Military mail a security, logistics problem - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Military mail a security, logistics problem

March 25, 2003

Undated-- The Department of Defense has asked Americans to stop sending cards, letters, and care package gifts to the troops in the Middle East. Family members can still write their individual friends and loved ones deployed in the war zone.

The Armed Forces has some different ideas on how to show your support for the troops because of security reasons. Even the military Post Office at the Albany Marine Corps Logistic Base has seen an increase in their volume since the war began.

Assistant Mail Manager Sgt. Shea Lemuel said "We get about four trays of letters and anywhere from 50 boxes a day that actually come in for civilian personnel and military personnel aboard the base."

Lemuel says she can imagine the difficulty trying to get mail to fighting men and women in the Middle East. Security is the big reason that sending care packages through the "Any Servicemember Program" was halted. "Even on a small base like this can cause big issues with people sending mail without a return address. That can be a big thing, especially with bombs and things like that," Sgt. Lemuel said.

The Department of Defense suggests if you want to show your support, send virtual greetings and Thank you cards to the troops through websites that you can link to by going to our website, WALB.com.

 They ask you to make donations to organizations like the Navy/Marine Relief Society, Operation U.S.O. Care Package, or American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services. They also suggest supporting V.A. hospitals and nursing homes to honor veterans who have served in past conflicts. And reach out to military families in your community, especially those with loved ones overseas.

Sgt. Lemuel said "If they check with their post offices, they could end with a lot of unnecessary things being sent to the soldiers and Marines that are stationed abroad."

The Department of Defense says there are over 300,000 servicemembers deployed in the Middle East. Officials at Albany's M.C.L.B. say there are 15 Marines from their base that are serving in the War on Iraq.

posted at 5:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com