Military Mail in the Middle East

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Many soldiers say receiving mail is a big moral booster. And the United States Postal Service says it expects a large increase in military mail to troops in the Middle East.

There are certain things the USPS says the public needs to remember when sending packages and letter to military personnel. First, spokesman Michael Lee says sending a letter or package to the Persian Gulf costs the same as it would to send it domestically. But he also says that customs forms need to be filled out and return address provided.

There are certain items that cannot be sent, such as tobacco, firearms, aerosol sprays, and obscene materials. One major change is that each letter and package requires specific names and addresses. In prior conflicts, letters could be addressed to "any soldier," but this is no longer the case.

The Red Cross is expected to take care package donations soon. Their program to provide care packages has been put on hold for the time being. But Red Cross officials say games, books, music, non-perishable food items, and toiletries are being requested.

For those without specific contacts or troops to send packages to, many Web sites are providing adopt-a-soldier programs.