Mail Addressed to
"Any Service Member"
Cannot Be Delivered
As the holidays approach, you may be encouraged to send cards to "Any Service Member" or "Recovering Service Member" for our wounded warriors recovering at Walter Reed Army Hospital and the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland.
Unfortunately, as a result of the anthrax-by-mail scare a few years ago, mail that is not addressed to a specific person will not be delivered.
Walter Reed cannot accept letters, cards, or packages addressed to 'Any Wounded Soldier' or 'A Recovering American Soldier,' or other similar addresses. This decision, by then Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Transportation Policy, was made in 2001 to ensure the safety and well being of patients and staff at medical centers throughout the Department of Defense. It applies at Bethesda as well.
In addition, the U.S. Postal Service will no longer accept "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.
Instead of mailing an "Any Wounded Soldier" letter or package, please call your local VA Medical Center to ask if you can personally deliver packages to patients there or if you can deliver packages to be distributed by the volunteers there, or 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.
We encourage you to post your own holiday messages for the troops. Let them know how much you appreciate the sacrifices they and their families make to keep us all free and safe, and wish them a safe and peaceful holiday season.
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
* The American Red Cross
Your local VA Medical Center, 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.
Fisher House is an organization that builds "comfort homes," similar to Ronald McDonald Houses, on the grounds of military and VA hospitals to provide no-cost or low-cost temporary housing for families of recovering service members. It is totally privately funded by donations from grateful Americans. Fisher Houses were the vision of a former CNO's wife. Read the fascinating story behind Fisher Houses and those responsible for their creation.
Donate frequent flyer miles to be used by military families traveling to be near loved ones recovering in military or VA medical facilities.
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