Mail delivery to service members in Iraq winds down

With the announcement that the 43,000 U.S. troops left in Iraq will leave by the end of the year, the U.S. Postal Service will soon stop accepting mail addressed to military post offices in the country.

After Nov. 17, USPS will delete the ZIP codes for Iraq military post offices from its databases, Defense officials announced Wednesday. Items en route to Iraq as of Nov. 17 still will be delivered.

Service members remaining in Iraq under assignments for the Office of Security Cooperation or the Chief of Mission in Iraq will receive mail through the State Department embassy and consulate post offices.

The disruption of mail services could cause problems for service members voting.

According to a report released by the Federal Voting Assistance Program earlier this month, many service members stationed overseas indicated they did not receive an absentee ballot for the November 2010 elections. FVAP said the problem could be exacerbated for this year's elections due to troop reductions.

The Pentagon advised service members to coordinate with their unit voting assistance officers and U.S. Local Election Office to ensure they receive an absentee ballot in time.

"All military members need to be cognizant of the changes and make sure they're thinking about that as well," Defense spokeswoman Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan said.

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