It's the thought that counts


The trendy organic Whole Foods Market chain issued a press release Friday announcing that, as a “small token of our appreciation” to U.S. forces fighting abroad, they were offering free shipping of the five holiday boxes they have created as “care” packages for the troops.

The sentiment is nice, but the choice of items to send to soldiers makes me think the Whole Foods folks are a bit out of touch with the realities of the war zone.

But you decide for yourself.

Here are the items:

  • The Gift of Grub ($60). Summer sausage, pretzel crisps, aged cheddar cheese straws, peppermint stick chocolate, classic shortbread and gourmet pecans.
  • You’re Zenzational ($60). Soothing lavender lotion and shower gel, mineral bath salts, a sleep mask, a bath pillow, and even a candle and tea to further calm the soul.
  • Get Warm, Get Fuzzy ($50). Specialty coffee, tea and hot chocolate paired with caramel sweetener, fruit-and-nut mix, mocha wafers, biscotti bites and dark chocolate espresso beans.
  • You Rock Box o’ Choc ($50). Chocolates, dipped sandwich cookies and brownie bites, peanut butter chocolate wafers, chocolate cherry trail mix and hot chocolate.
  • Ciao Down ($40). Italian herb pasta sauce, basil pesto, extra virgin olive oil crostini, dry roasted almonds and truffled espresso clusters. Buon Appetito!

No doubt this will lead to plenty of barter down at the KOP.

Something like: “Hey sarge, I’ll trade you some crostini for the lavender lotion —I felt really smelly out here.”


About Author

Army Times Managing Editor

No Comments

  1. Well, with the bogus recommendation that the Military Leadership Diversity Committee just authored regarding females serving in combat roles, such a bs conversation could probably become a reality. And just who the hell is calling their NCO’s “sarge” these days, anyhow?

  2. I would like to point out that the items in these gift boxes are gourmet and probably not what your average, young infantryman would request. However, the usual things packed into MREs do get quite old after long periods of eating beef patties and chicken with salsa. I think the idea that Whole Foods is standing behind the troops and sending them anything is an extremely kind sentiment. Worst case scenario, these items are not used. Best case scenario, soldiers expand their palates and try something new. It’s not the first time anyone in the military has been asked to do or try something for novelty’s sake anyway.

  3. William Rhoades on

    Pretty big faux pas to complain about gifts (especially in this forum) to Soldiers from a corporation, obviously meaning to express good will. Our troops need all of the support and love from back home that they can get…even when it may not be especially on target. Your comments do not speak for all….thanks for letting me decide for myself.

  4. Didnt you know? the air force has private kitchens and bathtubs on their big mega-fobs. or else they get extra pay for sub-standard living conditions.

  5. Is there anything more appropriate than kind reminders of luxuries more commonly had at home during the emotional turmoil of a holiday at home? Whatever your disdain for lavender lotion, having been deployed during the Christmas holiday last year I know first hand how women and men often find much needed solace in recieving non-essentials mixed among the bare necessities.

  6. What do you want Oreos and dial soap? Maybe u are the one out of touch people do take showers in Combat zones and im sure they would appreciate any food thats different then what they usually get.

  7. Ciao Down, although horribly expensive–my wife can make the same at home for less than $10–would be my wish if I were there in the outposts. My only worry would be where I would get the pasta for the sauce. We can’t just stroll into Kandahar and pick up a few boxes of Buitoni spaghetti, can we?

Leave A Reply