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Mail to the Troops

This holiday season many Canadian Armed Forces members and support personnel will be deployed across the world, far away from home. Receiving mail is important to their morale and welfare, letting them know how important they are in the eyes of all Canadians.

Family and friends of any Canadian Armed Forces members deployed on overseas missions will be able to send parcels for free from any Canada Post retail outlet from October 14, 2014 until January 16, 2015. Mail intended for Christmas delivery to CAF personnel serving overseas using a PO Box Stn Forces address, or deployed on Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships must arrive at Belleville by November 14, 2014. Letters, up to 500 grams, to deployed troops can also be sent free of charge until December 31, 2015.

“We are very pleased to offer this free service. If at all possible we do ask that items be dropped off at our retail locations, not in a street letter box. If there is no postage on the item it may be accidentally returned to sender, and custom declaration forms, and addressing information need to be confirmed as correct,” said Tisha Bastialli, product manager, Canada Post.

Parcels and letters must be addressed to a specific military member, and include rank and mission information. Senders can purchase additional options for their parcels such as coverage for loss or damage and signature from Canada Post. Plan in advance for special occasions when sending letters or parcels. Once an item is mailed, it could take up to three weeks for the mail to be delivered to the addressee in theatre.

Members of the CAF serving overseas may also receive general correspondence from groups, schools and organizations from across Canada including post cards, greeting cards and letters via Canada Post. Parcels, containing only correspondence, addressed to ‘Any Canadian Forces member’ are acceptable. Schools, groups, businesses and associations may send cards and letters bulked in a parcel. Parcels containing any items other than correspondence will be returned to sender and the sender’s expense. Individual letters addressed to ‘Any Canadian Forces Member’ will require postage and are not included in the Canada Post free letter mail program.

“The free mail program started from someone having a simple idea and it spiralled and grew from there. Since 2009 Canada Post has delivered over 67,000 items to Canadian Armed Forces personnel through the free mail program,” said Bastialli.

The Canadian Armed Forces Morale Mail service is another program providing families and friends a cost free alternative to using Canada Post to send care packages to deployed CAF members, DND employees, CAFPSA personnel, and CAF Contractors. Morale Mail can be dropped off at a Military Family Resource Centre, a CAF Mail Room, or CAF Post Office. In Ottawa, Morale Mail may be sent within the internal mail system, with ‘Via HCC’ clearly written on the item to the right of the address.

Because Morale Mail is often only sent weekly from locations across Canada, it may take as long as 28 days from the time of mailing to delivery in theatre. If indemnity or expediency is a concern it is encouraged the item be sent via Canada Post rather than Morale Mail, with an appropriate amount of insurance, or with a paid service that has a faster delivery time such as Canada Post Express Post or Priority Courier service.

Please visit http://Write-To-The-Troops/ for specific addresses and detailed mailing instructions.

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Vicki L Morrison

Thanks to her husband's military career Vicki reinvented herself as a writer so she could work from home, while taking care of their three kids. A former MFRC executive director Vicki is a passionate advocate for military families who loves telling their stories.

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