I'm planning on adopting a soldier through anysoldier.com or soldiersangels.com.
My husband was in Iraq for a year. It only took my packages about 1½ weeks to get to him from Florida.
Don't laugh, but he loved getting Girl Scout cookies. Worked out great because I didn't worry about it going bad.
Depending on where the soldier is situated, you may consider sending powdered drink mixes as I was told the guys stationed farther out have nasty tasting water. I was lucky my husband didn't have that problem but my nephew did.
You'll love being a part of AnySoldier!
Please be aware that home baking is not allowed through AnySoldier. http://www.anysoldier.com/WhatToSend.cfm#NotToSend If you are sending baked goods to someone you know, that's okay, but a contact made through AnySoldier can't have home cooking from a stranger. These are scary times, and the soldiers are told to throw away anything not factory-packaged from someone they don't personally know.
Often your soldier will tell you what holds up well in their part of the world. Some places will accept different things depending on the climate they live in. If your soldier has access to a microwave, the little microwaveable brownies are very popular. Sorry, but I suddenly forgot what they're called! And Little Debbies are good choices, too.
edited to add that I think they're called Warm Delights??
I've actually shipped a whole cake over there. Nothing fancy mind you. Baked the cake in those throw away foil pans, they usually some two in a pack. Turned the cake out of the pan then triple saran wrapped the whole thing, put back in the pan then used the second pan as a lid, like a shirt box. They had to ice it themselves. Sent along buttercream in an airtight container duct taped shut so it wouldn't explode. The guys loved it!
Thanks for the replies! I ended up joining SoldiersAngels.com, and was matched with a paticular soldier - it's almost like a penpal situation, and I'm committed to one letter a week and a minimum of one package a month.
The rules state that if I ask the soldier and (s)he agrees, I can send baked goods, since it isn't a "stranger".
I was just reading about this topic on www.marriedtothearmy.com and they have good ideas on how to get stuff over there in the same condition you sent it. They say to use a Food Saver and to pack them in 3 or 6 count so they'll still be fresh when he/she gets then and that he/she won't have to eat them all at once.
A very dear friend, who I refer to as "My West Point Mom" told me that Pringles cans and Oatmeal round-boxes are great for shipping cookies or anything that's kinda fragile like that.