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Holiday shipping deadlines upon us
marines packages
Marines unload packages during daily mail call at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan last year. Mail is collected and delivered at the base seven days a week. - photo by U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Katherine Solano

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., – Christmas is right around the corner, and with the holidays comes an influx of mail sent to service members stationed overseas.

The United States Postal Service recently released its deadlines for ensuring mail sent overseas arrives in time for the busy holiday season.

“These dates are recommended since Christmas gets so busy, especially when sending out mail,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Guadalupe Nicks, an assistant postal finance officer with the post office here.

The fastest way to send mail is through Express Mail. In order to take advantage of this service, the mail must be sent by Dec. 17 for it to arrive on time when sending to a military installation overseas.

First-class mail, which includes letters, cards and parcels 13 ounces or lighter, should be mailed no later than Dec. 10. Priority mail is first-class mail weighing more than 13 ounces, and it should also be sent by Dec. 10. Parcel airlift mail needs to be mailed by Dec. 3.

As of Nov. 15, the U.S. Postal Service is able to once again ship lithium batteries to international locations, including Army, Fleet and Diplomatic Post Offices overseas.

“They are now able to be mailed, but there are specific requirements for them in order to be sent,” Nicks said.

The lithium batteries must already be installed in the device requiring the battery by the time they are mailed, or packaged alone. If they are being sent alone, they must be in their originally sealed packaging. Multiple batteries must be separated and cushioned within the parcel to prevent short-circuiting, movement or damage. The package itself cannot exceed five pounds.

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