A Sporty Guess And A Romantic Clue

I don’t know much about the two female troops I adopted (one Air Force, one Army). But I know one likes college football and the other likes romance novels. With these pieces of intel as my north stars, I set out to make their first care packages.

Everything I know about college football

  1. If I turn on a Florida Gator game or walk into a room where their game is on TV and I am not wearing my “chomp chomp” Florida Gator t-shirt, they will lose. This is not hard science but it may as well be because my fiancé believes this to be true.
  2. I’ve been to one college football game in my life and it was The Ohio State University versus some team that also wears red and white uniforms so the entire stadium looked like one fan base. My two favorite parts of the game were a) a small mammal ran across the length of the field to deafening cheers and b) the band did that script Ohio thing and it was pretty amazing.

So, with that extensive background to draw upon, I bought some sporty magazines along with healthy snacks. But I wanted something that captured the spirit of fun too. Since I have no idea what this Airman’s base is like or how much space she has, I got tiny table games because who doesn’t have room for that? Then Sofia picked out a sports sound effects machine. I can guarantee that every button works because she insisted on “testing” them multiple times. To enjoy the sound of some other child testing it, click here.


Kissing is ewww

Sofia was helping me shop for these care packages so she was with me as I perused the romance section of the bookstore. Looking at the cover art of couple after couple locked in tortured embraces on the verge of epic kisses, she gave her critical review: ewwww. Now do I think kissing is yucky? No. Am I okay with her thinking it’s yucky? Sure.

I don’t read romance novels but this Soldier told me a writer she liked so with that clue, this would be easy. Except that the only titles the bookstore had avail were either e-books or very old so maybe she read them already. Sofia examined the blurbs on the books to help me decide. “Mom, this one is more Romeo and Juliet and this has more adventure and I think I’ll read this one and this one and…” What?!? What happened to ewww?! Not liking this sudden turn of events, I quickly got a reco from the salesclerk and left. Then I added candy to this care package—but nothing chocolate (remember, don’t send chocolate between April and November to hot climates).

A sure thing

When you shop for someone you don’t know, there is a lot of guesswork. But what you can 100% bet on is that whatever you choose will be appreciated. Because what is really being received by our troops, is the certainty that the people they serve and sacrifice for have not forgotten them.

© Gina left the mall, 2016

6 thoughts on “A Sporty Guess And A Romantic Clue

    • That’s terrific Erica!! The two groups that I’ve adopted through are Soldiers’ Angels (soldiersangels.org) and Adopt A US Soldier (www.adoptaussoldier.org). You can check out their links. Also, there’s a tab above called Ways To Make A Difference that tells you a little about my experience with various groups (plus links).

      If you need help getting started, I wrote a post called How To Write To A Soldier that many folks have told me they found useful. Just type it in the search bar on this page.

      If you have more questions, let me know. And thank you so much for your interest!!

  1. Hi Gina, hey Gina sometime when you get to email your new adopted female Airman and your new female adopted soldier, will you tell them them that I say “Thank You” to them for their wonderful service to our country, and that they have my total support and my prayers.

    • Hi Kyndal,
      I see from this comment and others you’ve made that you have a lot of enthusiasm and a great desire to be supportive. If you wish to write individual letters versus adopting, check out:
      Operation Gratitude (https://www.operationgratitude.com/writeletters/)
      They send care packages and like to include 5 letters in each box. The link above has some details. I think you could be a great help to them and make a difference for many deployed troops.

      • Hi Gina, awe thank you Gina. I do have a lot of enthusiasm and a great desire to be supportive. I’ve written individual letters to be put in care packages. I love operation Gratitude they are so awesome.

  2. Great advice on the guessing game. That is one thing I wondered about…how do you know what to write, get, etc.? You don’t..you take your best guess! It would be helpful to know what not to say. Any advice?

    Sofia sure knew a lot about Romeo and Juliet…watch out, she is growing up!

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