To bolster force protection, the general public is urged not to send unsolicited mail, care packages or donations to service members forward deployed unless you are a family member, loved one or personal friend. Mail from family members and loved ones has always been encouraged and the military mail system will continue to work hard to get that mail to service members overseas.
There are many well meaning Web sites, TV stations, and charity groups that are promoting donations to overseas service members. While well intentioned, you should not use them and you should discourage others from using them. These unsolicited letters of support or care packages to service members raise a force protection issue, since anonymous donors are different from legitimate family members and friends. DoD has cancelled mail programs which encouraged the American public in general to mail to "Any Service Member" (versus a specific deployed person). These new programs attempt to do the same thing by gathering names of service members to send mail. While legitimate mail from family members and loved ones is always encouraged, these donor programs, which collect and pass out service membersí names and addresses, is discouraged.
On Oct. 30, 2002, the Department of Defense (DoD) suspended the "Operation Dear Abby" and "Any Servicemember" traditional mail programs due to force protection concerns. The Department of the Navy and the DoD cannot support creative and well-intentioned efforts that defeat force protection measures.
Questions about finding the e-mail address of a Navy person are addressed on our e-mail FAQ page.