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Like holiday shopping, mailing cards and packages is best done early

  • Published
  • By Robert Goetz
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

It’s always prudent to begin holiday shopping as early as possible, and it’s equally important to get cards and packages in the mail early so they reach their destinations in time for Christmas Day.           

For the families and friends of service members deployed overseas or assigned to installations outside the United States, Dec. 9 and Dec. 11 are important dates for expected on-time delivery by the United States Postal Service.

USPS recommends mailing cards and parcels by first-class and priority mail to Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office and Diplomatic Post Office ZIP code 093 no later than Dec. 9 and to other APO/FPO/DPO ZIP codes no later than Dec. 11 for expected delivery by Dec. 25.

Other recommended send-by dates for on-time delivery to APO/FPO/DPO ZIP codes are Nov. 27 for space-available mail, Dec. 4 for parcel airlift mail and Dec. 18 for priority mail express military service, which is available to selected military and diplomatic post offices.       

For delivery to the contiguous United States, USPS recommends send-by dates of Dec. 15 for USPS retail ground service, Dec. 18 for first-class mail service, Dec. 19 for priority mail service and Dec. 23 for priority mail express service.

The postal service offers a military care kit that includes items most frequently requested by military families. The kit contains two priority mail APO/FPO flat-rate boxes, four priority mail medium flat-rate boxes, priority mail tape, priority mail address labels and six custom forms envelopes. Call 800-610-8734 to order the kit.

Special care should be used in sending packages to APO/FPO addresses. The service member’s full name should be included along with the unit, APO/FPO address and nine-digit ZIP code, but not the country’s name. In addition, a return address is required.

JBSA USPS locations are open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, 1804 Stanley Road; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at JBSA-Lackland, 2261 Hughes Ave.; and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday at JBSA-Randolph, 220 B Street West.

JBSA post office phone numbers are 210-226-0252 at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston; 210-671-0952 at JBSA-Lackland; and 210-652-2606 at JBSA-Randolph.