TERRE HAUTE —
For those seeking to send holiday cards and packages to military personnel around the world, mark your calendar.
Terre Haute postal officials suggest items sent through standard postage should be made in just 10 days, or Nov. 12. Recommendations for mailing vary, depending on choice of delivery method and the destination.
“We want to remind our customers about these important mailing dates,” said Terre Haute Postmaster Dianna Egold. “This will help ensure cards, letters and packages arrive in time for the holidays.”
The U.S. Postal Service offers a discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate box at $14.85, a $2 discount for military mail being sent to Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office, Diplomatic Post Office (APO/FPO/DPO) destinations worldwide.
The flat rate boxes are available at post offices or can be ordered online at shop.usps.com. Postage, labels and customs forms can be printed online using “click-n-ship.”
To ensure delivery of holiday items by Dec. 25, mailing dates vary. To mail through Space Available Mail (SAM), the mailing date is Nov. 26. SAM parcels have a maximum weight and size limit of 15 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined.
For Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL), the mailing date is Dec. 3. PAL items cannot exceed 30 pounds in weight or 60 inches in length and girth combined.
For Priority Mail, the mailing date is Dec. 10, however that date is Dec. 3 for mail going to Air/Army Post Offices/Fleet Post Offices with a zip code ending in 093.
First class mail letters and cards are recommended to be mailed by Dec. 10 and priority mail express military service (PMEMS) is Dec. 17.
When addressing a package to military personnel, the Postal Service requires the person’s full name in the address, then include the unit, the APO/FPO/DPO address in the 9-digit Zip Code (if one is assigned). For example, “CPT John Doe, Unit 2050 Box 4190, APO AP 96278-2050.
In addition, a military care kit can be obtained by calling 800-610-8734, with guidelines for packaging and shipping found at usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-guidelines.htm. The kit includes two standard priority mail flat rate boxes, two medium flat rate boxes; priority mail tape, priority mail labels and appropriate custom forms.