When joining the military, a young man dedicates his body and mind to the service of his country. Depending on where he is stationed, the conveniences he enjoyed during civilian life may not be available to him in the Marines. Help him adjust by purchasing some items to help with the transition. Supplies are not the only things that make good gifts, a little fun and recreation will help refresh him before reporting.
Provide him with the mailing supplies he will need to send letters from where he will be stationed. Once you know where he will be stationed, purchase prepaid postage labels for the amount it will cost to send a letter to loved ones including parents, spouse or children. Include stationery, envelopes and writing utensils. This will allow him to keep in touch when he is unable to send items electronically through email.
Start putting care packages together for him before he enters basic training. Purchase some of his favorite snacks from local grocery stores or warehouse food stores such as Sam's Club or Costco. Prepare several care packages before he leaves for basic training. This way he will know these packages are coming and be able to look forward to what's in them. Snacks such as chips, pretzels, candy, and other items that will not melt during shipping or storage are appropriate for care packages, so are some of his favorite sodas.
Portable Gaming Device
Purchase a portable gaming device for him to use while in the barracks. This can be a portable gaming system, or it can be a cell phone with his favorite games and other applications loaded on it. Even if the phone does not have coverage where he is stationed he can still play any games that don't require an Internet connection. He could also load electronic books onto his phone to read.
Before he goes into the Marines, give him a vacation to relax and enjoy himself. This can be a trip to his favorite beach town, if he enjoys the beach. It could also be a trip to somewhere he has wanted to visit, but never had the money to do it on his own. Options could include trips to locations such as Las Vegas, New Orleans, or even Disney World. The purpose is for him to have some fun before starting to serve his country in the Marines.
Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.