LEXINGTON, Va. – A Lexington woman contacted 10 News for answers after a Christmas care package, mailed to her sailor grandson in Washington state, was returned damaged two days after Christmas.
Peggy Selden said her first thoughts when her husband brought the returned package into their home were, ""What happened? And why did it come back?"
Right now, her grandson is in port in Bremerton, Washington, aboard a Navy ship.
Selden said she's mailed plenty of care packages before and knows the protocol of how to get military packages to their destinations. That's why, she said, she was baffled when the U.S. Postal Service returned it.
"The Post Office needs to know how their operations are going, " Selden said. "They need to know their success stories, as well as their failures. I'm sorry, but this is a failure."
10 News contacted USPS to get answers about what happened.
A spokesperson sent this statement:
"As a general rule, mail sent to domestic military addresses does not require customs forms. However, most packages sent to U.S. naval vessels, even while in port in the United States, do require them. The customer’s package was addressed to a U.S. Navy ship with a domestic mailing address, which likely led to some confusion. Mail sent to U.S naval vessels should not include a city name or state and are assigned special ZIP Codes."
Selden said she asked postal workers if she needed to include a customs form with the package and they told her "no."
USPS said anyone with questions about military mail can find more information here: https://www.usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-dpo.htm.
The USPS spokesperson apologized for the inconvenience to Selden's family. Selden said she hopes to get her money back so she can send the next care package to her grandson.