Above images: Courtesy of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Sending Christmas cheer to deployed Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel is still ago, with a few minor changes.
To tackle the question on how Canadians can send deployed personnel holiday thankyous the CF Postal Service personnel at the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) responded, noting the changes with the Any Solider/CAF Member Mail Program and suggesting alternative ways Canadians can send messages this holiday season.
“Any Canadian Armed Forces Member” Program Still Running
“The program is still running. However, due to the volumes of letters received, we are trying to encourage the public towards sending virtual wishes to CAF members,” said Captain Jason Rheubottom, Public Affairs Officer (Expeditionary Operations), Canadian Joint Operations Command.
For Canadians wishing to send a Christmas card, they still can, but they need to pay domestic postage charges and ensure their return address is on the envelope.
“Cards will require postage to be paid to Canada Post in order to have them delivered to the CF Postal Unit in either Halifax, Trenton, or Esquimalt for further distribution overseas,” said the Captain.
Alternatively, “the cards can be boxed up, and postage paid on the box itself and not each card.”
See below for the addresses.
Canada Post Free Program For Family Members
He noted that the Canada Post Free parcel and mail program is for family members of “those deployed and, unfortunately, not for the ‘Any CAF Member Program.'”
Don’t fear, there are other cost-free options available to send holiday messages to military personnel deployed over the holidays, noted Capt. Rheubottom.
People can send their holiday cheer and thank-yous to deployed personnel this holiday season cost-free in a few ways. Here are the options:
Facebook: Canadians can leave a message on the CAF Operations Facebook page. And a picture, if they would like, of their holiday card. Visit here.
Send a Message: Canadians can show appreciation by sending a message directly through the Government of Canada website. Messages are a maximum of 1500 characters, including spaces. Visit here.
Paid Postage Addresses
To send a paid postage card with a return address, Canadians can send cards to the following three addresses. The CF Postal Unit will further distribute the cards.
c/o CFPU Operations
Astra ON K0K 3W0
Fleet Mail Office Halifax
PO Box 99000 Stn Forces
Halifax NS B3K 5X5
Fleet Mail Office Esquimalt
PO Box 17000 Stn Forces
Victoria BC V9A 7N2
Remembering Veterans: Postcards for Peace
Another option suggested by CJOC is the Veterans Affairs program, Postcards for Peace. Canadians can send cards to Veterans in long-term care facilities. People can search in VAC’s searchable database for Veterans in their area. Visit here for more information.
Donating to Support Our Troops
If so inclinded, Canadians can donate to the Support Our Troops Charity. It is the official charity for the Canadian Armed Forces. The organization provides “financial support and assistance to Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and their respective families in a number of important and often life-changing ways that are not provided by government funding.” Visit here.