5 years, 12 months ago
Not too long ago, sending anonymous Christmas letters and cards to the wounded was impossible.
The U.S. Postal Service will not deliver any letter, post card, or package that is not addressed to a specific individual. Anything sent to “A Recovering Soldier,” “Any Wounded Soldier,” or “Any Service Member” is unacceptable.
“We cannot accept any mail that is not specifically addressed to an individual or an organization at the medical center,” says Terry Goodman of Walter Reed.
Sometimes one of these letters will make it through to the medical center. If that happens, it is returned to sender. Goodman says officials are just following Department of Defense policy designed to ensure the safety of patients and staff at all military hospitals.
And don’t try to contact Walter Reed or any other military medical facility to get the name of a wounded service member to write. Because of medical privacy regulations, hospital officials can’t give out that information.
But Soldiers’ Angels and American Red Cross have stepped up to the plate, trustworthy servants of the armed forces that they are.
A holiday greeting or a “Get Well” wish can brighten the day of a servicemember recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
However, hundreds of thousands of cards addressed to “Any Servicemember,” or a variant thereof, were returned to senders last year due to security concerns. A Defense Department policy in effect since 2001 specifically forbids the delivery of generically addressed mail to servicemembers.
This year two organizations have stepped in to ensure this type of mail makes it to servicemembers and does what it’s intended to do … boost morale.
Soldier’s Angels and the Red Cross serving the metropolitan Washington, D.C.-area will collect, screen, and deliver the well-wishes of those who want to brighten the day of a wounded servicemember recovering away from home this holiday season.
Those wishing to send a letter or a card to a recovering servicemember should send those cards to either:
1792 E. Washington Blvd.
Pasadena, Calif. 91104
We Support You During Your Recovery!
c/o American Red Cross
P.O. Box 419
Savage, MD 20763-0419
But time is short. Your letter or card needs to be in the mail very soon. If you feel inclined to contribute more this Christmas season, there are many good charities associated with our service. Ralph Peters has a very moving commentary in the New York Post, Semper Fi, Semper Fi: Injured Marines Fighting On. He ends a very personal account of his visit with wounded Marines by saying:
You can donate to the Warrior and Family Support Center project via credit card by phone at 1-888-343-HERO or on the Web at ReturningHeroesHome.org.
To give by mail, send donations to:
Returning Heroes Home
P.O. Box 202194
Dallas, TX 75320-2194
Checks should be made out to Returning Heroes Home, Inc. This is a nonprofit 501c3 endeavor; all donations are tax-deductible.
All contributions, in any amount, will help our wounded warriors. Please give to those who gave so much.
Here is a short presentation of their mission and plan for the future.
Whatever you are inclined to do, please do so soon. I thank you, and our wounded warriors thank you.