Care package for sailor on USS Nimitz bounces 2,278 miles between Roc, NYC and Chicago

Berkeley Brean
Updated: February 17, 2021 06:41 PM
Created: February 17, 2021 06:39 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A lot of us experienced delays with packages around Christmas, but we never saw a problem like the one we're investigating now.

It's a care package for a sailor at sea. And News10NBC tracked it as it ping-ponged from one place to another. 

Dave Brown is an old sailor living in Chili.

He retired as a chief petty officer after two decades of service.

"I had a lot of fun. Went overseas and got care packages," Brown said. 

So that's why he wanted to send his nephew, 1st Class Aviation Ordinance Specialist Eric Brown, a care package as he is deployed on the USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean.

Brown mailed the package from his nearest post office in Gates. 

"It's a little box, about this big," he said holding his hands in the shape of a box in front of him. "Standard size."

The receipt shows Brown mailed it on Dec. 4. 

Here's the travel log of this care package. 

  • 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 City 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 in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. 
  • 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. 

Brean: "You must have thought — what the heck is going on here?"

Dave Brown: "I actually chuckled and thought — well, they've eaten all the food. They sealed it back up and they're just throwing it around from place to place."

USPS says the distribution center in Chicago is where all military packages go. I asked — where is the care package and why did it bounce all over the place?

Wednesday morning, USPS told me it's still investigating. 

I contacted the Pentagon. It's not aware of any systematic problem with military deliveries. 

Brown says he got a discount because he was sending the care package to a ship at sea. 

"And I thought, wow, this is really great," he said. "I'm amazed. I'm concerned. I'm wondering if he'll ever really get it."

The USS Nimitz has been at sea since June. Brown says he sent a care package back then and it got to his nephew in two weeks. 


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