Want that special gift to make it back home in time for the holidays? Military mail officials in Central Command have announced mailing deadlines for deployed soldiers to get their packages sent to their home bases in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

The first deadlines — for anything sent by parcel post — will be Nov. 12 for all military mail addresses, officials said. The last deadline — for express mail service — is Dec. 19 for military mail addresses.

For first-class and priority mail, all packages should be sent by Dec. 10, except for military mail addresses that have a ZIP code between 09300 and 09399. Parcels to those addresses need to be sent by Dec. 5, officials said.

Anything sent space-available mail must be mailed by Nov. 26 except for ZIP codes between 09300 and 09399. The space-available deadlines for those addresses are Nov. 12.

During last year’s holiday season, more than 4.5 million pounds of mail was processed within the Central Command area of operations, said Air Force Master Sgt. Curt Pruden, superintendent of Theater Postal Operations.

The average delivery time was 10 days, he said. Despite that, to guarantee packages arrive by Christmas Day, they must be sent by the deadlines, he said.

For more information on mailing restrictions, package sizes and rates, check with local postal operations representatives.

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