An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Holiday package shipping guides and tips

  • Published
  • 43rd Airlift Wing
The U.S. Postal Service recently released the recommended mailing dates and tips for holiday packages intended for deployed servicemembers. For packages to reach loved ones with APO/FPO addresses in Afghanistan before the holidays:

First-Class Mail - Dec. 4
Priority Mail - Dec. 4
Parcel Airlift Mail - Dec. 1
Space Available Mail - Nov. 21
Parcel Post - Nov. 13

Mailing Tips:

Express Mail cannot be used to mail packages to Afghanistan.
The Postal Service offers free "Military Care Kits," designed for military families sending packages overseas.

The mailing kits can be ordered by calling 1-800-610-8734 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.

The Postal Service suggests the following mailing and packaging tips for sending packages overseas:

If a regular box is used, it should be strong enough to protect the contents with no writing on the outside.

-Cushion contents with newspaper or bubble wrap. Pack tightly to avoid shifting.
-Package food items like cookies, fudge and candies 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.