Shipping gifts or letters to a soldier stationed overseas is not as hard or expensive as some might think. The United State Post Office has simplified the process with the introduction of Flat Rate shipping boxes which are not only free but you can order them online and have them delivered right to your door.
The large size shipping box which can hold quite a few goodies for your deployed soldier can be shipped for $12.95 when sent to an APO address. This is a 12 inch X 12 inch X 5 1/2 inch box.
Here are some guidelines for shipping mail or packages to a soldier deployed overseas.
- Use United States Postal Service shipping boxes – it’s cheaper than using your own boxes
- Cushion loose objects so they don’t move around and rattle
- Ship only to a soldier you know. Items sent to “any soldier” will not be delivered
- Ship anything religious, political or humorous – even humor varies across the globe
- Ship anything liquid, perishable or fragile
- Ship extremely valuable items
- Ship perishable food
What to send a soldier deployed to Afghanistan
- Flushable Wipes (i.e. Baby Wipes)
- Cotton Swabs
- Disposable Razors
- Chap Stick
- Air Freshener
- Entertaining Magazines (People)
- Feminine Hygiene Items
Postage and Forms
Postage for cards, letters and packages is the same as it would be if you were shipping to any address in the continental United States.
If you are sending anything other than a standard letter or envelope you will need to complete a Customs Form. While this may sound intimidating, it is not. For any ordinary package being shipped to your soldier you will complete your name and address and the soldiers name and address. You can also briefly list the items in the package.
Customs Forms can be ordered online for delivery to your door or completed at the post office. Do not adhere the form to your package until you arrive at the post office as it will have to be completed and stamped by the post office personnel after the box is weighed.
Please note, if you are sending candy, cookies or other non-perishable food items and you note that on the custom form, it may take a little longer to be delivered to you soldier as food items require additional screening.
As proud as I am of their service to the greatest country on Earth, I still can’t describe the peace within my soul knowing that they are all here on the homeland, within a few minutes drive of those who have thought of them day and night while they were in service to the United State Army.
God bless every soldier, everywhere and the loved ones they leave behind.
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