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Gift for 20 yr old son in the Navy

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Initial post: Dec 8, 2012 9:57:08 AM PST
Navy mom says:
My son will be deployed on a ship for 7 months, what does a mother get him?

Posted on Dec 8, 2012 10:16:38 AM PST
Seeca says:
Well, he can't take much with him on the boat, so I would recommend small things. One thing I've really enjoyed is having a portable hard drive so I can store all my movies and TV shows and not have to bring 1,000 DVD discs. Or a Kindle/eBook if he likes to read, since that stores multiple books. Depends on what he likes to do. A nice sleeping bag for the racks is good, keeps you plenty warm and is easier to transport than blankets and sheets, but he might already have that. The best thing and the cheapest is prints of family pictures; they really keep me from going crazy sometimes! Hope that helps!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 3:03:24 PM PST
Send him care packages. If you can do this twice per month I am sure that he will love it. Be sure to cut it off near the 6th month of his deployment as sometimes it can take that long for him to get the package.

The post office has flat rate boxes with a special military rate. I would not suggest using any other type of box if you can help it, to keep your costs low. Don't forget to pick up the customs forms while you are there as well. YOu will need to fill out one with every single box that you send.
I do believe that they will give you a discount for mail shipped to FPO addresses and the boxes are free to pick up at your post office. Grab two or three to start and fill them slowly each week until you are ready to send.

Whatever you decide, be sure to send him a few things that he can share with his friends.
BEEF JERKY seems to be an all time favorite and can be had in large lots from someplace like Sams or Costco. A large box of poptarts will certainly make him smile.
The individual packages of drink mixes (also found at the dollar tree) are a huge hit. You can also find individual dry mixes of gatorade that might be appreciated as well.
Dollar tree also has some individual packages of cookies of those cream filled that won't melt. Fireballs (indivdually wrapped) will also be enjoyable and can be rationed until the next box arrives. With consumables, there isn't much to store and they are great to share.

Hygine supplies (baby wipes in travel sizes), hand sanitizers are always welcomed. They can be found at Dollar Tree to keep your costs low. When you ship these be sure to place them in zip lock baggies since they contain liquids. A new toothbrush (or two) a few monthis into the deployment as well as a new stick of deodorant (if he likes old spice or some of the other men's semi designer kinds) will be much appreciated too. You could also send a few pairs of socks (blue or black) as well as some hand and foot warmers. Lip balm and sunscreen were requested quite a bit as well. Be sure to put all of those items in zip lock bags too! YOu don't want one leaky item to ruin the entire package.

For a birthday out to sea, AMazon has some astronaut ice cream or an ice cream sandwich Astronaut Ice Cream Sandwich (it is freezed dried, but it actually really does taste like the reasonably like the real deal). It will be sure to make him smile. If you select the ten pack you can simply add one or two to each of the boxes that you send!

A copy of the sports section from the local sunday paper (or any other part that he might find interesting). A book tailored to your son's interests (paperback or pocked sized only) could be well recieved if he enjoys reading or maybe doing crosswords/sudoku or a triva book could be more of his style.

After he gets your first package, it will be so much easier to tell which items were 'hits' and which things not to send again-

If he already has an ipod, maybe you can have him 'clone' a second one. If he requests more music, you can trade the new one with him and have him send his back when he gets the second one that you sent. ON that you can add new pictures too!

Take the time to write him a short note and let him know that you are okay in each box. Maybe give him updates on his old high school team or other things that might interest him from 'home'.

If there are some shows (True blood?) that he *might* like, the multiple episodes might give him something to look foward to watching each week. He can watch the discs on his laptop.

If he doesn't leave for a few weeks and you want to give him something to take with him, consider a Navy pack rack. I am in no way affliated with this website but did place and order with them and was quite pleased with the purchase. The recipent seemed pleased as well.
However, some ships may not allow anything that is NOT Navy issued so check on that prior to investing in this pricey curtian. Since it is customized, it probably can't be returned.

Lastly, contact the base where your son is being deployed from and make contact with other Navy Moms. They have support groups both online and ones that meet in person. It really is helpful to talk to and connect with someone who has been in the exact same situation as you are currently in.
They can give you more upto date information about the actual ship that your son is leaving on and will be able to give you real time updates to things that will matter (port call changes, ways to communicate with your sailor via skype, or phone or what have you) that I don't know about due to the length of time that has passed since my 'little guy' was on a vessel.
Congrats! I am sure you are very proud of him!
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Discussion in:  Gift Idea forum
Participants:  3
Total posts:  3
Initial post:  Dec 8, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 8, 2012

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