WATERTOWN - For 20 years Wendy Rocca and her dedicated squad of volunteers at Operation American Soldier have sent care packages to our troops deployed overseas, folks like George Macmasters' son.
"Well, he was just thankful that no one had forgotten him over there," said George MacMasters.
Working out of the basement of the Marine Corps League in Watertown, 1,700 boxes went out last year, comfort items ranging from peanut butter to toilet paper, along with a personal note of thanks for their service. But the non-profit says a change by the postal service threatens it all.
"I can't fathom why they would do this," Rocca said.
That's because next week, the flat rate box that many non-profits have used for years to send military care packages is going away.
The post office is scrapping the regional rate "B" box which costs these volunteers just over $14 to ship overseas. But come Monday, their only fixed rate option will be a slightly bigger box, costing more than $21.
"Now they're going to add six bucks a box because they are taking this away. It doesn't work," Rocca said.
And if they pack their own boxes, they will be charged by weight and size, more expensive and more difficult. They understand the U.S. Postal Service is drowning in red ink, but don't think a hit to non-profits serving our troops makes cost saving sense.
'It's a good program and I would hate to see it have to end," Macmasters said.
"This is a great, great service to the troops and it's going to be cut way back," Bill Byrne said.
Cut way back, because their $25,000 annual shipping budget could balloon by a third or more. So, they're hoping for an 11th hour political Hail Mary to keep on packing.
"Bring back these boxes," Rocca said. "It's not that hard."
for more features.