My USMC stepson was just deployed to Camp Fallujah. I have some questions about mailing stuff to him.
1. He said to leave our return address off of any letters we send. Something about locals sending fake "your son has been killed" letters to the family??? He did say we can put return the address on packages.
2. Do we include his rank in the address? We have a friend in Afghanistan who says to leave his rank off.
3. When shipping items like AR magazines, how do I describe them on the declaration form?
Thanks for any help you can provide,
Dave, there should not be any security issues with putting your return address on the package as it will never pass through Iraqi or third party hands in the delivery process. Only USPS and military personnel handle the mail. After your stepson receives his package it is standing orders at Camp Fallujah for him to 'sanitize' (burn) the address labels prior to discarding the package. If he follows procedure there should be no issues. If you're still worried just put down a similar but incorrect return address...
Technically, rank is required on all packages but the mail still gets delivered without it. Once the package gets to the unit level his admin/mail clerk should know who your stepson is regardless of whether his rank is on it or not.
This is a difficult question to answer due to legal and USPS regulations. Although the USPS requires that you list every item on on the declaration form, listing expensive items will result in the package possibly being pilfered while en route to your stepson. Sadly, there are shiitbirds that will read the declarations forms looking for high ticket items to steal. That said I always recommended to anybody sending me mail to list items in the most generic and nonspecific way possible. Items labeled as slings, electronics, DVD's, Camelbacks, Optics, etc are sure to be pilfered.
Perhaps you can label the package as "Magazines and other reading material" so as to seem as if they are periodicals as opposed to rifle magazines. In that description add toiletries, baby wipes, underwear, etc to make the package look like its not worth opening and stealing from.....
Also, unless he's in need and specifically requests things like toiletries, baby wipes, daily hygiene needs, socks, underwear, etc there is no need to send them as the PX at Camp Fallujah has everything he needs. Unless, of course, you want to save him some money by sending them. Best bet is to ask him what he'll need about a week or two after he gets there as he'll have a better feel for what he'll need. Just my .02....
Hope this helps......