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Friday, November 09, 2007

Don't Send That Card

As a librarian I get questions like this ALL of the time:

What do you know about this?
A Great Idea!!!
When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:
A Recovering American soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

I'm also running it past my favorite fact-guru in the SBDC Research Network Library, to see if he's got any info on this one, right off the top of his head.
(That would be me.) If it does turn out to be okay, then I'm gonna fax this to both the elementary and middle schools in my district, as well!
(This might also be a good project for Sunday School!)
Let's wait and see! [Even though, to be totally honest, I don't see how it could do any harm....EXCEPT as being a scam to enlarge some company's mailing list by gathering return addresses....I'm awfully paranoid and mistrustful, aren't I?

As it turns out, a comic book artist I've known named Steve Bissette wrote on this very subject recently.

Since this recent email circulating among the Bissette clan -- remember, I do come from a military family -- may also be passing among others of you out there, the followup below is timely. I mention Trudeau, too, because his CCS visit involved discussion of Garry's ongoing work with our military (which I'll get into later this week) and support of various veterans support groups, hospices, systems and charities.

See, there's a hitch (pun intended): the American Legion Auxiliary sent cards last Christmas to vets at Walter Reed, and the cards were returned as "undeliverable."

The following information from Walter Reed Army Medical Center should clarify matters, and offer those of you who care a few viable alternatives:

Mail to Wounded and Recovering Soldiers

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.
Other organizations that offer means of showing your support for our troops or assist wounded service members and their families include:
USO Cares,
To Our Soldiers,
and the Red Cross.
For individuals without computer access, your local military installation, the local National Guard or military reserve unit in your area may offer the best alternative to show your support to our returning troops and their families. Walter Reed Army Medical Center will continue to receive process and deliver all mail that is addressed to a specific individual.

As Walter Reed continues to enhance the medical care and processes for our returning service members, it must also keep our patients and staff members safe while following Department of Defense policy. The outpouring of encouragement from the general public, corporate America and civic groups throughout the past year has been incredible. Our Warriors in Transition are amazed at the thanks and support they receive from their countrymen.

So, the "harm" would be to mobilize a whole lot of people to work on a project, the end result of which would be a bunch of letters returned to sender.


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