Just What Are We Giving Our Soldiers?


Take a brief look at this article.  Common advice to give help to soldiers involves guessing what kinds of things they may find valuable and shipping them halfway around the world.  If it’s to a battalion you don’t know supposedly you are encouraged to add a letter and hope they write back.

What is this?  Do they live on another planet?  Many of them have i nternet connections.  In 5 seconds we should be able to start a Skype call with them.  We have websites like Amazon now that send you what you actually want, not a hodgepodge guess of what someone halfway across the world may come up with by reading a Wikihow article (or more often, not reading anything).  

This “let’s guess and give” strategy seems mediocre for 2,000 years ago.  

In addition, what is wrong with us that soldiers crave basic goods like socks and toothpaste.  My guess is that the military provides them with basic essentials but few brand names or “luxuries” (very cheap ones).  They acknowledge that these items are nice and useful (they are fine with them coming as care packages) but won’t give them to their soldiers for some reason.  Strange budgeting perhaps?  

The few web services that support this thing seem to be stuck 2 decades ago.  

I would strongly imagine that if care packages were important, a team within the government would set up a really strong application to match people with soldiers and communicate with them and send them items they really care about.  Or better yet, Amazon should work out something to help send any possible item upon their request to their place (although I realize that some items may be limited).  Amazon should get on this if they haven’t yet.

But there should definitely be something better if we are to take this seriously; it’s both very possible and important.  If Americans actually care about soldiers, we might as well get serious about it and do it well.  

Footnote: One could say that the primary use of these care packages is to show support, not give basic goods.  But why then do soldiers request basic goods from care packages?  Plus, even if it was to provide support, maybe there could be some way of connecting similar donors with similar soliders (though this is a minor issue in comparison)