Please note:

This website was set up to get parcels to Australian Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen/Airwomen deployed overseas.

You are welcome to cut and paste information and use it to support sending parcels to our service members serving overseas, however, when you do cut and paste please link back to Ocean Sky & Khaki to acknowledge OSK, and so that people can find the blog themselves.

If there are questions one of us will answer if you comment on a post at the blog.


Friday, July 16, 2010

K is for Keep It Up

As you may have noticed, we haven't posted much for a while. I guess we ran out of things to say - everything you need to know about sending parcels has been covered already.

Just so you know, we haven't given up on the parcel posting thing. I generally try to get at least one in the mail every month, and if I am really organised, I'll send four in one hit. My personal aim is to send 10-20 per year, and to keep that up as long as we have troops deployed somewhere. So far, I'm not doing too badly.

I recently watched the two Four Corners episodes that covered Afghanistan. The second episode had a short segment showing the troops receiving parcels from home. It's amazing how much you can come to appreciate something like lemon teabags when you are a long way from the nearest supermarket.


Gregoryno6 said...

I will have to see if I can download that segment of the troops and their parcels. Thanks for the heads-up.

Anonymous said...

I am still really enjoying sending parcels, and discovering new things to put in them.
One of my last emails from a soldier said the were fighting over the last redskin, so they are a definate from now on. I just like to let them know we are all thinking of them over here.
All my family give me money to put toward them, I'm going to keep sending them for as long as our troops are over there, they need our support.

Anonymous said...

I am about to put together a box to send. I got a BM2 box. Is that okay or can you only send the smaller BM1 ones. The lady at the Post Office said it was fine as long as it was under 2kg but I read somewhere else that it had to be the smaller box. Any help would be appreciated.

I do the Christmas shoe boxes and am looking forward to doing one to seen to one of our troops.

Boy on a bike said...

I didn't realise there were different BM sizes. I picked up a BM box from the Post Office on the way home tonight, and all they seemed to have was a plain old BM size.

Give it a go - let us know how you go.

Anonymous said...

I've always used the standard "BM BOX" tagged ones. Finding new stuff to put in is, in it's own way, quite rewarding. It's nice to remind yourself that you are thinking of them at different times, not just when you're taping up your next parcel.

Wonder if anyone knows if there is anything happening at the moment which might prevent messages coming back.

I know we say we shouldn't expect notes in return and I don't but in April I sent 3 and got 2 notes back. In May and June combined I send another 7 and haven't heard a thing. I'm not worried about getting a response I just wonder if there's something holding the mail up. Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same thing about the care packages not getting to the troops sometimes, I have sent quiet a few since about April and have received lovely thank you letters/emails which was fantastic. But do feel sorry for a couple of my friends at work because we all went in together to send two large care packages at the beginning of June; one for the boys and one for the girls, but none of us has heard if they received them okay so like the person above would there be any mail hold up?
Thanks in advance.

redtail said...

I have sent quite a few packages, and have recieved some messages, but not replies from all. I don't mind this, as I'm sure they are busy doing soldier stuff.

Iam always amazed when I do recieve a message back, and very very touched.

I love sending the packages and finding new and exciting stuff to put in them, my sister and I are always on the lookout for interesting things to put in them when we shop.

Good to see people are still sending them.

Anonymous said...

I have only just started sending packages out, I am currently taping up my 3rd package to a Explosive Detection Dog Handler and Dog(that's why I came on here, to get the address!). Treats for both! I'm glad to see people still do this. I tried to contact the Department of Defence regarding the address and if this was still running, but basically got a cold hearted response back saying that they dont want everyone sending packages because it uses up their resources. I was shocked. I will DEFINATELY keep sending them now!


Nilk said...

Regarding messages, it's pretty much a case of sometimes you get them sometimes you don't.

I've lost count of the number of packages that I've sent, and I've received nowhere near that number of replies.

If you've not heard anything for the first time it can get a bit disheartening, I know.

Word from friends in the Army who aren't overseas does inform me, though, that the packages are appreciated, and that's pretty much all I need to hear.

Nilk said...

To those just starting, well done and keep up the good work!

I'll confess that I've not been as diligent as I could lately, due to other challenges, but I've still got 7 packages to finish off (hopefully this weekend).

I'm making cds of classic aussie music for each of the packs.

It is fun thinking up new ways to pack some care.

Just an Aussie said...

I started sending parcels to OP SLIPPER about November last year - and have probably had a response to a quarter of the parcels I sent? Am in regular contact with two of the sections, and recently met up with one of the young women who'd been stationed at TK for 7 months. She confirmed that the parcels are more than appreciated by everyone who receives them, and that they are a terrific morale booster for our guys, so to please keep up the great work! With the guys I send to regularly, obviously I've got a good idea of what they need/would like, but I still tend to throw something new/silly in. Sent them both Birthday Party packs recently .. balloons, pin the tail on the donkey, lolly bags etc. Have found that the individual Nutella packs and Chuppa Chups are hotly fought over!

Marla said...

Any recommendations as to what the most coveted packages contain? I live in American and my son has dual citizenship, living in Australia and currently in Afghanistan on behalf of Australia. I am mailing packages to his wife who must then forward them on as I believe packages can only be mailed from there and not America - or so I'm told. Any info is appreciated.

kae said...

Hi Marla

A brief explanation of how the parcels-to-the-troops system works.

In Australia Australia Post has a deal with the military that it will deliver parcels of the specified size and under 2kg free to the military postal centre in Sydney (AFPO Australian Defence Force, SYDNEY NSW 2890).

When posting these parcels in Australia you must complete the customs douane and you must show ID to show that you are above board (this is recorded on the parcel, along with your address).

We had a person in the UK, London I think, asking about sending from the UK to the AFPO addresses. We suggested that they go through the Australian Embassy and ask there. I don't know if it worked, we received no feedback.

If you wish to send parcels to your son and you would have his name and military number you may be able to contact the Department of Defence by faxing (see the fax number to the right), or emailing a message of support and asking about sending parcels to your son in Afghanistan from where you are in the US. I know these emails/faxes are monitored.

As for what is treasured, you know what your son's favourite things are. I'd imagine there'd be friends with him who would share. Nice coffee (the coffee bags with ground coffee), and tea always go well, especially when they can take them on patrol in their packs. Small sample packs of things are useful, too, like shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, lip balm (it's very dry there), and packs of wet wipes and small facial tissue packs.
In the column of links to posts on this site there is one which is to "What to send/What not to send", click there and see what things we have been told go well. Oh, magazines - sports mags, men's mags (no naked women though!), health mags, even the odd interesting women's mags, will go well - just to have something to read in English which isn't military!

And please, say thanks to your son from me, a grateful Aussie!

Anonymous said...

I am so very excited! I just received my first email(and photo) back from a soldier I sent a package to for him and his dog. He told me that the packages are greatly appreciated and boost the morale of the boys over there. I am so glad the package arrived that was my main concern. I'm actually going shopping today to buy some things for another care package. I'm thinking of making this one a complete sugar hit pacakge. Chuppa chups, snakes, mixed lollies, small snack size nutella's, the biscuits with the marshmellow, jam and coconut on top... not sure what else, but I'm sure I will find something!!!


kae said...

Hi Sarah

That's great news - but you already knew it would be appreciated.

The biscuits you talk of are Iced Vovos.

The sugar hit box sounds like a success!

Anonymous said...

I've only just found this FANTASTIC blog and am so excited to start sending some care packages! I've trawled through all the info posts and am putting together a shopping list as we speak.

It's such a great idea :)

Quick question - must the boxes be from the post office itself or can i use any appropriate ones i come across?

Thanks - Lauren

kae said...

Hi Lauren
We're so pleased you found us!
You can use any box, as long as it's not larger than the BM box the Post Office sells.
Bundles of magazines weighing under 2kg can be sent to the military addresses in tubes of the appropriate size (approx. 15cm long and about 4cm in diameter I think) - I bought a stack for 50c each on special in Aldi recently. I've passed them to the local RSL as they've made a deal with a magazine publisher to collect 100 magazines suitable for men (sports, health, car/bike) per month to send to our troops.

Kelli said...

I sent my first care package back in May this year. Such a fun and rewarding thing to do.
I will definitely be doing this again, and I am thinking of making up a Christmas Care Package this time!