Please feel free to connect with me for Jake's address. As this is a public space, we prefer not to share his exact address here.
To mail a letter to Jake: simply stamp your letter as you would within the United States. Same postage rates apply.
To mail a care package to Jake:
There are now flat rate boxes that are specific for APO or FPO addresses. I ordered 25 boxes for free, so if you are in our area and would like a box to mail a special package in, please let me know and I'll be happy to provide you with one. The boxes are 12 x 12 x 5 1/2 and they ship for $12.50, no matter what or how much you can stuff inside!
Along with your package, you will need to have a Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note, PS Form 2976-A, available at any post office location. There are instructions to fill out the 6 copy form included, but to make it simple here's the lowdown:
From: This is you! Need your name & address in the first section.
To: This is Jake! The APO addresses are kind of funky, so the best way is to just write it in as I provide it to you.
Detailed Description of Contents:
The woman at the PO told me food doesn't need to be claimed, but other items (say books, DVDs, etc.) are supposed to be claimed, including the quantity and approximate weight & value. Most care packages will not be valued at more than $20-25.
Then, you must sign your declarations form and date it. There are other sections on the form (insured amount, sender's custom reference, importers reference, HS Tariff Number, etc.), but it is my understanding you do not need to fill those out. There is a section that says, "If non-deliverable & then you can choose from
- Treat as abandoned
- Return to sender
- Redirect to Address below.
I always checked Redirect to the address below. I believe it is still OK to write Commander & then Jake's address following that (without his name) & the box will become a free-for-all for the other soldiers there. This would only happen (I believe) in the case that Jake was no longer at the base.
The US Postal Service has created a link with a lot of information regarding mailing to our troops at their website. You may view that information here. Information found by following this link includes:
- Addressing Tips
- Mailing Restrictions
- Packaging Tips
- & more!
Some items that Jake has said would be helpful for him to receive in care packages:
- "Good" toilet paper
- Baby Wipes
- Shaving Cream
- Phone Cards
- Keurig Coffee K-Cups
- Deoderant (Axe Phoenix is his preferred brand)
- Gold Bond Powder
- Paperback books (just stuff you pick up at garage sales/Friends of the Library sales are great - these get passed around!)
- Greeting cards that he can send home
- Dayquil/Nyquil Capsules
- Refresh Optive lubricant eye drops
- Snacks - Some of his favorite things are anything with peanut butter, Swedish Fish, Twizzlers, Skittles, Popcorn, & Gummy Bears. Hard candy, nuts, chips like Pringles, and mini tuna packs or beef jerky usually travel well. He loves Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
Please feel free to leave comments here if you have other ideas of things to send!
Make sure to pack your boxes tightly. Squeeze as much as you can into a package before sealing it. Maybe give it a little test shake to see if you hear any rattling. It's helpful to seal anything that may leak inside of a Ziploc bag. Additionally, the gallon sized bags may be useful for jake on his end to reuse. Another tip that we heard last deployment was to include on the inside of the box lid a list of the "contents" of the box, so that your soldier will know if anyting is missing. Also, no need for delivery confirmation or insurance...as far as I know the "insurance" is only good while it is in the USA.
I know Jake is so appreciative of all the mail, love, and support that we have received from our family and friends. Let's blow him away with lots of "love" through the mail!
Ready, set, GO!