Ranger Care Package & Florida Update

I got a letter last night! The bad news is that he said his chances of recycling were pretty high. He said that he heard rumors that his company had the harshest graders and they also said that they would grade officers harder than the enlisted guys. Great. So I'm praying hard. If he recycles, it pushes back graduation almost a month.

He did include a food wish list! He said he was craving baked goods after all of the processed MREs. Ranger students can receive care packages at the end of each phase. Otherwise, they aren't allowed to be sent food, except for non-caffeinated gum. I've been putting gum sticks in each of his letters. He'll be able to bring the food and magazines I send him on the 4 hour bus ride back to Fort Benning after Phase 3. His wishlist included:

Cake Mix Cookies
Trail Mix
Puppy Chow (yes, he underlined this one)
Beefy Jerky
Pepperoni Slices
Peanut M&Ms
Magazines (like Runner's World and Outdoor)

So last night I had fun. I went shopping at Walmart and then I made puppy chow and funfetti cake cookies. And I didn't even have one bite.. it all went down to my Ranger (okay I lied.. I might have had one bite of the cake batter). Packed it all up in my flat-rate box and it should get down there in time for his 4-hour bus ride home on Sunday!

In other news, today I heard back from a potential employer in the Seattle area (hubby is going to be stationed at Ft Lewis after the training at Ft Benning). I thought I had totally nailed the interview, but he emailed me to let me know the position had been filled..

We've also had some major issues at work today. This is my much-needed 10 minute break from everything. My phone has been ringing off the hook. It's days like this that I wish I had him with me to give me a hug.

.. think I could sleep through everything until ranger school graduation?


  1. So should we wait to send the packages until phase three? Or send them anyway. i just don't want it all to get thrown away.

  2. Check out this post if you haven't already.


    If he's in the middle of phase 2, send it to the phase 2 address and he'll get it at the end of phase 2. They won't throw it away. Wait until he gets to Florida to send a phase 3 one. Does that help?

  3. Yes that helps. I've read your entire blog haha. I just want to make sure he gets it all. He just started phase two this week, I got my phone call on Friday around two just like you said. But I'll be sure to send this package out this week (: thanks!

  4. Hey my fiancé is at ranger school right now and your blog has really helped!! I was wondering if there was a list somewhere of what we can and can't send them?

    1. I'm so glad my blog has helped! I don't know of any list. I just know you can't send anything caffeinated or any kind of "energy" drink or bar. I sent Clif bars in one of his packages and one of the RIs confiscated them because they were "energy bars" even though another RI next to him was like "are you sure? There's no caffeine.." So it kind of depends on the RI. Just definitely no caffeine!

      This is of course for the care packages that they get in between phases. In letters, you can only send them (non-caffeinated) gum.

  5. Thank you so much!!! I have already purchased him about $30 worth of beef jerky... :) thanks for the response!

  6. Amy,

    Thank you so much for this post! I have probably read and re-read it about 50 times since my friend left for ranger school in Feb. Thanks to your post, I mailed him probably to many letters and a food package for the end of phase 2. I was hoping though that you or maybe your husband could answer these next couple questions of mine...
    1. In between phase 2 and 3, what is the downtime like? Are they on a bus to phase 3? Are most of the guys sleeping/eating? Do some have cellphones or no one does?(I know you said expect a call, but I was curious as to what phone they use)
    2. This one might be more for your husband to answer.. but do the guys in charge of the rangers-in-training open the letters or read them/ read the postcards that arent in an envelope before handing them out? Because after I sent out my first postcard I realized that he might get made fun of for an inside joke that we share..not that it's dirty or anything but just based off R2D2 haha.
    3. What do they do with the letters/postcards once received? I know packing is a big deal for them and they have limited space.

    I got 1 letter from him during mountain phase but I didn't hear from him during the in between of 2 and 3 which is why I am curious to know if they have phones or not.. so unfortunately I haven't been able to write him since I don't know if he passed phase 2 or not :/

    Sorry I asked so many questions I am just curious! If he does pass all 3 phases first try he will be done next weekend!

    Thanks again for your help, and thank you to your husband for his service!

    1. Lindsay,

      I'm am soo sorry. I have been trying to get a chance to ask some of your questions to my husband, but he has been so busy lately, it's just not the first thing on my mind when he gets home late. :( I can still answer you questions as best as I can.. sorry I wasn't able to get the hubs input!

      1. I don't believe anyone has cell phones. The way James described it to me is that they were waiting for a pay phone. And yes, they should just be taking a bus and I do remember that he said most of them slept the whole way. In the past, there had actually been an airborne jump into florida if they were already airborne qualified, but I'm don't think they do that anymore.
      2. I don't think they read their personal letters. They might check to make sure it's just gum, if you include gum, but they really shouldn't be reading anything personal. I wouldn't worry about that. :)
      3. James kept his letters in ziplock baggies. He still has them all saved. :) But yes, they do have to carry the letters with them everywhere.

      Again. soo soo sorry this has been such a late response. Normally I am pretty quick but we've had a pretty crazy couple weeks. Good luck to your soldier!!



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