Writing and Receiving Letters During Deployments

Nothing is better than a letter from home, especially handwritten, so your Marine can read and re-read it at any time. Some facts about sending letters to deployed Marines:

  • It generally takes 10-14 days for letters to arrive to deployed Marines.
  • Sending a letter to a deployed Marine costs the same as first class domestic mail (41 cents at the time this page was updated)
  • Include photos from home when possible, with each letter you send.
  • Deployed Marines can send letters to the United States without postage; they write "Free Mail" at the top where you would normally put a stamp.
  • Deployed Marines DO need to affix postage to anything they send to the U.S. that is NOT letter size.
  • Deployed Marines that send mail to addresses other than the U.S. will need to affix postage.
  • You do NOT need to put your Marine's social security number on the envelope as part of the mailing address.
  • You DO NEED TO put a return address on the envelope; your Marine may remove the return address after receipt however. This is for security purposes.
  • If you are sending oversized envelopes, be sure to affix the proper domestic mail postage required to assure delivery to your Marine.

Suggested mailing dates for arrival by Christmas and Holidays:

You can generally count on up to 2 weeks for the packages to arrive at your Marine's base station, including FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) and various camps in and around Iraq and Afghanistan. As of the middle of 2007, US Postal regulations have changed such that we recommend Priority Mail for all APO/FPO shipping of parcels. (Remember flat rate boxes from the post office are most likely your best deal!) For Hannukah and other holidays, ship Priority Mail at least 2 weeks prior to your desired arrival date.

See below for the USPS 2011 Military Mailing Deadlines.

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