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The hidden burden: Why Military Mail should be postage-free

By Staff | Jun 7, 2024

To the editor:

In the land of the free and the home of the brave, it’s astounding that the family members and those supporting our brave men and women serving in our military still have to pay postage for letters and packages sent to them.

This is a practice that demands reconsideration, as it reduces the amount of expressed appreciation of those who are already sacrificing so much for our country.

A recent volunteer effort of the Cascades community in River Hall, Fort Myers, to purchase, package, and ship 31 boxes of donated items including useful personal items and snacks to active-duty members required over $652 in postage.

When we send mail to our active-duty military personnel, we are not merely sending letters and packages — we are sending support, love, and a piece of home. These tokens of affection and gratitude are crucial for their morale, especially when they are stationed far from family and friends in challenging and often dangerous environments. It is nothing short of ridiculous that the family and friends of these heroes, who are actively protecting our freedoms–including the operations of the United States Postal Service–should have to pay for them to receive mail.

These costs, though seemingly minor to some, can add up and become a significant issue, especially in today’s economy.

Moreover, when packages and letters are clearly addressed to “military posts,” it stands to reason that the logistical burden of postage cost should not be required. These service members are stationed at defined locations, often within the infrastructure of the military itself. The mail is a lifeline, and its delivery should be facilitated without additional charges.

The solution is straightforward: Eliminate postage fees for mail sent to active military personnel. This is not only a gesture of gratitude but a practical step that acknowledges the unique sacrifices made by our service members. It is a small but significant way to show that we value their commitment and that we are willing to support them in every way possible.

As a nation, we must reflect on how we treat those who protect us. Removing postage fees for military mail is a simple, tangible way to demonstrate our appreciation and support. It’s time we ensure that our heroes can receive morale-boosting letters and packages from home without the added worry of postage costs. Let’s honor their service by addressing this issue and making military mail postage-free. It’s a small step with a big impact, and it’s the least we can do for those who do so much for us.

Richard Erschik

veteran, U.S. Army, Vietnam War