The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Recommended holiday mailing dates released for Afghanistan

 

October 28, 2009



BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — U.S. Postal Service officials announced its recommended mailing dates for delivery by Christmas to U.S. military servicemembers serving overseas at APO/FPO addresses in Afghanistan.

Holiday mail send via first-class mail and priority mail for servicemembers stationed in Afghanistan should be sent by Dec. 4 for arrival by Christmas, the deadline for parcel airlift mail is Dec. 1, space-available mail is Nov. 21, and parcel post is Nov. 13, according to Postal Service officials.

Express mail cannot be used to mail packages to Afghanistan; however priority mail is available.

Priority mail packaging products, including the priority mail flat-rate boxes can be obtained for free at any post office, or online at shop.usps.com. The priority mail large flat-rate box can be used to mail to any overseas military address, no matter the weight of the box, for $11.95.

The Postal Service offers free military care kits, designed for military families sending packages overseas. The mailing kits can be ordered by phone by calling 800-610-8734 and asking for the military care kit. Each kit includes two “America Supports You” large priority mail flat-rate boxes, four medium-sized priority mail flat-rate boxes, six priority mail labels, one roll of priority mail tape and six customs forms with envelopes.

“All packages and mail must be addressed to the individual servicemember by name, without rank, in accordance with Department of Defense regulations” said Master Sgt. Deb LaGrandQuintana, the 455th Expeditionary Communications Squadron official mail manager.

“Military overseas units are assigned an APO or FPO zip code and in many cases, that zip code travels with the unit wherever they go,” said Sergeant LaGrandQuintana, a 15-year Air Force veteran deployed from Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

The Postal Service places APO/FPO mail to overseas military servicemembers on special transportation destined to be delivered as soon as possible.

All mail addressed to military post offices overseas is subject to certain conditions or restrictions regarding content, preparation and handling. APO/FPO addresses generally require customs forms. To get updated mailing restrictions by individual APO/FPO zip go to http://www.usps.com.

Some military overseas mailing and packaging tips are:

• If you use a regular box, use one strong enough to protect the contents with no writing on the outside.

• Cushion contents with newspaper, bubble wrap, or styrofoam. Pack tightly to avoid shifting.

• Package food items like cookies, fudge, candies, etc. securely in leak-proof containers.

• Use pressure-sensitive or nylon-reinforced packing tape.

• Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape, or cellophane tape outside the package.

• Print the complete military service member’s name (without rank), unit, and APO/FPO delivery address, and your return address on one side only of the package.

• Place a return address label inside the package.

• Stuff fragile items with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage

• Remove batteries from toys/appliances. Wrap and place them next to the items inside.

• Purchase insurance and delivery confirmation service for reassurance of package delivery.

 
 

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