News10NBC Investigates: USS Nimitz returns to port but still no care packages

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Friday the USS Nimitz, a navy aircraft carrier, arrived in San Diego after an 11-month tour at sea.

Who knew that would be part of a News10NBC investigation. But it is.

We have been tracking care packages mailed to sailors and marines on the Nimitz that haven’t arrived.

Our investigation started with a story about a package mailed before Christmas from Gates. After that, we heard from families of sailors all across the country. Now we have some answers from the USPS and the Navy.

"It’s a little box, about this big. Standard size," Dave Brown said.

The story started with Dave Brown, a navy veteran who lives in Chili.

On Dec. 4, he sent a package in a box to his nephew, a sailor on the Nimitz.

On Dec. 5 it left Rochester and arrived at the USPS international distribution center in Chicago the same day.

On Dec. 6, it left Chicago for a USPS facility in New York City.

It arrived on Jan. 11.

Exactly one minute later it left New York and got shipped back to the same center in Chicago.

Two days later it was on the move again, to a facility eight miles away.

The tracking history says it took 20 days to get there.

Five hours after it arrived, the care package retraced those eight miles back to the international distribution center.

On Feb. 3 at 4:52 p.m., it left Chicago.

That’s the last known movement.

The care package logged 2,278 miles before it even sniffed the pacific ocean.

"I’m amazed. I’m concerned." Brown said. "I’m wondering if he’ll every really get it."

"When I saw that date I thought, that’s weird, that’s the same date I sent mine," Shawn Shaw said.

Shaw is from Tennessee and is the mother of Carson Shaw, a sailor on the Nimitz.

On her way to see her son in San Diego Friday morning, she told me her package hasn’t arrived.

"It’s been since December the 4th," she said. "My sister has sent him stuff. His aunt has sent him things and he hasn’t received any of it."

The same thing happened to Jim Michaud in Evansville, Indiana.

His son Tim is a sailor on the Nimitz.

The tracking of his package shows it sat in his local post office for a month.

"Then it went to Louisville, Kentucky. Then it went to New Jersey. Then it went to Jamaica, New York," he said.

It got to Chicago Feb. 2.

"So almost two months to go six hours north," Michaud said.

The postal service and the Navy told me they’re investigating.

"The Postal Service sincerely apologizes for issues with delivery of these packages. With almost 73,000 veterans, USPS is one of the largest employers of veterans in the country. We take our role in delivering to our nation’s military service members seriously," USPS spokeswoman Susan Wright wrote in an email to me. "We are aware the last scans on two of these items indicate they have been tendered to the military post office and are actively working to resolve this matter."

In a phone conversation later, I asked about the travel logs of the packages. Wright said that is "not usual" and said it’s under investigation.

In an email, the Navy said "we received your query and have asked the questions to our postal lead. Will get back to you soonest."