STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS
By Ms. STABENOW:
S. 1707. A bill to amend title 39, United States Code, to provide for free mailing privileges for personal correspondence and certain parcels sent from within the United States to members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty abroad who are engaged in military operations involving armed conflict against a hostile foreign force, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Governmental Affairs.
Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the Providing Our Support to Troops or POST Act of 2003. This bill would provide free mailing privileges for letters and packages sent from within the United States to members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty abroad who are engaged in military operations involving armed conflict against a hostile foreign force. This bill is a companion bill to Representative LUCAS's H.R. 2705, a bill with 31 bipartisan cosponsors in the House of Representatives.
Our troops overseas can send mail and packages to their loved ones at no cost, but their families must pay postage to do the same. As the holidays approach, the families back here in the States are not only not able to give their Christmas or Hanukah presents to their loved ones in person, but they have to pay postage to do so.
Two constituents of mine, both mothers of servicemen in Iraq, brought this inequity to my attention. Renee Walton from Lincoln Park, MI, mother of twins Jeremy and Joshua who are serving in the Marine Corps, writes, "I believe this is something all the troops' families will benefit from and most especially the soldier who is waiting patiently for a package from home."
Suzann Sareini, a Dearborn resident, says, "As a mother of one of the brave individuals in our armed forces fighting for this country, I believe this act exhibits a tremendous amount of patriotic gratitude for the sacrifices being made by members of the military and their families. This small gesture would be invaluable in its contribution to the morale of our soldiers waiting patiently for packages from back home."
I wholeheartedly agree with these two Michigan moms.
Currently 2,500 Michigan Guard and Reserves are on active duty, many of whom are serving in Iraq or Afghanistan or fighting the war against terrorism around the globe. That means that there are thousands of families who will have an empty seat at the Thanksgiving table and will be missing a loved one during the holidays. But, by providing free postage for these families, we are making it easier for them to stay in touch with their loved ones and provide them with moral support. This is only fair since our service men and women have so unselfishly made great sacrifices to protect us and our country. This is a small gesture, but one that will speak loudly in the hearts of our troops and their families.
I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the RECORD.