Hears from constituents expressing concern that servicemembers in Middle East are not receiving packages
WASHINGTON – After hearing from numerous nonprofit organizations, veteran service organizations, and servicemembers and their families, Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) today in a letter called for the Defense Department to examine and fix the developing problems in the delivery of mail to servicemembers serving overseas in Kuwait and Iraq.
With the rapid drawdown of troops currently happening in Iraq, many of them are being sent to Kuwaiti bases, which are unprepared to handle the influx of soldiers and subsequently their mail. It appears that letters and packages sent to servicemembers in Iraq are being delayed or returned to the sender because soldiers have not been provided with new addresses. This will significantly impact packages and mail sent during the holiday season.
“I have serious concerns about mail from loved ones not reaching U.S. servicemembers in Iraq and Kuwait in time for the holidays, despite individuals meeting delivery deadlines in early November to ship packages. With so many servicemen and women still away from their families and friends during the holidays, it’s disappointing that logistical challenges are affecting the prompt delivery of messages from home.
“The Pentagon must look into this issue immediately and resolve this issue without delay. My staff and I will continue to monitor the situation and work to get answers for New Hampshire families.”
The text of Bass’ letter to the Secretary of Defense follows:
December 13, 2011
Dear Secretary Panetta:
I am writing to request your attention to a matter of the utmost importance to me and my constituents in New Hampshire's Second Congressional District.
It has recently been brought to my attention that as the American military works to withdraw troops from Iraq, problems have developed in the delivery of mail to our soldiers currently serving in the Middle East. My understanding is that in most cases mail currently awaiting delivery in Kuwait and Iraq is going to be returned to the sender because soldiers have not been provided with new mailing addresses from the Department of Defense. While I understand the immense logistical challenges associated with troop reduction and reassignment, I am deeply concerned over this situation and believe it is imperative that our men and women in uniform are able to communicate with their loved ones during the holiday season.
This issue affects our troops, not only from New Hampshire but across the country, and could have a significant effect on morale. I urge you to become personally involved in seeking a prompt resolution to this issue and ensuring that a disruption to mail delivery for the Americans who have already sacrificed so much in service to our nation does not occur. In addition, I respectfully request information that I could pass on to New Hampshire families looking to contact friends and family members currently serving our nation. I look forward to a favorable resolution of this problem.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter and please let me know if I can be of any assistance.
Charles F. Bass
Member of Congress