WILMINGTON, DE (Talon News) — A mother of a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq is unable to ship over 300 air conditioners to the troops serving in the arid, war-torn country because they are being held up by the United States Postal Service in Wilmington, Delaware.
Mrs. Frankie Mayo, who came up with the idea to start Operation Air Conditioner, received word last Friday that the 302 brand new units she tried to send to the American soldiers could not be shipped because they contain Freon, a class 2 compressed gas.
But the air conditioners that are waiting to be shipped contain less than 12 kilograms of Freon, easily meeting the shipping requirements by the USPS.
Mayo said these air conditioners will help keep America’s armed forces from suffering from heat stroke and allow them to get more comfortable sleep. The response from the soldiers has been overwhelming, and the requests for more units have increased dramatically.
“We must cut through any red tape to get [our soldiers] what they need,” Mayo said, frustrated by the bureaucratic stonewalling. “Delays are costing American soldiers lives. I will not accept failure as it is not an option for me nor my family.”
Interestingly, since Mayo mailed her son the first air conditioner unit in June, more than 425 air conditioners have been shipped to Iraq. Neither the USPS nor the Pentagon have been critical of the shipments prior to last Friday.
Supporters of Operation Air Conditioner are urging concerned citizens to contact Postmaster General John Potter by calling him at 202-268-2000, faxing him at 202-268-5211, or emailing him at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, Mayo has enlisted the services of Logistics, Inc., a shipping company in Baltimore, Maryland to help deliver the air conditioners to the troops in Iraq. Logistics President and Owner Remie Danielson found that the units meet all shipping regulations. As a goodwill gesture, Danielson gave Mayo a reduced rate to have 400 air conditioners shipped immediately to Iraq next week.