Care Packages, Continued

The worst part is the paperwork.

As I type this quick blog entry, I’m waiting for my printer to spit out all five pages of the 5th customs form I’ve prepared today. I’m doing all this on the USPS Web site, which is workable but not very well designed. For some reason, it takes at least a minute for my printer to process each page of the form, which only takes up 1/2 a page. I’m cutting off 1/2 sheet for each of the 5 pages. That’s 30 half pages of junk paper for the 6 forms I’m creating.

How wasteful. But I’m sure I’ll wind up using it for scrap paper.

I’ve finally gotten around to preparing the next 6 care packages. I would have prepared all 8 that I needed to make my self-imposed number of 10, but will only let me have 2 addresses a day and I’m still short two. Why the limit? Apparently slime ball marketers were sending junk mail to our men and women in the armed forces. I know they want mail, but no one wants junk mail.

The packages are full of yummy goodies (beside my homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies) and personal hygiene items requested specifically by the units. Since I spent a bit more than I’d expected to on package contents, my husband kindly chipped in for the postage.

Oddly enough, taking care of the postage and customs forms is more time consuming than packing the boxes and inserting personalized notes of thanks.

It’s really a shame, since I think a lot more people would send items to the troops if they didn’t have such a time-consuming hassle with customs forms.

But I’m almost done. Just one more 5-page form to prepare and print.

Then two more packages this week and I’ve finished my commitment — at least for the holidays. I’m thinking of committing to a package a month until the war is over.

I don’t have relatives or even friends fighting overseas. But I still know they’re there. And I still care.

Do you?

2 thoughts on “Care Packages, Continued

  1. I don’t do any care package, so you have to be praised for that, because for sure people will be happy to receive them!

    I am not a US citizen but I’m not doing the same thing for my own country’s soldiers. The thing is I’m not thinking that I owe them anything, or that I owe anyone anything for that matter.

    Soldiers are paid to do their job, if they don’t want to be soldiers nobody forces them.

    What I mean is that you could do the same for policemen, firemen and such. Of course soldiers in foreign countries need them more than people at home in the US. If only because the products you pack may be difficult or impossible to find in those countries.


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  2. This is a very good point. They do get paid. But I suppose I feel bad for these people, sent to a foreign country, working in an unpopular war effort, living in bad conditions. I sincerely doubt that the majority of them knew what they were in for when they signed up.

    My care packages are full of small items that can’t be easily found where they are: snack foods, toiletry items (beyond the basics), cards, and games. Just to make their lives a bit more comfortable — even if my box of goodies lasts just a day! Just to remind them of home and keep their spirits up.

    I guess it all comes down to my perception of America’s failure to make sacrifices during a time of war. People are dying over there and few people seem to care — or even notice. I care.

What do you think?