Stars and Stripes, the "independent news source for the U.S. Military community," as they call themselves, had an article last week (17DEC09) in which they documented that Wal-Mart charged as much as *five times* for shipping a $120 order to a military APO/FPO address as to a "stateside" address.
What most people don't realize is that an APO/FPO address IS "stateside"!
The Army or Navy then takes possession of the mail/package and covers the cost of transporting it to the Service Member wherever he or she might be in the world.
Wal-Mart's actions in this regard represent the most cynical kind of exploitation of Service Members and their families imagineable.
Today, Stars and Stripes is reporting that Wal-Mart, which has staunchly refused their requests for interviews, has issued an email in which they announce a change in their shipping policies such that items sent to APO/FPO addresses from now on will be charged the same amount of shipping as to any other "stateside" address.
Target, by contrast, recently had *free* shipping of items to APO/FPO addresses, in time for Christmas. They do not charge extra at other times for shipping to APO/FPO addresses.
Wal-Mart seems to have come around somewhat (this 'enlightenment' coincides with the end of Chanukah, interestingly...), but I suggest they have a way to go yet.
Many thanks to Target and other retailers for *really* supporting our OCONUS (Outside the CONtinental U.S.) troops in this small but significant manner!
Blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ