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The Air Force's GI Mail ceases to exist at midnight tonight.
"Our biggest concern is the folks in the Gulf ó they're losing their morale e-mail," said Jeff Newhouse, operations officer for HR Technologies, which operates Air Force Crossroads. That Web site, which hosted the GI Mail program, no longer will be funded by the Air Force.
Newhouse said the Air Force notified the company Nov. 23 that the contract would end a week later.
"GI Mail will cease to exist because of the growing concerns regarding network security and unauthorized access," a Nov. 24 Air Force announcement stated.
Many of the 205,000 registered GI Mail users are not aware of the cancellation, Newhouse said, because of the short Thanksgiving holiday week.
"Folks are coming back and seeing this and are shocked," he said, noting that his company had received more than 1,000 e-mails over the Thanksgiving weekend. He said a number of people in other branches of service use GI Mail. It was available to anyone registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.
The company has not yet determined what it will do with Air Force Crossroads, the long-time official community Web site for the Air Force, Newhouse said.
The Air Force announcement said its spouse forum will resume Dec. 1, offering a securing Air Force environment for spouses.
Air Force officials announced that they were making a transition from the Crossroads Web site to www.usafservices.com, which will offer "official community information, secure spouse forums, and social networking applications." They also cited Defense Department Web sites such as www.militaryonesource.com and www. Militaryhomefront.dod.mil.