Holiday season shipping deadlines approaching

DETROIT — Thousands of men and women in the nation’s military and diplomatic corps and in the military are serving abroad during the holidays. The mail is a great way to stay connected with them by sending cards, letters, presents and care packages for the festive season.

To ensure timely delivery of holiday wishes by Christmas, the Postal Service recommends that cards and packages be sent to military APO/FPO/DPO addresses overseas no later than the mailing dates listed below.

OVERSEAS MILITARY DEADLINES*

Dec. 11 – Cards, Letters, and Priority Mail Packages

Dec. 18 – Priority Mail Express Military Service

(* most destinations)

FREE MILITARY BOXES AND SUPPLIES

The Postal Service has created a free Military Care Kit based on the items most frequently requested by military families. The kit contains address labels, tape, boxes, and 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 store.usps.com/store/product/shipping-supplies/military-care-kit-P_MILITARYKIT.

MAIL PREPARATION TIPS:

Use good strong boxes and good strong packing tape. No duct tape or masking tape. No string or wire. No shoeboxes.

Don’t use boxes from a liquor store. Boxes that indicate that there is alcohol inside cannot be mailed.

Don’t ship anything with a lithium battery.

Always include a return address on the parcel, and include destination/return address on a card inside the parcel (in case the address on the parcel is rendered unreadable).

Never use Holiday wrapping paper around your parcel- it is very thin and isn’t suitable in the high speed sorting machines.

ADDRESSING THE PACKAGE

Write the service member’s full name

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

Army/Air Post Office (APO)

PFC JANE DOE

PSC 3 BOX 4120

APO AE 09021

— — —

Fleet Post Office (FPO)

SEAMAN JOSEPH SMITH

UNIT 100100 BOX 4120

FPO AP 96691

— — —

Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)

MELANIE ADAMS

UNIT 8400 BOX 0000

DPO AE 09498-0048

— — —

Do not write the country name where the service member is stationed in the address

Include a return address

Inside the box, include the service member’s name and address as well as the sender’s name and address on an index card in case the shipping label gets damaged in transit.

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