Direct Support for Our Troops
If you know someone fighting the war overseas, you probably have considered sending a care package, or a letter of support. That's not always an easy proposition. Here, however, is how to do it.
The first thing you need to do is to find out the person's address and most importantly, their military zip code, known as APO (Army or Air Force post office) or FPO (fleet post office for Navy and Marine personnel). Next, visit the U.S. Postal Service website for a list of important restrictions specific to each APO/FPO. Enter this address into your computer's web browser you will be brought to the correct page: www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/bulletin/2003/ html/pb22098/apofpo.html
The letter/package should also indicate whether the destination is in the Pacific (AP) or the European area (AE). Soldiers in Iraq are AE.
You will also need to fill out a special postal service form 2976-A "Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note," according to Army Personnel Command Spokesperson Tesia Williams. A first class letter could reach the area in as little as 7-10 days, and packages in 20-25. Local delivery will take additional time, depending on weather and combat conditions, and the specific location of the service member, Williams said.
Contact the Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA), Monday-Friday, at (800) 810-6098. The MPSA is not a locator service, but they can provide additional information.