USPS Encourages Writing Letters to Service Members

With Veterans Day just around the corner, USPS is encouraging Americans to salute the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military by using the new Purple Heart Medal Forever stamp issued in early September.

“The Postal Service helps families stay connected to their loved ones who defend our country,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “Service members look forward to letters from home. When springing into action, letters from home are not left behind on a cot or at the bottom of a duffle bag. Those letters are tucked safely in pockets. They’re kept close to their heart—and they’re pulled out and read again and again.”

Mail sent to service members at Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO) and Diplomat Post Office (DPO) addresses is mailed at the domestic rather than international price. As a domestic stamp, the Purple Heart Medal Forever stamp is good for mailing one-ounce cards and letters addressed to individuals at these locations. Using the current First-Class one-ounce letter price, the stamp can also be applied to mailing packages.

Available nationwide in sheets of 20, the stamps can be purchased online at or by calling 800-STAMP-24 ().

Second only to the Pentagon in hiring veterans, the U.S. Postal Service employs more than 108,000 former service men and women—comprising nearly one in five employees in its career workforce. Today, almost 1,000 dedicated postal employees continue to serve in an active duty status.

Show Support for U.S. Veterans With Purple Heart Medal Stamps

Show your support for the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the U.S. armed forces with the Purple Heart Medal Forever® stamp. The stamp has a 45-cent value and will be valid for First Class postage forever, regardless of any increase in postage rates. The First Class rate will increase in January 2013, so this is a great time to show your support for our veterans.

This includes a sheet of 20 Purple Heart Medal stamps and an envelope with an affixed stamp and and an official First Day of Issue postmark. The stamp was issued September 4, 2012.

Happy Veterans Day

This Veterans Day, the Postal Service is proud to honor all of our nation’s veterans and those men and women who continue to serve in the military.

President Woodrow Wilson established the first predecessor to Veterans Day—Armistice Day—in 1919, intending the day be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory.” Set on November 11, Armistice Day originally celebrated the signing of the armistice by Germany and the Allies that ended World War I—on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. But it wasn’t until 1938 that Congress passed an act making Armistice Day a federal holiday, set aside to honor veterans of WWI.

In 1954, after World War II—in which the armed forces deployed more than 16 million Americans to fight, 405,000 of which lost their lives—and the Korean War, Congress amended the 1938 act, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. November 11 then became a day to honor veterans of all wars. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a proclamation later that same year, stating, “in order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will join hands in the common purpose.” A decorated Army vet himself, Eisenhower understood the importance of recognizing the brave souls who dedicate their lives to protecting our country.

From 1971–1977, Veterans Day was held on the fourth Monday of October instead of November 11, much like the observance of Washington’s and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthdays, in an effort to grant more three-day weekends to Federal employees. After much public backlash, Veterans Day was officially moved back to November 11 in 1978—to the overwhelming support of state governments and veterans’ organizations.

Since 1978, Veterans Day has remained on its rightful day of observance, restoring the focus of the holiday back to remembering those lost in conflict, celebrating victory, and showing a nation’s gratitude to the people who help protect it.

We thank all veterans and military personnel for your brave service to our country and wish you all a happy Veterans Day.