Shipping to troops? Watch the calendar.

By Ed O'Keefe
Tuesday, October 12, 2010; B3

Are you planning to mail holiday packages to troops in Afghanistan or Iraq? The U.S. Postal Service is urging customers to plan ahead.

The last recommended mailing date for Parcel Post packages - the most economical option - is Nov. 12. Mail sent to overseas military addresses is charged domestic mail prices only. Friends and family can mail a large Priority Mail flat-rate box to service members at a discounted rate of $12.50.

First-class letters and cards should be sent by early December and Express Mail Military Service packages by Dec. 18 in order to arrive by Christmas Day, the USPS said.

Mail addressed to overseas military post offices is subject to certain restrictions regarding what can be sent and how the packages are handled. More information on mailing military packages can be found at usps.com .

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