Many Iowans have family & friends serving their country in the armed forces or the diplomatic services during the upcoming holiday’s. The below story tells us how it’s important to get packages in the mail by November 13th to ensure delivery before the Christmas holiday:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007, 3:52 AM
By Matt Kelley

If you have a friend or loved one in the military overseas and want to send them a package before for the holiday season, you have less than a week to get busy. Roger Humphries, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says the clock is ticking for Iowans to get the best postal rate.

Humphries says: “For parcel post, this would be the least expensive way to send packages overseas would be November 13th. So as long as you are mailing early, you can meet that guideline. We do have first class and priority service to the military which would take you into December 11th but if you would like to save some money, that November 13th would be the best date.”

Humphries says if you miss that date next Tuesday, you still have until December 11th to send the package by Express Mail Military Service, but you will pay twice as much. “Even though they are going to a domestic address, such as an A-P-O or F-P-O, there are still some requirements or certain conditions that have to be met,” Humphries explains, “you can go online to ”” and look at our postal bulletin and that would give you the guidelines you will need because some of the packages actually still require customs forms.”

Humphries says there is another change this year. He says many people like sending random packages to soldiers, but the Department of Defense no longer allows this practice. He says, “In the past, they were able to mail packages to ‘any serviceman,’ but that is no longer allowed. You will now need the name and the office or location where the service person is located to do that so you can’t do that anymore.”

Humphries says there are a number of organizations that can provide information on service members so Iowa families can continue that tradition.