Saturday, November 15, 2008

Helpful Mailing Instructions for Troop Mail

If you are going to prepare care packages yourself to send to our troops here are some instructions that you'll want to know.

All care packages must be taken to a Post Office to be mailed for security reasons. Packages go through the regular U.S. mail system then through the military mail system. Paying for Priority Mail will NOT rush the package through the military mail system. It will expedite it through the U.S. portion though and every little bit helps.

Clearly and neatly write or type the military address on the envelope, parcel and Customs Form exactly as we have given it to you. Creating labels makes this task easier.

Mail addressed "To Any Service Member" will be refused so sign up for a service member to send mail to.

EVERY package must have a customs form. Customs forms are available at the Post Office, usually in the lobby and at the desk. Care Packages use the all-white form, PS Form 2976-A titled "Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note."

In the upper left corner write your name and address. In the upper right corner, write the service member’s name and address. Briefly list the contents - you do not have to be very specific. We recommend you underestimate the value to discourage theft.

The Post Office will fill in the weight. Check the "Gift" box. In the bottom left corner write a re-direct address of "Command Chaplain." In the lower right side, put your signature and the date you are mailing the package.

If you are going to send quite a bit of mail at one time or some of the smaller magazines – try using the Priority Mail Flat-Rate Envelopes or boxes. They have one flat-rate cost regardless of weight & destination. The Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes and boxes are the cheapest way to send large quanities of holiday mail or small care packages so we feel they are one of the best options.

If you prefer other alternatives, use a small-medium sturdy corrugated brown box, free of other markings. The box must be within size restrictions (72" length and girth combined). It is better to send several smaller boxes than one large box. A plain cubic foot box is the most ideal box to use.

Remember to enclose a note or index card with eMail Our Military’s information on it in each piece of mail you send. It should read: "Please send all address changes and requests to eMail Our Military, 8004 NW 154 Street, Suite 344, Miami Lakes, FL. 33016. Postage rates depend on both the origin and destination. Postage is usually less to APOs from the East Coast (mostly Army and Air Force); FPOs from the West Coast (mostly Navy and Marines). The postage cost will be at the regular postage rate.

Books & magazines can be sent at the special low Media Rate. Anticipate $5-$25 for postage fees depending on weight of the package, origin, and destination.

Letters can be mailed with one First Class Stamp within one ounce, which is usually 4 standard pages. You can choose to purchase or not purchase USPS insurance. If you purchase insurance and can provide the receipt (for parcels over $50 also requires proof of value), the parcel IS covered all the way to the APOs, FPOs, and even most international locations; you will be reimbursed if it's lost or damaged. It is recommended to keep parcels under $50 as those claims are paid at the local office.

Please feel shop around for alternative mailing service businesses in your area; some may even offer discounts.


If you've been looking for a way to support our troops, now you can. Participate in one of our many projects or register with eMOM and sign up to correspond with service members one-on-one. Learn more about our holiday project to support our troops.

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1 comment:

BlackJack | eMail Our Military said...

It is imperative people send their mail correctly to expedite the process. Good post!