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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Expenses HIgh for Military Mailing? US Post Office to the Rescue!

STARTS MARCH 3 --- boxes available online beginning Feb 20 (quoted from an anonycmous e-mail):

The U.S. Postal Service is rolling out a new, larger flat-rate box that will feature - for the first time in Postal Service history - a military discount for those mailing to APO and FPO addresses!!

Regardless of how much they weigh, the boxes will cost $12.95 to mail for
the general public, and $10.95 if mailed to an APO or FPO address, postal
officials said. The boxes themselves are free.

The larger new box will provide about 50 percent more space to stuff items than the old version, officials said, with a volume of about half a cubic foot, compared to about one-third cubic foot for the two existing flat-rate boxes. The new box measures 12 inches by 12 inches by 5½ inches. The two current flat-rate boxes cost $8.95 to mail to domestic and APO or FPO addresses, and will still be available. They come in two different shapes.

Customers can begin using the new flat-rate box at the new mailing rates March 3. The boxes will be available online by Feb. 20 at, or by calling (800) 610-8734 , but will be weighed and charged at the usual postal rates if they are mailed before March 3, said Postal Service spokeswoman Melissa Dodge.

Postal officials will provide a special version of the box for the military, featuring the logo of "America Supports You," a Defense Department-sponsored program designed to bring together more than 300 charitable and support groups and connect them with service members and their families. The new package also will feature an address box for APO and FPO addresses. The military boxes will be distributed on a more limited basis, Dodge said, primarily in areas closer to installations. But the discount depends on the address, not the box, she noted. All of the larger flat-rate boxes will receive the $2 military discount if they are mailed to an APO or FPO address. The Postal Service's Board of Governors approved the box Jan. 17, and stated in their decision that the discounted mailing fee "provides an opportunity for the Postal Service to assist American troops stationedabroad and their families."

Carolyn Howard-Johnson wrote the foreword for Eric Dinyer's book of patriotic quotations, Support Our Troops, published by Andrews McMeel. Part of the proceeds for the book benefit Fisher House. Her chapbook of poetry won the Military Writers Society of America's award of excellence.

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