ANZAC Day has been and gone, and I did not post a thing about it. Maybe next year.
In the meantime, I have arisen from my comfortable couch and slouched off to the post office to send another care package to an Australian soldier serving overseas. He's not in Afghanistan or Iraq, but he's still somewhere unpleasant and dangerous and he is in his own way looking after you and me.
Once he rotates home, I'll either start sending packages to those who are still out there (if he thinks it appropriate to pass on their names), or I'll start sending the odd pack to Afghanistan. The address is:
"An Australian Soldier"
Australian Defence Force
SYDNEY NSW 2890
Here's the deal.
Postage is free.
Yes, that's right - free. You don't have to pay a cent. You do occasionally have to remind the postie behind the counter that it's free. They sometimes fail to read the address and try to charge you for it.
You need to fill out a form at the post office before sending it, and they want to see ID. Take a drivers licence.
What you do is one of two things - find a shoebox lying around the house, or go to your local post office and buy a BM sized box - they cost $2, and are the size of a shoebox.
You only get to send 2kg of stuff. This is where a set of electronic scales at home come in handy.
How do you make use of the space alloted within that shoebox, and the 2kg weight limit?
You need to do a mix of light and heavy. It also helps to know what the troops can get their hands on locally, and what they can't. I'm not sure about Afghanistan, but for the secret location that I have been sending to, they can't get their hands on peanut butter. So I have sent a few jars of that, along with ANZAC biscuits, twisties, minties and a good supply of magazines. These might seem like simple and trite things, but if you are a fan of the mintie, imagine trying to procure some in Afghanistan - and then going without for a whole tour.
Magazines should be of the blokey variety. I think anything that covers sport, cars, women and fishing would be acceptable - so long as it is not too naughty. It doesn't matter if they are pre-loved. By the time they have been passed around the base, they'll have been read about a thousand times, so you reading it first will not make a difference.
Things to avoid are things that will melt - like chocolate.
Now, get off your bum and add a few things to your next shopping list. You don't need to make a special trip to buy this stuff - just get it next time you are at the supermarket. Then visit the post office.
It's almost as good as giving someone a Christmas present.