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Submariner Mail Drops?

Posted by on Feb. 25, 2014 at 1:20 PM
  • 18 Replies
I need a little bit of help with this. We have a mail drop coming up (1 gal ziplock) and my parameters are: no cans, nothing that melts, and no electronics, including usb drives. What have you all done in the past for drops? So far I have notes from his mother and father, pictures/cards from our daughter and niece, tea bags, dried pineapple, powder drink mix, and pictures.
by on Feb. 25, 2014 at 1:20 PM
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Replies (1-10):
wordman60
by Member on Feb. 25, 2014 at 3:04 PM

My son liked small pouches of salmon and Albacore white tuna (be sure to include a few plastic spoons), granola bars, gum, Werther's hard candies (he loved the coffee flavours) and individual packages of nuts (mixed nuts, almonds and peanuts) which you can purchase at Sam's Club or Costco.  I also tossed in a personal sized pack of wipes for those times when he may not be able to grab a shower along with a few tubes of Burt's Bee lip balms, Camex lip repair for chapped lips, and some dental floss because my uncle's a dentist and dental hygiene was top priority in our family.

Hope this helps!

simple smile

sketchmonster
by Member on Feb. 25, 2014 at 3:10 PM
Thanks! I don't think i can do lip balm since it will melt, but I can definitely use some of these. Have you ever sent him magazines or anything like that?

Quoting wordman60:

My son liked small pouches of salmon and Albacore white tuna (be sure to include a few plastic spoons), granola bars, gum, Werther's hard candies (he loved the coffee flavours) and individual packages of nuts (mixed nuts, almonds and peanuts) which you can purchase at Sam's Club or Costco.  I also tossed in a personal sized pack of wipes for those times when he may not be able to grab a shower along with a few tubes of Burt's Bee lip balms, Camex lip repair for chapped lips, and some dental floss because my uncle's a dentist and dental hygiene was top priority in our family.

Hope this helps!

simple smile

wordman60
by Member on Feb. 25, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Yes, as well as small word search and Sudoku books to help pass the time.  Don't forget to include a few pencils!  My son likes mechanical pencils and the little plastic containers of lead and eraser refills.  He says the retractable mechanical pencils don't damage his uniform.

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Feb. 25, 2014 at 4:06 PM
Holy crap... Last time my husbands sub had a mail drop was over 10 years ago and it had to be a letter and nothing else. I honestly forgot some boats still did them. Good luck!
sketchmonster
by Member on Feb. 25, 2014 at 5:25 PM
He has those downloaded on his kindle as apps or I would send that too. I did put in baby wipes though, and a bunch of drink mixes and non perishable snacks. I hope all of this is allowed.

Quoting wordman60:

Yes, as well as small word search and Sudoku books to help pass the time.  Don't forget to include a few pencils!  My son likes mechanical pencils and the little plastic containers of lead and eraser refills.  He says the retractable mechanical pencils don't damage his uniform.

sketchmonster
by Member on Feb. 25, 2014 at 5:28 PM
Lol, they still do those too. We just got lucky this time.
I somehow managed to stuff in a magazine, baby wipes, hot fries, a crap ton of drink mixes, and jerky in there. I feel sorry for that ziploc bag...fingers crossed that they allow everything I shoved in there!

Quoting darbyakeep45: Holy crap... Last time my husbands sub had a mail drop was over 10 years ago and it had to be a letter and nothing else. I honestly forgot some boats still did them. Good luck!
darbyakeep45
by Darby on Feb. 25, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Good for you!  Hope he enjoys it:)

Quoting sketchmonster: Lol, they still do those too. We just got lucky this time.
I somehow managed to stuff in a magazine, baby wipes, hot fries, a crap ton of drink mixes, and jerky in there. I feel sorry for that ziploc bag...fingers crossed that they allow everything I shoved in there!

Quoting darbyakeep45: Holy crap... Last time my husbands sub had a mail drop was over 10 years ago and it had to be a letter and nothing else. I honestly forgot some boats still did them. Good luck!


sketchmonster
by Member on Feb. 25, 2014 at 5:40 PM
1 mom liked this
I hope so too! This took an entire weekend to organize.

Quoting darbyakeep45:

Good for you!  Hope he enjoys it:)

Quoting sketchmonster: Lol, they still do those too. We just got lucky this time.

I somehow managed to stuff in a magazine, baby wipes, hot fries, a crap ton of drink mixes, and jerky in there. I feel sorry for that ziploc bag...fingers crossed that they allow everything I shoved in there!



Quoting darbyakeep45: Holy crap... Last time my husbands sub had a mail drop was over 10 years ago and it had to be a letter and nothing else. I honestly forgot some boats still did them. Good luck!


wordman60
by Member on Feb. 25, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Bravo!  Give yourself a gold star!  <LOL>  =D  Keep a list of what you send for each mail drop so you can be sure to send more of what he likes, and don't accidentally send duplicates of some items like the crossword puzzle, word search and sudoku books.  (I jot down volume & issue numbers to keep this stuff straight because I made that mistake on one drop.)

Can your husband have movies on DVDs?  My son can have these if I take them out of the big plastic cases and put them into the little paper slip covers that don't take up as much room.  (Storage space is premium real estate on a submarine!)  I try to pick up one new release and a classic movie like Clue, The Presidio, All the President's Men, Caddyshack...you get the picture...just for laughs.  Tuck them into each gallon Ziplock bag along with a few microwave popcorn bags, gum, hard candies, Starbucks Via packets (son's a coffee junkie) and whatever else he specifically asks for, then I fill the rest with anything I can think of that I know he'll want.  Helps if you take drink mixes out of the boxes, which take up a lot of room, and put them into a snack or quart size Ziploc baggie; lay it on a counter and press on it to release the excess air as you zip it closed.  Sometimes I slip in necessities like a few pair of new underwear or socks because I know he'll appreciate having them on a long deployment. Since he's Marine Corps on a Navy sub, he's always the odd man out; finding replacement Corps regulation clothing and undergarments isn't always easy.

I'm surprised lip balm is considered something that would melt.  My son can have that, but not food items like chocolate which makes a huge mess when it melts.  I have to send lip balms in tins, not tubes, so when they soften they don't run out of the container.

Forgot to mention anti-fungal powder.  My son appreciates the 3 oz containers of Lotrimin anti-fungal powder – uses it for his feet and on his body because subs can get hot (depending on what area you're in) and sailors sweat like mad.  Sweat can trigger fungal growth on the body, and a good anti-fungal powder helps.  The recirculated air quality isn't all that great, either.  He also asks for Tom's of Maine deodorant (likes the Lemongrass scent which isn't really strong) in every mail drop bag because it's a solid with some powder mixed in that doesn't soften and melt like other brands.

Finally, check with your FRG to see if anyone in the group has an idea list they're willing to share for future mail drops.  My son's FRG sent me a really nice list one of their members had compiled over the years to help me get started.  I tweaked it based on his boat commander's restrictions and added to it based on my son's likes and dislikes, needs, requests, etc.  You'll find every boat and commander are different.  When my father was in the Corps and served on a sub, the rules were a lot different.  They could have personal 35mm cameras, but all film had to be processed in the sub's photo lab and only those photos and negatives "approved" by the Navy were returned to the owner; everything else was destroyed.  There were restrictions on snack foods to prevent irresponsible idiots from keeping stuff in their lockers until it rotted or attracted bugs and/or rodents when they were docked, and currency gifts from family and friends were forbidden for every rank.  Weird stuff like that.

You'll learn more from your hubby and from the FRG, which should be able to share a "Do and Don't" list with you explaining what you can and can't include in your mail drop bag along with a list of banned items for all personnel.

Hope this helps!  You can PM me with your email address if you want a copy of the list I work from for my son and I'll dig it out for you.  It's too long to post here or send in a PM (already tried that).  I'm always happy to help!

My son would never forgive me if I didn't sign off with "fair winds and following seas."

Semper fi

marines        navy

sketchmonster
by Member on Feb. 25, 2014 at 10:26 PM
Hooray! Thanks a ton for all of your help!

Quoting wordman60:

Bravo!  Give yourself a gold star!  <LOL>  =D  Keep a list of what you send for each mail drop so you can be sure to send more of what he likes, and don't accidentally send duplicates of some items like the crossword puzzle, word search and sudoku books.  (I jot down volume & issue numbers to keep this stuff straight because I made that mistake on one drop.)

Can your husband have movies on DVDs?  My son can have these if I take them out of the big plastic cases and put them into the little paper slip covers that don't take up as much room.  (Storage space is premium real estate on a submarine!)  I try to pick up one new release and a classic movie like Clue, The Presidio, All the President's Men, Caddyshack...you get the picture...just for laughs.  Tuck them into each gallon Ziplock bag along with a few microwave popcorn bags, gum, hard candies, Starbucks Via packets (son's a coffee junkie) and whatever else he specifically asks for, then I fill the rest with anything I can think of that I know he'll want.  Helps if you take drink mixes out of the boxes, which take up a lot of room, and put them into a snack or quart size Ziploc baggie; lay it on a counter and press on it to release the excess air as you zip it closed.  Sometimes I slip in necessities like a few pair of new underwear or socks because I know he'll appreciate having them on a long deployment. Since he's Marine Corps on a Navy sub, he's always the odd man out; finding replacement Corps regulation clothing and undergarments isn't always easy.

I'm surprised lip balm is considered something that would melt.  My son can have that, but not food items like chocolate which makes a huge mess when it melts.  I have to send lip balms in tins, not tubes, so when they soften they don't run out of the container.

Forgot to mention anti-fungal powder.  My son appreciates the 3 oz containers of Lotrimin anti-fungal powder – uses it for his feet and on his body because subs can get hot (depending on what area you're in) and sailors sweat like mad.  Sweat can trigger fungal growth on the body, and a good anti-fungal powder helps.  The recirculated air quality isn't all that great, either.  He also asks for Tom's of Maine deodorant (likes the Lemongrass scent which isn't really strong) in every mail drop bag because it's a solid with some powder mixed in that doesn't soften and melt like other brands.

Finally, check with your FRG to see if anyone in the group has an idea list they're willing to share for future mail drops.  My son's FRG sent me a really nice list one of their members had compiled over the years to help me get started.  I tweaked it based on his boat commander's restrictions and added to it based on my son's likes and dislikes, needs, requests, etc.  You'll find every boat and commander are different.  When my father was in the Corps and served on a sub, the rules were a lot different.  They could have personal 35mm cameras, but all film had to be processed in the sub's photo lab and only those photos and negatives "approved" by the Navy were returned to the owner; everything else was destroyed.  There were restrictions on snack foods to prevent irresponsible idiots from keeping stuff in their lockers until it rotted or attracted bugs and/or rodents when they were docked, and currency gifts from family and friends were forbidden for every rank.  Weird stuff like that.

You'll learn more from your hubby and from the FRG, which should be able to share a "Do and Don't" list with you explaining what you can and can't include in your mail drop bag along with a list of banned items for all personnel.

Hope this helps!  You can PM me with your email address if you want a copy of the list I work from for my son and I'll dig it out for you.  It's too long to post here or send in a PM (already tried that).  I'm always happy to help!

My son would never forgive me if I didn't sign off with "fair winds and following seas."

Semper fi

marines        navy

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