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Military Mail help?

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  • Military Mail help?

    I need help or - at the very least - advice on what to do next.

    A friend of mine is deployed. He flies an army helicopter. At the beginning of October, his wife ordered a CD from me. I crammed two in the package and shipped it Delivery Confirmation. Other than acceptance at the local post office, I saw no tracking information. Having never shipped to an overseas base before, I figured it was typical practice and that my friend would let me know when he got it.

    Friday night (here), he asked about the order. I checked the USPS website and it still had no tracking information except for "acceptance." I told him I'd check with the local USPS, which I did. The clerk looked it up and saw the same thing I did. The clerk told me that since I valued it at more than $30, my friend could file for recovery.

    My initial reaction, of course, is that he shouldn't have (or might not even be able) to do that. I'm just planning on sending him another package.

    So... here are my questions:

    1.) How long does it take for mail to arrive to a deployed area?

    2.) Is there any way for a deployed person to track a package sent to him?

    3.) Is there anything I can do packaging-wise to increase the likelihood that he will receive it?
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  • #2
    1) I got mail anywhere between 10-28 days
    2) No
    3) Hope the convoy/helo/plane/ship carrying the mail isn't ambushed/shot down/sunk/

    I knew of a few guys who lost some very valuable items when the helo lowering a pallet of mail onto our ship had a miscue and dropped the whole pallet in the Mediterranean.

    Just try again and cross your fingers. And maybe things are better/faster since 2005.


    • #3
      Actually, the only info you will get is the acceptance confirmation from stateside. When it does finally hit the area it needs to go, there will be another delivery confirm. Long space in there, in the meantime. Then it will just take a few to get to his unit...if the address was correct on the package like it would need. I got stuff sent to me while deployed this year...and it took anywhere from 7-14 days with letters, 10-15 days for packages and up to 45days for some others who mailed stuff out the same way. It all depends and the USPS is the worst at delivering APO AP/AE mail.
      Hope it gets there, but that is the way these things happen unfortunately from time to time.

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      • #4
        Another thing, and this may likely not apply to you, but when I was deployed, I ordered some some CD's, books, and movies occasionally, and a couple times they were shipped via media mail, not regular mail or priority, and it took a couple months to get them as media is typically shipped space available to save on the cost... I assume since you did confirmation etc, that they probably did not get shipped media, but just a thought.



        • #5
          Give him the confirmation number. While USPS does not see this 'update' the Iraq/Kuwait/Afghanistan mail system utilizes the same numbers. They can track to where it was last scanned. Delivery confirmation packages must be signed for by approved mail handlers for distribution.

          Hope this is of some help. When we lost packages this served us very well.

          "No man ever won a war by dieing for his county. He did it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his."

          George Patton

          Get your Protein where the real men get theirs,

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          • #6
            Best thing to do is ship it PRIORITY MAIL.
            Ask the post office for the APO/FPO flat rate box.

            These boxes get to the unit in about 5 days.

            I've used these in both 5th fleet and 7th fleet AOR's with great success.

            Also if he has a priority box shipped to you, You can forward it to him for FREE. Just line out your address and put in your's with a customs dec.

            5th fleet = Middle east
            7th fleet = Asia
            Last edited by will784; 11-15-2011, 07:06 PM. Reason: slang


            • #7
              Thanks for everything, guys!

              It's been 46 days. I gave him the confirmation number just on the outside chance it could help (provided it didn't meet the fate that Adam described). I'm also recognizing that the package I used to send it had a Treble Clef printed on it, so I'm not exactly sure it didn't get shipped "media" as Michael described.

              In either case, I'll send the next package in a plain cardboard box. If he gets them both, he can just give the extras away.

              Almost makes me wonder if I should bother trying to send him Skyline Chili...
              Officially declared an Intense Muscle Godfather as of April 3, 2007!!!