The recommended parcel post mailing date for anyone wishing to send a holiday package to U.S. personnel in Europe or the Middle East is Nov. 12 in order for it to arrive by Christmas Day, according to a U.S. Postal Service release.
Other types of mail and their mailing deadlines, according to the postal service are:
• Space-available mail — Nov. 20 for Iraq or Afghanistan, Nov. 26 for Europe;
• Parcel airlift mail —Dec. 1 for Iraq or Afghanistan, Dec. 3 for Europe;
• First-class letters and cards, and priority mail, Dec. 4 for Iraq or Afghanistan, Dec. 10 for Europe;
• Express Mail Military Service packages, not available for Iraq or Afghanistan, Dec. 18 for Europe.
According to the USPS release, mail sent to overseas military addresses from the States is charged at domestic mail prices — or less. The Priority Mail Large Rate Box is $14.50, but for packages to APO or FPO addresses the fee is reduced to $12.50.
Regulations differ for various kinds of mail service, according to the Army Human Resources Command.
For example, parcel airlift mail may be used on a space-available basis and for items not exceeding 30 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined. An extra fee will be charged in addition to the surface rate for this service.
Space-available mail service can be used for packages up to 15 pounds in weight and 60 inches in length and girth combined.
Some items cannot be mailed to certain areas, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, including anything depicting nudity or pornography, large quantities of religious material that is contrary to the Islamic faith, and pork or pork byproducts.
For more information, see www.usps.com or call 1-800-ASK-USPS in the States.