To Whom It May Concern... Happy Holidays!
Date Added: Nov. 13, 2007
It's a well-known fact of life that sometimes the best intentions can cause problems when people don't think things through. This one seems like a good idea - and something that many people will want to participate in - but, had its originator done some checking first, they would have realized the problems it will cause.
When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:
A Recovering American Soldier
If you approve of the idea, please pass it on to your e-mail list.
Who wouldn't want to show their support of our soldiers and what better (and easier) way to do so than to include them on your Christmas list? This idea first surfaced in early November, 2007, and quickly caught on as a popular idea.
The problem with it? The intended recipients will never see the cards sent in this manner. The U.S. Postal Service is not allowed to deliver letters or packages addressed to 'Any Wounded Soldier' or 'A Recovering American Soldier," and the Walter Reed Medical Center is not allowed to accept any such parcels.
From a November 2007 statement on the Walter Reed Web site:
Walter Reed Army Medical Center officials want to remind those individuals who want to show their appreciation through mail to include packages, letters, and holiday cards addressed to 'Any Wounded Soldier' or 'A Recovering American Soldier' that Walter Reed cannot accept these packages in support of the decision by then Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Transportation Policy in 2001. This decision was made to ensure the safety and well being of patients and staff at medical centers throughout the Department of Defense.
In addition, the U.S. Postal Service is no longer accepting "Any Service Member" or "A Recovering American Soldier" letters or packages. Mail to "Any Service Member" that is deposited into a collection box will not be delivered.
But all hope need not be lost. In early December 2007, Walter Reed posted an updated notice on their site announcing a partnership with the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Government Solutions through which you can send cards to wounded soldiers.
With the support of the U.S. Department of Defense and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and with help from Pitney Bowes Government Solutions, the American Red Cross will collect, review and distribute holiday greeting cards to wounded military personnel. For security reasons, the Red Cross will be able to accept only holiday cards but not packages. Red Cross volunteers will receive and bundle the cards, which will be shipped by Pitney Bowes Government Solutions. Then, Red Cross volunteers at the medical facilities will distribute the cards throughout the holiday season.
Please address your holiday cards to:
We Support You During Your Recovery!
Be sure to affix adequate postage. Cards must be received no later than December 27. Cards received after this date will be returned to the sender. Again, senders are reminded that "care packages" are not part of the program--send only cards and notes. Also, please refrain from using glitter or any other inserts that would not be appropriate in a hospital environment.
Medical center staff also ask that you consider making a donation to one of the more than 300 nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping our troops and their families. They point to the "America Supports You" website, for a listing. They also recommend USOCares.org, To Our Soldiers and the American Red Cross.
Break this chain.
References: Walter Reed Army Medical Center, NetworkWorld.com