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Gifts to Send a Soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan

Days Left Until Christmas 2019

After research and feedback from the field, along with what is mention in blogs and on other troop-support websites, here is the list of some of the items that are most requested.

This will give you some Christmas gift ideas or birthday gift ideas for your loved one, friend, or colleague deployed overseas. Gifts for soldiers fall into 3 main categories:

Gifts to stay in touch with family

Note: When my wife was deployed in Iraq, I bought her every one of these and can personally vouch for how important they were and how much they were appreciated.

Unlocked GSM cell phone

There is nothing like hearing the voice of a friend or loved one on the phone.
SIM Card: Iraq, SIM Card: Afghanistan

You will need a SIM card for an unlocked phone. You have the option of getting one specifically for that country, or a multi-country roaming card.

Prepaid Phone Card: Iraq, Prepaid Phone Card: Afghanistan

Not all soldiers have access to MWR phones or free phones. These prepaid calling cards allow a soldier to call home from a phone tent.

Gifts to use in the field

These gifts come in handy in the field. When my wife was deployed in Iraq, she got all of these items (except the watch) and can attest to how useful and tough these items are.

SureFire Flashlights
These amazing flashlights are super bright, super small, and the batteries last for a very long time. There is no equal to these in the field.
Garmin GPS Watch w/ With Heart Monitor
These watches are popular with soldiers during their gym workouts and outdoor walking, jogging routines.

For the list of prohibited items and items that may not be such a good idea,
see What NOT to Send a Soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan or Afghanistan.