Overseas military shipping deadline approaching

One deadline is as early as Tuesday evening; later deadlines cost more

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The deadline for sending gifts overseas to members of the military is as early as 5 p.m. Tuesday for those wanting to pay standard price.

If you wait past then, it may not get to some parts of the world before Christmas Day.

The U.S. Postal Service warns that mail service will be busier than usual this year.

Retired Army Veteran Alozo Gordon encourages everyone to get their gifts to their military loved ones ASAP, knowing how important gifts from home are while serving overseas.

"Oh, it makes them very happy," Gordon said. "You'd be surprised."

Gordon served in the Army's 82nd Airborne, so he knows what's its like to be thousands of miles away from home and receive mail before Christmas.

"They get overjoyed," Gordon said. "You don't think much about it until you go away from home. A letter, anything just makes you feel great, fills that lonely spot."

U.S. troops withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan are shipping their belongings home, increasing the volume of mail. It's the reason why the Post Office is releasing a guideline to get it there on time.

The deadline for Standard Military APO/FPO parcels to the Middle East is 5 p.m. Tuesday.

If sending military mail International Express, you'll need to do so by Dec. 11. And if you're willing to pay more and send it Global Express, you'll need to do so by Dec. 17.

"Last week we had several churches come in and mail hundreds," said Kim Oswald, of UPS. "Baked goods, you name it. They were putting it in there. A lot of men don't receive gifts, so they just made boxes for everybody."

There are more than 500 military post offices across the world dealing with the logistics of moving mail to American military personnel.

"They'll never forget that," Gordon said. "They find something out about themselves. To appreciate the little things so far from home. When you hear them say I can't wait to get back home. They took it for granted a lot of times when they were here."

"It definitely fills their heart and makes them know we think about and love them," Rebecca Keatley said.

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