Bringing the holidays to Military men, women

  • Published
  • By Dave Lewin
  • United States Postal Service News
For military service members stationed around the globe, holiday gifts are a big morale boost. To help the families and friends of U.S. military personnel, the Postal Service offers a discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate box.

The recommended mailing date for the most economical postage to overseas military installations, including Iraq and Afghanistan, is Nov. 13.

Mail sent to overseas military addresses is charged only domestic mail prices. The domestic mail price for the Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box is $13.95, but for packages to APO/FPO addresses overseas the price is reduced to $11.95. Additional discounts are available for customers printing their Priority Mail postage labels online at Click-N-Ship.

Flat-Rate boxes are free at any Post Office, or can be ordered online at Postage, labels and customs forms can be printed online any time using Click-N-Ship.

The Postal Service continues to show support to those serving in the armed forces by offering free Military Care Kits, designed specifically for military families sending packages overseas. The mailing kits can be ordered by phone by calling 1-800-610-8734 and asking for the 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.

For online ordering of the Large Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate boxes featuring the "America Supports You" logo and APO/FPO addressing block. More information about mailing letters and packages to military destinations is available online at Supporting Our Troops.

"Mailing holiday gifts to service members early will help insure that a piece of home arrives in plenty of time to make the celebration complete," said Pranab Shah, vice president and managing director, Global Business.

To ensure delivery of holiday cards and packages by Dec. 25 to military APO/FPO addresses overseas, the Postal Service recommends that mail for service members be entered no later than the mailing dates listed below. 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 see an online table of updated APO and FPO addresses and mailing restrictions by individual APO/FPO ZIP Codes, select "Pull-Out Information" and click on "Overseas Military/Diplomatic Mail."

1/ EMMS: Express Mail Military Service is available to selected military post offices. Check with your local Post Office to determine if this service is available to your APO/FPO of address.
2/ PAL: PAL is a service that provides air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis. It is available for Parcel Post
items not exceeding 30 pounds in weight or 60 inches in length and girth combined. The applicable PAL fee must be
paid in addition to the regular surface rate of postage for each addressed piece sent by PAL service.
3/ SAM: SAM parcels are paid at the Parcel Post postage rate with maximum weight and size limits of 15 pounds
60 inches in length and girth combined. SAM parcels are first transported domestically by surface and then to
overseas destinations by air on a space-available basis.

The Postal Service receives no taxpayer dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. 

For original article and mailing deadlines, visit the USPS Web site at: