Care package information

Thousands of U.S. servicemen and women will be on active duty in locations around the globe during this holiday season. Emmet County Veterans Affairs Director Jim Alton and his “chief of staff” Rick Wiertalla are asking residents to remember these military personnel stationed and at war in foreign countries. “This county has a lot of men and women serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world,” said Alton.

The Veterans Affairs office helps coordinate care packages and gift items that can be sent to U.S. troops. Alton said troops particularly appreciate food items (nonperishable and nonalcoholic) such as dried fruits and beef jerky. Personal care products are also appropriate items to send. “Even sending cards to our troops to let them know they are cared about is important,” Alton added.

A list of desired items (and not accepted items) is available by clicking here. To coordinate a care package to Emmet County troops or other U.S. servicemen and women, contact the Veterans’ Affairs office at (231) 348-1780. The office is also asking residents to provide the names/addresses of their loved ones so they may receive a care package.


March15-June 5 for the Patriotic Drive
September 15-December 5 for the Holiday Drive

(Please provide new items only)

  • Beanie Babies, Webkinz or other Small Plush Toys (6 inches or smaller) to give out to children
  • Socks (preferably black, brown, green, tan; not white)
  • iPods, DVDs and CDs, Video Games, Computer Flash Drives, Headsets (earpiece and microphone) and WebCams
  • Gift Cards to chain stores such as supermarkets, drugstores, Walmart or Target for Wounded Warriors
  • Energy Bars, Beef Jerky, Healthy Snacks
  • Commercially sealed Lip Balm, toothpaste, toothbrushes, roll-on deodorant
  • Individually packaged razors
  • Travel-Size Board Games, Handheld electronic games
  • Comic Books in perfect condition
  • Bandana Coolers/Cool-Ties*, Mini-Battery-operated Fans
  • Hand and Foot Warmers
  • Single Serving Boxes of Cold Cereal; Individual Packets of Hot Cereal
  • Commercially wrapped individual packets of Trail Mix, Nuts, Energy Bars, Sunflower Seeds, Candy
  • Ready To Eat Tuna or Chicken Salad kits
  • Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies
  • Packets of Powdered Hot or Cold Beverages
  • Individual packets of moist towelettes
  • Travel Size containers of Foot Powder
  • Screen Printed T-Shirts, Baseball Style Caps, Gloves
  • Holiday and General Occasion Greeting Cards (blank)
  • Unsealed personal cards and letters
  • Used Cell Phones, Video Games and Systems, iPods, PDAs, Ink-jet Cartridges


Prohibited items that will be confiscated

Please do NOT send the following items to a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan. Packages are scanned and these items WILL be confiscated:

  • Alcohol and alcohol-production products and ingredients (R, R1)
  • Fruits, live plants and animals (M)
  • Pork and pork by-products (H1)
  • Pornographic and sexual materials (including nudes and semi-nudes) (E2)
  • Obscene materials and horror comics (C1)
  • Non-authorized political materials (E2)
  • Religious materials contrary to Islam in bulk quantities (E2)
  • Firearms and ammunition (F)
  • Cash, coins, securities or precious metals in their raw state (A)
  • Hazardous, flammable, toxic and radioactive substances
  • Tip: Don’t use packing boxes that are labelled with a prohibited substance.

Items that may melt, leak, explode or turn on

Use common sense and realize that packages can be subjected to high heat and bouncing around. Use Ziploc bags and lots of padding where applicable:

  • Batteries in summer
  • Aerosols and other pressurized products
  • Liquids in glass containers
  • Perishable food products that can spoil
  • Electronic devices with batteries installed

Items that are easily found at a base PX (AAFES)

Most Army bases in Iraq now have well-stocked provisions at the AAFES stores. The following items are easily obtained, so send only if a favorite brand is unavailable:

  • Cookies, candies, snack foods and beverages
  • Toiletries & personal hygiene products
  • Small electrical appliances
  • Personal electronic products and batteries
  • CDs, DVDs, magazines, books
  • Tip: Don’t send food and scented products together. Several weeks in transit at 120°F+ temperatures will result in deodorant-flavored cookies.

Emmet County, Michigan
200 Division Street, Petoskey MI 49770
(231) 348-1702 | Contact Us