Holiday mail deadlines approach
CAMP FOSTER — As the holiday season approaches, the deadlines to ensure holiday packages arrive to their destination on time are right
around the corner.
Installation post offices across Okinawa have set deadlines for packages to be sent in order to reach their U.S. destinations prior to the holidays. There are also deadlines set for mail from the U.S. to be sent in order to reach Okinawa on time.
There are several options for sending mail, and which one an individual should use depends on how long a package will take to reachits destination.
For express delivery of packages to the U.S. from Okinawa, the deadline is Dec. 17. For 1st class and priority mail, the deadline is Dec. 10, and for parcel air lift and space available mail, the deadline is Dec. 3.
For mail being sent to Okinawa from the U.S., the same options are available with one additional method. For express delivery, the deadline is Dec. 17. For 1st class and priority mail, the deadline is Dec. 10. For PAL, the deadline is Dec. 3. For SAM, the deadline is Nov. 26, and for parcel post, the deadline is Nov. 13.
“During the holiday season, we receive about three times the amount of mail from the states than we usually do,” said Marcelino S. Hernandez, a mail clerk with Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “Since we are receiving three times the amount of mail, we have to work three times as hard to get it to the Marines. Whether it is working through lunch or later hours, it has to be done.”
For many Marines on Okinawa, this may be the first time they are away from home during the holidays, according to Lance Cpl. Robert A. Rodriguez, a post office patron and heavy-equipment mechanic with G-F, facilities, MCB Camp Butler.
“Everyone should make sure they are aware of the deadline to send packages home on time and also let their families know how long it takes to receive mail here,” said Rodriguez. “I have a very big family back in the states, and I constantly send large packages home for them. I want them to receive their gifts during the holidays and on time, so I will make sure to send them early.”
For Marines on Okinawa, the shipping process can take anywhere from 10 days to eight weeks depending on the service used, according to Hernandez.
“My advice to anyone sending mail during this time of year is to send it early,” said Hernandez. “Do not wait for the last minute because it is very busy, and your packages might not make it on time.”