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What NOT to Send a Soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan

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.

    For a list of items that can make an appreciated gift,
    see Soldier Gift Ideas for Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Shipping Packages to Troops | Gift Ideas for Soldiers