Note: Finding Ithaka is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. If you click on these links and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it helps me keep my blog going!
The submarine community is pretty small. As a result, I haven’t found many blog posts written about submarine deployments and the unique things that come with that. On the other hand, I have so many friends who are married to or dating submariners. We all know each other and we kind of just stick together because we bond over things that no one else can understand.
So, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge that I should write down and pass on through my blog. I know that most of my readers won’t really be able to relate to these posts, but I hope that by putting them out there and sharing them, other submarine spouses will be able to find them.
On submarine deployments, we can’t send care packages through the mail. Well, you can, but most likely, it will never reach the submarine. I don’t send mail.
In addition, you have to think of all of the holidays that your sailor will be missing. If they are going to be gone on their birthday and their birthday is 5 months from now, you probably want them to have a birthday card to open up on their birthday. So, you have to give them their birthday card 5 months in advance and hope they don’t open it. I want to do another post on other care packages for submariners, but I’m going to focus on halfway boxes today.
Halfway boxes are the big care package that each submariner receives. Halfway night is a big deal for both the boat and the families. The submarine will have a party and sailors will open up their boxes. Back home, the families will get together to have their own party to celebrate being halfway done with deployment. You have to make the halfway box before the boat leaves for deployment. Usually, the FRG collects the halfway boxes and then someone on board will distribute them on halfway night. All of this takes a lot of planning!
Basically, all of the care packages/cards/letters that you want your sailor to receive, you have to get together before they even leave for deployment!
Since we can’t send mail, and since space is limited, a halfway box will be one of the few care packages that a submariner will receive (if not the only care package). Single sailors usually receive halfway boxes from the FRG and spouses/partners do their sailor’s.
I put out a call to my friends, asking them what their submariner’s favorite things have been. All of the things on this list are things either I have sent myself or things that have been recommended to me. My strategy is to mainly put in practical things that I know Nick will use, along with photos, cards, food, and one silly thing just to make them smile. Space on the boat is limited, so I try to choose my items carefully.
Why You're So Awesomeand
What I Love About Us.I love these because they are only 4.5 × 3.25-inches, so they don’t take up much space, but they are super sweet.
theseon his next deployment.
Decorating your box
I love all of the themed care packages that I see floating around Pinterest, but when you are only sending one big care package, it’s hard to stick to a theme like nuts or coffee. In the past, I did a sunshine theme where everything was yellow and orange since they never see the sun when they are deployed. I also did a Hawaii themed box when we found out we were moving there.
This is a great blog post that I found on Pinterest about how to decorate the inside of your halfway box.
I also have a Pinterest Board full of halfway box ideas that you can find here.
Halfway box tips:
Find out the size that is allowed. You don’t want to get turned away for sending a box that is too big. Your FRG will tell you exactly how big the box can be. They will also tell you if any items are restricted. CDs and thumb drives are usually not allowed.
Keep trash to a minimum. Remove whatever packaging and plastic wrap that you can.
Don’t put in anything breakable.
Don’t put scented things with food. This has been my husband’s biggest request because he has heard that scented hand lotions can make your food smell like that scent. Which is kinda gross.
Do you have any care package tips? Comment below or send me your posts!