Remembering soldiers at Christmas

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 9, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

‘Tis the season to be with family and friends, but for thousands of soldiers in Iraq and others stationed far away from home, that’s not possible.

For those who have soldiers on their hearts and minds and wish to send them a little piece of Christmas from home via the U.S. Postal Service, you need to hurry.

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According to James Roberts, acting delivery service supervisor at the Selma Post Office located at 1313 Alabama Ave., you should allow “10 business days” for overseas shipping.

Tomorrow will mark the last 10 business days before Christmas.

Roberts said if you mail your packages by Monday, “They should get there,” but the post office “can’t make any promises.”

When shipping your packages overseas, there are a few guidelines you need to follow.

“(Packages) need to have the APO number on them, which is like the zip code for us,” Roberts said.

If the package is over 16 ounces, it needs to be accompanied by a customs form listing its contents.

Although it’s the Christmas season and you may want to wrap your packages in pretty paper, the post office advises you to wrap the outer layer in plain paper.

“Brown paper is preferable,” Roberts said.

Also, keep all well wishes and holiday greetings within the contents of the package, as there should be no writing on the outside – except for the address of course.

Other shipping requirements are as follows:

Maximum length is 180 inches

Maximum weight is 70 pounds

Packages cannot contain any liquids, fragile items or hazardous materials.

If this seems to be too much to remember, Roberts says there will be a post office clerk available to help you.