The Blog

The Scandal of the Army's Mail

Some troops on the front lines haven't received mail in two months. Our soldiers deserve better.

2:30 PM, Apr 15, 2003 • By JONATHAN FOREMAN
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One sergeant at the morale meeting said he'd heard that at the beginning of the war there was only a six-man postal detachment at Camp Doha in Kuwait handling all the mail for the entire theater. "Now they're missing 15 Milvans [containers] between Camp Virginia [in Kuwait] and Objective Rams [halfway up Iraq]. It includes a month of our mail," he added.

But it doesn't matter where the mail is piling up. What matters is that it's not getting where it should.

In the words of Captain John Hudson (whose wife has sent "a couple of videos on disc of our eight month old crawling that I can't wait to get"). "I expected mail to get screwed up once we got the green light and crossed the border and crossed the desert. We had enough problems getting fuel and ammunition and food--though less than I expected. But now that we're in a more stable environment, we should be getting fairly stable mail flow. And when we were back in Kuwait there was no excuse at least after the first week when we were new kids on the block."

The GIs in the desert--and their families--deserve better treatment than this.

The troops will keep on fighting and doing their job with extraordinary professionalism. It's a shame that those entrusted with the duty of getting mail to the troops apparently don't seem share that dedication.

Jonathan Foreman is embedded with V Corps in Iraq.