Sooo below is some of the ideas I'm going with this year, and am happy to share (and hear more ideas). Like I said, my guys won't be in "bases" they're going to be out in the middle of nowhere, so small useful and portable is what I'm going for.
Digital Picture Keychain - I found it at Target for $14.99. It is a keychain with 2" x 2" color display. It comes with a USB cable so my newly married Marine can download 48 photos of his new wife and have a variety of photos with him.
AquaMira Frontier Filter - $20-ish... A small portable water filter -- as drinkable water is often a problem. CLICK HERE to view the video demo on this particular website ... I'm sure they sell it elsewhere and there are other mfgs, but my guys ain't leavin' the USA without one. I'll let you know when they get a chance to field test it ... but the video looks pretty promising.
Sample Size Tabasco Bottles - $ 5 I found these at World Market and I'm sure you could find these online. The bottles are about 2" tall and the pak had 6 bottles in it (I got several paks). They are small enough for the guys to carry in their pockets and won't break. John always had one in the cargo pocket of his pants last time around ... they "considerably improve" the taste of MRE's in the field.
Flavored Coffee Creamers - I don't know how many of you have had the pleasure of trying to make coffee in the field, or have even drank military coffee on base ...but these little babies are gems. When my brother, Mark, actually got stable enough and they were in a "tent city", not living on the go, I started shipping cases of these to the unit. I got them in Sam's -- french vanilla and hazelnut ... they love, love, love, these.
MacGuyver Tool -- I don't know what you call them, they are plier looking things that unfold with a bazillion attachments similar to a Swiss Army knife (ALSO a good gift).
Hand/Foot Warmers - the kind that heat up when the wrapper is peeled off and they are exposed to air. Hunter supply stores likely have them. I'll probably buy these in bulk and keep sending a steady supply over there. Again, they are small, lightweight and easy to pack .. they stuff them into their boots or pockets. Even in the desert (Iraq) it gets very cold at night but it is WAAAYYY cold in the mountains of Afghanistan.
So thats what I've come up with so far, and certainly welcome other ideas.
Judith, The Floor Plan Lady
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