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Operation Holiday Cheer 2009



Published: Sun, November 15, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

GIFT SUGESTIONS |Shopping for our soldiers

The two items most requested by soldiers are baby wipes and phone cards (international cards are the best value). Other items that are favorites of our troops are:

FOOD/SNACKS

Beef jerky and Slim Jims.

Cereal, instant oatmeal and Pop Tarts.

Chewing gum.

Coffee and tea bags.

Cookies and hard candy.

Crackers, chips, microwave popcorn and pretzels.

Dried fruits.

Drink mixes, hot cocoa packets.

Granola, fruit and cereal bars.

Nuts.

Peanut butter.

Powdered creamer.

Soups (dried or canned).

Sugar and sweetener.

Trail mixes.

PERSONAL

Aspirin and Tylenol.

Baby powder and foot powder.

Combs.

Deodorant.

Eye drops and saline nasal spray.

Hand and body lotions; face moisturizers.

Hand sanitizer.

Lip balm with sunscreen.

Mouthwash.

Shaving gel and razor.

Soap, shampoo and conditioner.

Sunscreen and bug repellent.

Toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental floss.

Towels and washcloths.

MISCELLANEOUS

Batteries.

CDs and DVDs.

Flip flops.

Games and cards.

Gym shorts, socks and T-shirts.

Magazines and books.

Paper, pens and stamps

Sunglasses.

Video games.

THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T SEND

No pork or pork products.

Nothing that can melt.

No homemade baked goods (military rule for soldiers’ safety).

No aerosol cans or glass containers.

TIPS FOR SHIPPING PACKAGES

The U.S. Postal Service offers the free Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate Box for sending packages to military personnel serving overseas. Features include:

• Measures 12-by-12-by-51⁄2 inches.

• Features the “America Supports You” logo and APO/FPO addressing block.

• Postage is only $11.95 when used to send to APO/FPO addresses. USPS also offers free package pickup from your home or office at a time and place convenient for you. To schedule pickup or for other pickup options, visit usps.com.

PACKAGING:

There are things to keep in mind when sending packages overseas:

• Temperatures in the desert often exceed 100 degrees.

• The box should be strong. Cushion contents with plastic foam or bubble wrap to keep items from shifting. Fragile items should be double boxed, with cushioning inside and between the boxes to absorb shock.

• Battery-powered items can get turned on during shipping. Remove batteries and wrap them separately.

• To seal the box, tape the opening and reinforce all seams with 2-inch-wide tape, using clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape or paper tape. Do not use cord, string or twine.

ADDRESSING:

Print on one side only with the recipient’s address in the lower right portion.

Use the soldier’s full name. The Department of Defense canceled the “Any Service Member” program, so mail must be addressed to someone specific.

Be sure to include a return address.

Cover the address with clear tape to protect against moisture.

SEND BY:

To ensure delivery of your cards, letters and packages by Dec. 25 to military APO/FPO addresses overseas, the USPS recommends the following deadlines for mailing:

APO/FPO AE Zip Codes 090-092,

094-098, 340, 962-966:

• Express Mail by Dec. 18.

• First-Class Mail (cards and letters) and Priority Mail by Dec. 11.

• Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) by Dec. 4.

• Space Available Mail (SAM) by Nov. 28.

APO/FPO AE Zip 093:

• Express Mail not available.

• First-Class Mail (cards and letters) and Priority Mail by Dec. 4.

• Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) by Dec. 1.

• Space Available Mail (SAM) by Nov. 21.

REMEMBER:

Every country has customs regulations regarding incoming mail. Before sending a letter or package to one of our troops overseas, visit www.usps.com/supportingourtroops/mailingrestrictions.htm, contact your local post office or phone the Military Postal Service Agency at (800) 810-6098.

APO/FPO addresses generally require customs forms.

Source: usps.com


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