For more than 235 years, America's armed forces have protected our borders and defended our many freedoms.
As Veterans Day nears, it is imperative to remember the sacrifices made by the men and women who have bravely and selflessly served this great country. Many of these individuals have paid the ultimate price.
The holiday season is particularly difficult for deployed soldiers, their families and veterans alike.
That is why it is all too important that we take pause and set aside just a few moments to brighten their day during this season of giving.
The American Red Cross has developed an amazing program to do just that - to give thanks.
The Holiday Mail for Heroes initiative provides greeting cards to active-duty soldiers and veterans during the Christmas season.
Each year, thousands of cards are collected between October and early December and then distributed at military installations, veterans hospitals and other locations.
Card guidelines include:
- Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.
- Ensure all cards are signed.
- Use generic salutations such as "Dear Service Member." Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program.
- Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.
- Do not include email or home addresses on the cards. The program is not meant to foster pen-pal relationships.
- Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos. These items will be removed during the reviewing process.
- Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate the health issues of ill and injured warriors.
- If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat-rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.
- The deadline for submitting cards is Dec. 6.
The staff at The Inter-Mountain will participate in this noble endeavor, and we urge each and every one of our readers to do the same.
Often times, service members and veterans can be forgotten by many during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Now, more than ever, it is important that we give thanks and praise to those who have given us all so much.
Send cards to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456