How To Support Your Service People Overseas During The Holidays

As you spend time with friends and family this holiday season, you should be mindful of those who are not fortunate enough to be able to do so. Every year, there are thousands of military members deployed overseas who cannot make it home to see their family for the holidays. Many of our readers have asked us the best ways to support the service people overseas during the holiday. Below, we’ve shared a guide and some tip to help you do so.
Military Mail
One of the best ways to bring joy and cheer to military members this holiday season is by sending mail. This also provides an excellent opportunity to bring your family together, as you can spend a weekend writing letters and crafting holiday cards for servicemen and women. If you plan on sending mail overseas, be sure to look up the Military Postal Service Agency. They provide deadlines and guidelines to assist you in addressing your care package.
To ensure that service people receive packages by Christmas, you should seek to send them by November 12 if you are using Parcel Post and shipping to any of the following addresses:
  • APO
  • DPO
  • FPO
If you are utilizing space-available mail, you must submit your shipment by November 26. Anything sent via parcel airlift mail should be done so by December 3. Lastly, all first-class mail should be sent by December 10, while all express letters should be sent by December 17.
You should note that you cannot merely send mail overseas unless you have a specific individual to which it is going. If you wish to send letters and cards to service members, utilize a program such as the Red Cross’ Holiday Mail for Heroes program.
Encourage Loved Ones
If you have a loved one who is deployed overseas, you can encourage them to celebrate the holiday season still. Ask your loved one to send plenty of pictures of a tree they’ve made and the holiday meal they are enjoying. It will likely make your loved one feel right at home as part of the family.
Another way for you and your loved one to celebrate the holidays is by adopting the traditions of the local culture. There are websites online, such as the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Digital Library, that contain cultural information for more than 200 countries. This is an excellent way to let you know your loved one know that you support them and are thinking of them this holiday season.
Holiday Programs
The other option you have to help support service people this holiday season is choosing to participate in a holiday program. There are countless charities, so you should be sure to search online and in your area to see organizations with which you can connect.
One of our favorites is the Homefront America program. This organization sponsors “Homefront Santa” and “Gifts for our Little Unsung Heroes.” The former seeks to match hosts and sponsors with military families in need of support and assistance. The following gifts military children gift cards and toys.