have used. I figured, hey, it’s really hot there in the ‘Stan – surely one can never have enough deodorant. I was wrong. As it turned out, simply cramming each box with nice smelling America goodness just didn’t cut it after awhile. I needed ideas and I had none.
Fortunately SpouseBUZZ is a never ending wealth of wonderful folks who love to share ideas about this kind of thing. So — what is your number one favorite, creative thing to include in a care package? What things have you included that seemed like a good idea to start with but were in the end not? Share at SpouseBUZZ!
Tips on Mailing Packages
Most mail accepted at military post offices are handled numerous times, and therefore proper packaging is very important. Here are some tips:
(1) Choose a box with enough room for cushioning material around the contents
(2) Close and gently shake the box to see whether there is enough padding
(3) Tape your box shut and reinforce the seams with 2″ wide tape
(4) Use clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape, or paper tape
(5) The weight of your package cannot exceed 70 lbs
(6) If you are planning to use Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail services for faster delivery, length plus girth (distance around the thickest part of the package) can’t exceed 108″. When you use Space Available Mail, the total can’t be more than 130″
(7) Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) is a service that provides air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis. It is available for Parcel Post items not exceeding 30 pounds in weight or 60 inches in length and girth combined
(8) Using a complete and correct address is critical for timely delivery. Contact your local postmaster for additional information.
Are you a military member who has deployed or redeployed overseas, and are still waiting on your footlocker, duffle bag, or parcel to arrive? If 60 days has elapsed since the article was mailed, submit a mail inquiry.
Please include the following details in the comments section of the mail inquiry:
1. Type of container used for mailing: 2. A detailed description of the container contents:
3. Any additional information that could be used to help identify your item such as distinctive marking.
Once the information is received, MPSA will contact the service member to positively identify the owner and ship the item to the recipient should it be found.
More on this Topic
• Holiday Mailing Guidelines Set
• 7 Affordable Ideas for Military Care Packages
• Sending Edible Treats to the Middle East: Culinary Care Package