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.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A is for Operation Slipper.

Image borrowed from here. I haven't read the site - I like the map. It tells us where Afghanistan is.

“An Australian Soldier”
Op Slipper
Australian Defence Force

If you're looking to send some lerv and attention to our people, we've a fair few over in Afghanistan.

Just over a thousand, according to the Dept of Defence.

Not all of those personnel will have people thinking of them, or praying for them, or sending them notes just to say hi.

This can be for a variety of reasons - maybe they're in special ops and are cut off from the base camp.

Sounds good, but more likely it's possible that they don't have a family or friends that do things like this. After all, in this digital age the fine art of letter writing has gone somewhat out of vogue, and sometimes we just don't know how to ask someone to write sometimes.

It's just not a habit that people seem to be into.

Email's soo much quicker.

If the thought of sending a small box of goodies (for FREE!! if it's under 2kg) to a member of our Forces overseas is a bit discomforting, that's okay.

You can still drop a postcard into a postbox. Address it to:

Messages to the Troops
Russell Offices
Department of Defence.

This is for postcards only, please remember. Not letters, personal correspondence or parcels. Just a postcard to say, "G'day, keep up the good work and we're still thinking of you back home. Hope you're safe and well."

And if that's a bit daunting, you'll remember all those positive thinking, motivational courses you've done at work and school.

Baby steps....

Email's good, too.


blogstrop said...

What sort of goodies are recommended?

Steve at the Pub said...

The big question from all here at my place is:

AA & AAA batteries?

Should we put some in a care pack?

kae said...

Prohibited Goods - Australia Post

Unknown said...

If the needs and requests of US service men and women are anything to go by:

Baby Wipes or other form of disinfectant moisturized wipes. It's very hard to stay anything close to clean while on ops. Wipes are light enough to be no pain to carry and help keep down issues such as dysentery and whatnot.

Protein supplements. The environment and op pace makes keeping body weight up and energy reserves at necessary levels difficult. Dried meat products (various flavors of beef jerky, for example) tend to be favorites. Do keep in mind that some of your soldiers will have garrison infrastructure available to at least some degree. Those folk can use the larger bulk powder supplement packages. Others are vehicle bound and/or foot mobile on extended ops. Those need individual type packages.

Low weight, low volume, high calorie dense, packaged foods are also a routine request. Tail type foods.

Flavors from home. That yeast stuff y'all love might be welcome.

Foot and body powder.

Socks. Undies. It's hard to know what sizes, but if you send a "platoon package" by combining your gives with those of your neighbors, family and friends, you can send a mix of sizes.

And, finally, just something to let them know that they're not forgotten nor taken for granted.

Oh, and reading material. Puzzle books. Whatever magazines you think would be appropriate, etc.

Steve at the Pub said...

Keeping it down to 2kg is the main problem. (for the spare boxes laying around here anyway).

Plenty of small spare boxes weighing 170g.

Magazines take up a lot of weight, about half a kilo (except newsmagazines, Time, Newsweek, the Economist etc, they are much lighter)

We are padding out the space with those small square packets of Liptons teabags, 40g. (in flavours OTHER than standard "ration-pack teabag", eg, peppermint, honey & lemon & so on.)

Caz said...

Let me get this straight:

- the parcel is addressed to Sydney, and they send everything off to the troops from there?

- there is no postal charge for sending the parcel to the Sydney address, and the nice people at Australia Post are in on that handy-dandy secret?

Nilk said...

That's affirmative, Caz.

It works, too, since I've sent a few parcels and if you remind the people at the post office they're cool with it all and happy to help.

I think it's great, but one of the (unfortunately) best kept secrets of Aussie Post and the Dept of Defence.

kae said...

Hi Caz
It works.
When I was in the ARES on AFX at Singleton mail was addressed to me, with my mil number, and the addy was "MILPO" something.
It found me!

Caz said...

Now that prompts a couple of other questions: are there girl parcels and boy parcels, or are we gender neutral?

Obviously we have far more boys than girls serving in foreign lands ... all the same ...

Maybe that's one to address for another post.

KittyKat said...

Does anyone know if I can send stuff to Aussie troops from the UK? Might have to pay postage from UK to Australia, but free from there? Seems a round about way but might work...

Unknown said...

I'm wanting to send an email, but not sure how it works? Does it get forwarded on to a random soldier? Do they sit around and read out the emails (LOL).

I'm quite far out of town, so getting in to post a care package will take me a while.

Do I just write the email as if I'm talking to one person?

kae said...

Hi Toni

The emails go to a Defence office in Canberra and are screened.

If you send an email you can pretty much write what you like, but I'd suggest to write it like a chatty letter. Talk about what's going on at home, about the weather (starting to get cold), talk about your kids if you have them, what they're up to, etc. If you are at school you could talk about what you've been doing at school.

Talk about hobbies, etc.

Just a chatty letter is nice.

They're heading into summer over in the middle east.

Unknown said...

Thanks :) Who exactly reads it? Like obviously the Defence Office in Canberra sees it so it's screened. But do any soldies actually read them?
Do I address it "Dear Soldier?"

kae said...

Hi Toni

They do, but only after being vetted by Canberra.

Send an email and ask those questions, you may get an answer! (Or not!)

Anonymous said...

Hey There

Just wanting to know if we can still send care packages.

I read somewhere that you can only send them at Christmas and ANZAC day.

I just found out about these and I really want to send a bunch and I'm hoping I still can with out having to wait till the end of the year.


PS If I still can do you think they'd like some pictures drawn by little kids? My niece and nephew (4 and 6) love to draw

kae said...

Hi Carin
I'm sure any parcels will be gratefully received by recipients.

Pictures and/or stories from the children would be appreciated, too.

Please note that nothing should be sent for the dogs, they have special toys and diet to do with their training.

Also note that gender neutral parcels are best (there are many more men then women serving overseas).

Please follow the tips about what to send and what not to send, too!

Good luck.

If you include a self addressed envelope and some writing paper with a pen (a quantity of blank envelopes and some A5 ruled paper is good), you may receive a reply.

Please make sure the children understand that they may not get a thank you note or acknowledgement as the soldiers can be very busy and/or unable to reply for other reasons.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kae

No worries. Thanks for that.