Saturday is the deadline to get packages to deployed troops

DWA

Frankfort, Ky.  (Dec. 1, 2010) — You only have a couple of days to act if you
want to make sure your loved ones overseas have a merry Christmas and a happy
New Year!

Jennifer Mason and her husband Chief Warrant Officer Travis Mason join their daughter, Ashley Best, in putting together Christmas packages for deployed troops. (Photo courtesy Military Missions)

“We encourage everyone to get their care packages in the mail by this Saturday,” said Jim Barber, Family Assistance Coordinator for the Kentucky National Guard.  “That’s the deadline for getting presents to the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq in time for the holidays.”

Barber says the Family Assistance Center gets a lot of calls this time every year about sending care packages. 

“We can provide information on what units are deployed and addresses to send gifts,” he said.  “The one thing we don’t do is provide postage.  The sender has to take care of that.”

Becky Walton and Beth Bates work on Christmas cards to send to the troops. Becky's husband, Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Walton, is with the 1204th Aviation Support Battalion. Beth's husband, Maj. Frederick Bates, is with Agribusiness Development Team II in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy Military Missions)

Local groups have already gotten a head start on making sure the holidays are celebrated by troops overseas.  Jennifer Mason, a Family Readiness Support Assistant with the 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade, organized a recent packing party for Operation Send Christmas held in Frankfort.

“We sorted and separated donated items and packed them up to be sent to every deployed Kentucky service member,” said Mason.  “We send packages to troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo.  We want everyone to know that they’ve been in our thoughts.”

Mason credits Beth Pennington, founder of  the Lexington, Ky.-based Military Missions for getting the packages to the troops. 

“A lot of troops don’t get anything from home,” said Mason.  “Beth works with the units to make sure everyone gets something for Christmas.”

There are some limitations on what you can send.  Restrictions include no alcohol, drugs and other contraband.  A complete list can be found at your local post office.  Also, a customs form must be completed listing the items contained within each package.  That form can be obtained at the post office or downloaded at www.usps.com

Call the Family Assistance Center at 800-372-7601 for more information on sending packages to the troops overseas. 

To learn more about Military Missions visit www.military-missions.org.

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