Those of you who are able, please consider sending care packages to the soldiers. I recently saw a post on Shiloh Walker's site that there is an urgent need for basic supplies such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste. Please view at this link. Shiloh has a nice link that explains what can and cannot be sent.
Please be advised that packages should be well wrapped, I usually put potential leaky items like shampoo and conditioner in ziplock bags and food items in a different bag so there is no chance of cross-contamination. I tend to be paranoid so the whole thing goes into a clean plastic trashbag before I put it into the flat rate box. The post office gives a discount for the packages being sent to the soldiers via an APO address but you do have to fill out a customs form for the items (the clerk was really entertained to read 'air fresheners' on my last list...but I explained that my soldier told me that when 7 smelly guys are sharing a tent...lol). Please be advised that postage is about $14.00 but you can pack an incredible amount of material in the largest flat rate box.
I usually include the toothpaste samples and toothbrushes that I get from my dentist, travel soaps and shampoos from hotel stays, freebie samples that I get and then I add in some of the supplies that we have around the house (full-sized bars of soap, lotion, etc.). I usually buy from my local warehouse store and divide up different things to send (of course, I buy things I like to eat as well!) such as the individually packaged beef (NOT PORK) jerky, fruit chews, granola bars, etc. No chocolate at this time of year...it wouldn't make it without becoming a glop. Current magazines are appreciated as well. It is my understanding that they really like the powders you add to water to make it more palatable (although it offends my sense of thriftiness to see what these companies charge for those little packets). No aerosol or anything else that the post office frowns upon. All food must be pre-packaged so don't send home-baked items.
Be forewarned, I rarely get a response but you can always include an e-mail address and you might get lucky. My cheetah picture is from one of my soldiers who shared several pictures from a cheetah refuge in Afghanistan. If you have any other questions about how to adopt a soldier or what to send, please feel free to contact me.