LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's that time of year when a lot of people are thinking about what they can do to send a little bit of home to our troops overseas.
Eighth graders at St. Margaret School are planning to do their part of brighten the holidays for soldiers in Afghanistan. They have already started collecting items.
"Show our troops that we remember they're out there and trying to remind them of home, send them stuff to cheer them up," said one boy
"We hope that we can give them a taste of home and give them a luxury that they don't have when they're out there," said one girl.
"We're doing this project because many people don't really understand how much the soldiers do for us and we can't really thank them enough," said another boy.
At the National Guard Armory, soldiers and their family members have a lot of experience with care packages.
Maj. Aaron Duplechin with the 3rd, 156th Infantry in Lake Charles said it's best to gear a package to a specific individual.
"Contact the soldier or the unit where the packages are going and find out if they have any specific items they would like to get where they are. Because depending on where they are stationed, there may be some restrictions on things they can get. And they may have some special requests," Duplechin said.
Some soldiers have access to a microwave, while others do not.
"It kind of just depends on where they are in the world. I take my own personal experience being stationed in Afghanistan, I was out in very remote combat outposts where we just didn't have access to microwave," he said.
Duplechin said what soldiers most enjoy is something that reminds them of home such as Community Coffee or other items you can't get there.
"Some of the items I can tell you from my own experience that I've enjoyed getting in the past are things that are a taste of home such as Tony Chacheres, maybe even a local paper so I can read about what was going on at home," he said.
Duplechin suggests avoiding liquids or items such as chocolate that can melt.
"It's almost like Christmas morning when you open a gift package because you don't know what's in it and it's just nice to get," he said.
Click HERE for the U.S. Post Office's 2013 holiday shipping and mailing dates.