In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

AKO Email

Two days ago, I had to officially give up my AKO email account, which is the Army’s Yahoo! Mail. I owned for seven years and the Army took it away from me without warning. Hundreds of people use this email, including every family member and college friend. And I’m pissed!

While I’ve been out of the Army since October, I figured they would allow me to keep AKO Web mail because of my overseas duty and nine years of selfless service. Perhaps it’s just me, but one would think the Army would like to keep close ties with veterans. So I emailed AKO’s help desk. And they sent me one of those generic responses that don’t tell you a damn thing. I swear, generic emails and computer operators are killing this country. What happened to service with a smile? When was the last time you actually talked to a person at a 1-800 number? OK, I digress. But seriously maybe we would be a lot happier in this country if we didn’t use so many machines every day. Enough said.

Back to AKO… Here’s a letter I plan to send to the secretary of the Army:

Dear Sir,

While you’re worrying about Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of U.S. servicemen are losing their email addresses every week. Restoring the and addresses to former servicemen should be your top priority.

I served in the Army for nine years and gave out my Army email address to everybody I knew, including girls at bars. What if one of these girls wakes up one day and finds an old napkin with my email?

My mother and father also have this email. And sir, my father is a forgetful person. He requested my email address 30 times before saving to his address folder.

So now, two days after AKO canceled my email, I have to give dad my email over again. Do you realize the strain that will put on my office routines? And my mother, sir. My good mother. She’s a good woman, but my email is the only address in her account. Please help my dear mother by restoring my email address. It would break my heart to know that she is emailing another Fred Minnick in the Army.


Fred Minnick
Former AKO Email User"


At 11:10 AM, Blogger Julie said...

Please let me know if you have any luck getting your account back Fred (I guess I can say your name now since you gave it out to everyone!) Apparently as a retiree I get to keep my AKO account forever, so maybe I can add you onto my account as a dependent - or family member - or whatever the politically correct term is these days. Keep me posted!

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Sminklemeyer said...

Wow, Julie, you want me to be a family member? I'm not sure if I'm ready for that kind of commitment.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger kbug said...

Hey, Casanova, are you sure Mrs. Acupuncture didn't pay them to discontinue the service so all those girls in the bars wouldn't be able to e-mail you??? :)

At 11:40 AM, Blogger JUST A MOM said...

hahah I like the kbug responce,, but really you are just a cornball!!!! and I think that is why we keep comeing by. just checking in on ya. :)

At 8:52 AM, Blogger SuperDawgman said...

Nine years is hardly Selfless Service. It takes twenty Years to officially call it "Selfless Service." Departing before that is pretty much self center due to one reason or another. Not putting you down. I commend you on you service to the good old US of A and wish more red blooded Americans had the gut to walk a few miles in our shoe for even half the time you spent. The fact remains the US Army (as well as DOD in general) has much more to spent funding on in the interest of protecting each and everyone of us when deployed than servicing email accounts for every serviceman and women that so much as completed basic training. The cost of maintaining the automation equipment required to support AKO alone is astronomical not to even being considering the manpower required to feed and water it on a daily basis. The US Army does recognizes the fact they could do more to honor a twenty plus year commitment to our country and one such perk is allowing retirees to maintain their AKO accounts for life. At least that has been and currently is the policy. All things are always subject to change. Our country has been in a continually state of flux through out its existence and will be in the forseeable future because we forever, "adapt and overcome." That's how we survive and always will. Don't be bitter about it and be thankful for the many years of free servcie you did receive at the average taxpayer's expense that has never served a day (and more likely cowers under their bed at night in fear of the thought a draft might ever emerge agin and call them to duty) and most likely never will.

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At 6:52 AM, Blogger John said...

Interesting... by SuperDawgman's test of "selfless service" almost none of our WWII veterans, Korean War veterans, Vietnam veterans, Gulf veterans or even OIF/OEF veterans qualify as "those giving selfless service." Wonder if he goes into the VFW and tells them to their faces.

What a jackass.

At 7:02 AM, Blogger latinal333 said...

Are you kidding me.. You're really gonna send that dumb letter. You said you did selfless service, but yet your complaining about a loosing email address. And you still have the nerve to say "while your worrying about iraq and afghanistan". This is the most reidiculous complaint I have yet to hear.
I cant believe you thought you were gonna keep your email when you got out of the Army, and you said you did 9 years. Im sure an E-1 with less than a year knows that his email will be closed as soon as he gets out.
I think your letter is ridiculous and stop complaining about something so simple, the Army has more important things to worry about.

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Jacob said...

Superdawgman, I'm not sure if you are self centered or stupid, but I'm pretty sure in your case they are not mutually exclusive. Your 20 years as a Guam Super Trooper doesn't compare to Iraq vets or any other soldier who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.

Anyway...At least they should allow a month grace period and a warning letter to notify you of impending email closure. For any soldier who was received a stop loss order, they should be really angry.

At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You have a lot of damn nerve. I can tell you must not have been Infantry because I am sure your 20 years were spent hiding under the bosses desk doing god knows what. Whether you served 1 year or 20 you still did this country a service. I left the Army a Sgt. E-5 and guess what I only stayed 4 years one of those years under stop loss and the last 18 months in Fallujah, Iraq. I am almost betting by how ignorant you write that I saw more shit in four years then you can ever have a wet dream about in 20. Give that man a break and let him be pissed off about his email.

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Dr. Bob said...

The cancelling of the e-mail is crap, especially without notification. However, the letter should focus on your service and status-active or inactive- you are still military, no? Drop the pain in the ass stuff about the parents and the chiks in bars-they do not care. If they don't respond, call John Stossel. . . Ok, that's my 2.

Please help.
I was searching for an olllld friend who joined the army in 1990-91. All these sites want $$$ and I just want to know that he's alive, doing what he said he was born to do. Problem is, his last name is Smith, seriously.

Good luck with the e-mail.

At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is related to surviving a traumatic event, in which you feel your life or someone else's life is threatened. These events can be catastrophic, such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and war zones. Often times the event may be more individualized, such as a serious car accident, physical or sexual abuse, or animal attack.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger T. said...

As far as SuperDawg, your thoughts on Selfless service are a joke. Tours of RCP isn't Selfless enough for you? Besides that, it doesn't cost them money to maintain each email account. The system was made, and it's all automated. As a prior web developer prior to joining the Army. The software was developed, the username was made, everything else is just there in the database. It would actually take time to remove it from the database rather than leaving it.

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At 8:41 PM, Blogger rafter.chick said...

Dear mega-whiner,
Have you HEARD of Gmail or Yahoo? They're FREE. And, even E1s [w/5 mins of svc] know this, too--as do 12-y-olds.
I agree the Army could issue a grace period beyond ETS &, as well, SHOULD issue a 60-day 'cease of AKO services' notice to ETSing GIs via AKO address. [Often we miss such notices for not keeping up--I'm guilty of that myself.]
Your 'call-out' reflects that it's just too bad that self-discipline is a diminished concept these days. Some of us vets had to crawl through the ranks & serve selflessly, regardless of wartime or peacetime, so don't use how you served as an excuse to seem like 'super ranger'. Expecting continued military-sponsored services, beyond what's briefed to you, is mind-boggling (regardless if how automatic they are at the front-end, there's customer support issues that do involve manning while accounts are still active & that costs taxpayer $$).
BTW, it's evident you have no concept of what it's like to be 'back at the ranch' being expected to perform ALL the scheduled missions with half the unit manning or less. [If I have to explain that, yet another point would be lost in your minds' 'hot tub of selfishness'.] Someone HAD to point this out.
And, let a former female GI help a soldier-brother out here: there's a reason that gals accept names on napkins: we can forget what that scrap was we just washed on laundry day (not to mention the guys like YOU who originated such scribings). Learn to be memorable & worthy of contacting.
Grow up. If anyone really cares to stay connected with you, they'll write you @ another email regardless.
Crimeny, stop making us look bad, will you? People like you are like a bad recruitment campaign. And, no matter what you blurt out merely because there are such venues now, you are NOT as priority as mobilized soldiers. Give me a break.

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