We have come across a couple of emails and sites that all encourage us to send Christmas cards to our soldiers. We certainly support the effort but before rushing out to get additional cards, we decided to do a little fact checking.
This is what you may see:
Worthwhile holiday idea: If you still do Christmas cards (and if not, you can still buy one when out shopping), take one card and send it to this address:
A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001
If we pass it on and everyone sends a card, what a wonderful way to say thanks to these special, brave soldiers who have given so much that we may live as we do in this great land. (If you are, or know some teachers, what a way to send a bunch while creating a teaching moment.)
Well, Snopes.com is always a great place for checking the validity of any posts that sound like a great idea. So this is what we found on the Walter Reed post:
Walter Reed Army Medical Center officials want to remind those individuals who want to show their appreciation through mail to include packages and letters, addressed to “Any Wounded Soldier” that Walter Reed will not be accepting 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 “Any Wounded Service Member” letters or packages. Mail to “Any Service Member” that is deposited into a collection box will not be delivered.
Instead of sending an “Any Wounded Soldier” letter or package to Walter Reed, please consider making a donation to one of the more than 300 nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping our troops and their families listed on the “America Supports You” website.
Now the American Red Cross does offer a program where you can send Christmas Cards to our soldiers but today December 10, 2010 is the deadline. Here is the address:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
All cards must be postmarked no later than Friday, December 10th. Cards postmarked after this date will unfortunately be returned to the sender. This deadline ensures enough time to sort and distribute cards before the holidays.
After the mailbox closes, the cards we received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.
So if you still have a few hours to spare today, please send cards to our soldiers before it is too late.