December 12th, 2008

Send Gifts to Troops with MILI-FRB Flat-Rate Box

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has a special program that lets you send a 12″x12″x6″ flat rate box to soldiers serving overseas with military APO/FPO addresses. The shipping cost is just $10.95, flat rate, no matter what the international destination. The boxes, labeled MILI-FRB, are available for FREE at your post office. The MILI-FRB box is quite a bit larger than the $10 domestic Flat-Rate box. With the MILI-FRB you don’t pay by weight, but the max weight for overseas shipment is 20 lbs. per box.

MILI-FRB soldier gift box

Desired Goods — Gum, Jerkey, Power Bars, Wet Wipes, Chew, and Magazines
What should you pack in the box? Soldiers polled say that they prefer “fun stuff” and consummables, rather than t-shirts, socks, and underwear. Don’t send chocolates as these will melt in the heat. Chewing gum, lifesavers, and other hard candies are popular. So are beef jerkey, granola bars, and power bars. Powdered drink mixes, such as kool-aid and Crystal Light Lemonade, are in high demand.

Among the most-requested items are “Wet Wipes” and/or “baby wipes”. These can be used for a quick clean-up in the field and are easy to tote in a field pack. The soldiers have also asked for chewing tobacco. Though not particularly healthy, tins of Skoal and Copenhagen are highly prized for trading purposes, even if your recipient doesn’t chew. The soldiers also like reading material. Outdoor magazines, car magazines, and gun/hunting magazines are prized. If you’ve got a stack of old shooting magazines… don’t toss ‘em, ship ‘em.

You can get the names of serving troops from National Guard offices, from the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), or from local military recruitment offices. Your Congressperson can also help you obtain the addresses of soldiers from your area who are billeted overseas.

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