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U.S. Postal Service recommends mailing dates

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

The U.S. Postal Service has set dates for those wishing to send holiday gifts and care packages to members of the nation’s armed forces.

“We want to remind our customers about these important mailing dates,” Central Illinois District Manager Peter Allen said in a news release. “This will help ensure cards, letters and packages arrive in time for the holidays.”

The Postal Service offers a discount on its largest priority mail flat rate box at $14.85.

The price includes a $2 a box discount for military mail being sent to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office, Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide, according to the news release.

Priority mail flat rate boxes are available at no cost at local post offices, or can be ordered online at shop.usps.com. Postage, labels and customs forms can be printed online anytime using Click-N-Ship.

To ensure timely delivery of holiday wishes by Dec. 25, send cards and packages to military APO/FPO/DPO addresses overseas no later than the mailing dates listed below.

• Standard post – by Nov. 12

• Space available mail – by Nov. 26

• Parcel airlift mail – by Dec. 3

• Priority mail – by Dec. 10

• First-class mail – Dec. 10

• The exception is mail being addressed to and from APO/FPO AE Zip 093, in which first-class, priority and parcel airlift mail should all be mailed by Dec. 3

Packages should be addressed as such: Include a return address.

Write out the service member’s full name in the address.

Include the unit and APO/FPO/DPO address with the 9-digit ZIP code (if one is assigned).

Example: CPT JOHN DOE/UNIT 2050 BOX 4190/APO AP 96278-2050.

The Postal Service has a free “Military Care Kit” based on the items most frequently requested by military families. The kit contains:

• Two priority mail APO/FPO flat rateboxes.

• Two priority mail medium flat rate boxes.

• Priority mail tape. Priority mail address labels.

• Appropriate customs forms.

To order the kit, call 800-610-8734.

Guidelines for packing, addressing and shipping items to U.S. troops can be found at usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-guidelines.htm. To order flat-rate boxes featuring the “America Supports You” logo, go to store.usps.com.

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