Operation Iraqi Freedom correspondence
This envelope was mailed by U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Peter Paone during his deployment to Iraq in 2008. It bears his writing of “FREE” enacting the privilege of waiving postage fees granted to service members in designated contingency zones. It has been postmarked “Military Post Office, APO AE 09391.” The envelope contained a four-page letter addressed to Paone’s son Tom (see museum ID 2011.2021.2).
The logistics of getting mail to service members in the Middle East is the responsibility of the Military Postal Service Agency. Mail destined for Iraq is forwarded to New York from where it is flown to the International Airport at Bahrain. From there it is distributed by smaller cargo aircraft or convoys on an almost daily basis to major military bases around the Middle East where it is sorted and distributed by individual Military Post Offices.