Free Mail for Troops Overseas [Updated October 19, 2006]   [open pdf - 31KB]

From the Summary: "Members of the armed forces on duty in designated combat areas can send personal correspondence, free of postage, to addresses in the United States. There has never been a comparable provision of free postage for letters or packages sent from family members in the United States to loved ones in wartime service overseas. Two bills (H.R. 923 and H.R. 2874) were introduced in the 109th Congress that would have allowed family members and, in the case of H.R. 2874, certain charities to send letters and packages to servicemen and women in combat zones free of postage. In a markup on September 29, 2005, the House Committee on Government Reform reported H.R. 923 in amended form as a bill that would have allowed service members overseas to send vouchers to family or loved ones that would have been redeemable for the postage expenses of one letter or 15-pound package per month. The text of H.R. 923 later passed the House as sections 575, 576, and 577 of H.R. 5122, the FY2007 defense authorization act. The version of H.R. 5122 that passed the Senate on June 22, 2006, did not contain the provision relating to mail for service members overseas. Ultimately, the free mail for troops provision was not included in either the FY2007 defense authorization act (P.L. [Public Law] 109-364) or the FY2007 defense appropriations act (P.L. 109- 289). This report originally was authored by Nye Stevens, who has retired from CRS. Readers may contact Kevin R. Kosar with questions on postal issues. This report will be updated should free-mail-for-troops legislation be introduced in a future Congress."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS22203
Public Domain
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