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By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2008 - Military families have long used the U.S. Postal Service's flat-rate shipping boxes to send care packages around the globe. Beginning March 3, they'll get a price break.
The discount applies only to the new "Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box," which normally carries a $12.95 price tag for shipping. However, when the 12-by-12-by-5.5-inch box is sent to an AFO or FPO address, a $2 discount applies, dropping the cost to $10.95.
"This is the first time the Postal Service has offered a special price for our armed forces serving overseas," said Postmaster General John Potter. "We're proud that family and friends will be able to use the new, larger-sized box to send much-appreciated packages from home to our dedicated troops overseas."
The new boxes will be available in post offices nationwide on March 3. Those who can't wait to start packing the boxes, however, can order them from www.usps.com/supplies beginning Feb. 20. They're also available by calling 1-800-610-8734.
Some of the new boxes carry the America Supports You logo. America Supports You is a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.
"It's terrific that the Postal Service continues to think of ways to help Americans support our troops and their families," said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for internal communication, community relations and public liaison. "Postage is always a concern when shipping care packages, and this new flat-rate box means our home-front groups and supportive citizens can do more with their resources.
"We're especially pleased that some of the boxes will bear the America Supports You logo, reminding our servicemembers that they have our nation's support," she added.
The boxes bearing the America Supports You logo will be available only online or at select post offices near military bases. All flat-rate boxes are available for international shipping, though the discount applies only to the large flat-rate box, and only if it's being shipped to an APO or FPO address.