1. #1
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    Diane E's Avatar
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    Dec 1998
    Maryland (but always a Long Islander first)

    Unhappy Sending letters to "Any Soldier"

    Sorry, can't find the post (and I did a search) that someone mentioned sending cards to Walter Reed...It may be a fruitless effort:

    U.S. Refuses 'Any Wounded Soldier' Mail
    Posted: 2007-12-11 21:14:15
    Filed Under: Nation News

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Dec. 11) - Hundreds of thousands of holiday cards and letters thanking wounded American troops for their sacrifice and wishing them well never reach their destination. They are returned to sender or thrown away unopened.

    Since the Sept. 11 attacks and the anthrax scare, the Pentagon and the Postal Service have refused to deliver mail addressed simply to "Any Wounded Soldier" for fear terrorists or opponents of the war might send toxic substances or demoralizing messages.

    Mail must be addressed to a specific member of the armed forces - a rule that pains some well-meaning Americans this Christmas season.

    "Are we going to forget our soldiers because we are running in fear?" Fena D'Ottavio asked. The suburban Chicago woman was using her blog to encourage friends to send mail to unspecified soldiers until she learned of the ban, which she called a sad commentary on society.

    Last season, despite the rule, officials say as many as 450,000 pieces of mail not addressed to anyone in particular managed to reach Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. But they were returned or, if they had no return address, were thrown out altogether, because the hospital lacked the manpower to open and screen all the mail, spokesman Terry Goodman said.

    "A lot of this is because of security concerns because it's unsolicited mail that someone is going to have to go through," Goodman said. "Also, being a democratic society, there could be inappropriate mail from someone who, say, doesn't support the war, and then you've got a wounded soldier getting it."

    Lt. Col. Kevin Arata, a spokesman with the Army Human Resources Command, said no one tracks the amount of unnamed-soldier mail being returned, so it is impossible to judge the size of the problem.

    The busiest part of the holiday season has yet to arrive, but officials said they are receiving far less mail this year addressed simply to "A Recovering American Soldier" or "Any Wounded Soldier."

    Candy Roquemore of Austin, Texas, was also promoting the idea of sending cards to wounded soldiers until she found out about the rule. She suggested the ban is an overreaction.

    "I think there are some wackos who might do something, so I can understand that. But I think with a Christmas postcard it would be pretty easy to see it doesn't have anthrax in it," Roquemore said.

    She added: "I just wanted to say, 'Thank you, sorry you're hurt, and happy holidays.'"

    USO spokesman John Hanson said that like the military, the nonprofit service organization does not deliver unopened mail to unspecified recipients. He said the USO worries about security as well as hateful messages from war critics.

    "We just want to make sure it's not, 'Die, baby killer,'" he said. "There are people out there who act irrationally, and we don't want anyone to get a message that would be discouraging."

    The USO is one of the organizations the military is encouraging people to support with donations as an alternative to sending cards to unspecified soldiers. The military is also referring people to the American Red Cross and a Defense Department Web site where supporters have posted thousands of messages to troops.

    Some groups are offering to forward mail to the troops. Aides to Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., are offering to accept letters, screen them through the U.S. Capitol mail operation, and get them to members of the armed forces.

    "We've had about a dozen complaints from constituents about returned mail that they sent to troops," said Steven Boyd, a Sessions spokesman.

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
    2007-12-11 20:52:52
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

  2. #2
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    DrewOnFire's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Central Texas


    Well as a former soldier I'll tell you, there is a definite concern with mail overseas. There are plenty of organizations out there set up to get mail overseas to service members;


    just to name a few.

    The "Any Soldier" thing probably is a good idea. It would really have made a negative impact to receive some hate mail from some liberal weenie, or worse.

    The largest concern we had was some of the local nationals that the US hired to burn trash and such would get envelopes with the return addresses still on them. They would then send dead rats or something bad to the states. We made sure to take off all return addresses and destroy them, last thing you would want is your wife to get a dead Iraqi rat.

    As a side note, I still write emails and send Christmas cards to the family that "adopted" me when I was in Baghdad in '04. I think it is a really neat program, and the fact that some family in Ohio that I never met sent me a miniature Christmas tree in Iraq just shows that people care.
    Drew Lyman,
    "Dear Chief, much has happened since we talked last..."

  3. #3
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    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.


    Also as a soldier who has been overseas through the Christmas period (seems thats the only time I'm "Over There") the Adopt-A-Soldier letter program was a wonderful moral booster.

    Unfortunately, I am sad to say that program is likely out the window even in Canada now, because of all the security scares etc. I read in the "Lookout" (West Coast Navy paper) yesterday that they are not going to be sending care packages overseas, unless they are directly addressed to a person. There are a lot of guys over there who do not really have a lot of family (who write I mean) and those packages really do mean a lot.

    Thank you Mr bin Laden.

    YES. There is heavy sarcasm in that last statement.

  4. #4
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    Chief2701's Avatar
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    [FONT=Times New Roman]Douglas R. Patton
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    I am now a former Chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone.
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  5. #5
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    Diane E's Avatar
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    Dec 1998
    Maryland (but always a Long Islander first)


    Oh well, I thought it was around Thanksgiving, I didn't go back far enough during my search. Still worth repeating...
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

  6. #6
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    DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia


    Quote Originally Posted by DrewOnFire View Post
    The "Any Soldier" thing probably is a good idea. It would really have made a negative impact to receive some hate mail from some liberal weenie, or worse.
    Got that a few times during Desert Storm, we got a kick out of it, but then again something like 90% of the country was behind that war so it did not have the effect that it might today.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  7. #7
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    Mar 2004
    Memphis Tn,USA-now


    I don't remember hearing my cousin mention any bans on letters addressed to "Any Soldier" during his hitch in Viet Nam.The times,they have changed,haven't they?
    I haven't sent one this week but if you want to send text messages doing the same thing,I saw a number during the Miami-Homestead race to "Thank the Troops":89279 .
    I've been wanting to send a letter to any sailor on my old destroyer's current incarnation but even visting the ship's website cannot find the address.
    I remember when we were off the coast of Libya in early 86,how all the human interest news was centered on USS Saratoga like there wasn't 3 cruisers,6 destroyers,4 frigates and 2 subs operating with her.You rarely see sailors on those Hometown greeting spots on TV.

  8. #8
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    Ladder8's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    Possum Lodge

    Default Update....

    Holiday Cards to Wounded and Recovering Soldiers

    Walter Reed Army Medical Center cannot accept packages, letters, and holiday cards addressed to 'Any Wounded Soldier' or 'A Recovering American Soldier'. 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.
    However, through a unique partnership between the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc., communities across America are invited to mail cards along with personal messages of support to wounded service members at military hospitals around the country.

    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!
    c/o American Red Cross
    P.O. Box 419
    Savage, MD 20763-0419

    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.

    People who want to express their appreciation to American service members may also 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, www.americasupportsyou.mil

    Other organizations that offer means of showing your support for our troops or assist wounded servicemembers and their families include:

    The outpouring of gratitude and 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.

    Be safe y'all!
    IACOJ Animal Control
    Ladder 8
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati"

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