This week, the American Red Cross invited members of Congress and congressional staff to sign holiday cards for service members as part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. In bipartisan accord, Democrats and Republicans joined together to support our troops, sending heartfelt gratitude to those far from home.
Senators Participate in Holiday Mail for Heroes
“As a former naval flight officer who served three tours in Southeast Asia, I know how hard it can be to spend months – in some cases years – away from home,” said Senator Tom Carper (D-DE). “I remember how exciting it was to get mail from my family ... But nothing means more than receiving a letter saying thanks or a package of gifts around this time of year.”
On Thursday, November 29, approximately 25 Senators participated in the Holiday Mail for Heroes event on Capitol Hill.
“I was excited to take part in this effort and to thank our troops for their selfless sacrifice for our country, and I encourage others to join me. Together, we can do our part to support our men and women in uniform by giving them that special touch of home this holiday season,” continued Senator Carper.
The Holiday Mail for Heroes program began in December 2007, when Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., asked the Red Cross to assist in distributing thousands of holiday cards for wounded service men and women. In response to this request, the Red Cross partnered with Pitney Bowes to turn the project into a larger opportunity that could reach members of the military at other facilities in this country and abroad. The Red Cross has once again partnered with Pitney Bowes this year to thank our service members, veterans and their families in the U.S. and abroad.
“While most Americans break from their normal routines during the holidays to be with friends and family, our servicemen and women serving overseas remain in harm's way as they defend our security and freedom,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). “ We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for their selfless service to our nation.”
Representatives Send Holiday Cards of Thanks
On Wednesday, November 28, approximately 50 Congressmen and women wrote personal messages of thanks to men and women serving in the military as part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program.
“It was such a tremendous honor to participate in the ‘Holiday Mail for Heroes’ event at the Capitol,” said Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chairman of the House Republican Conference and Co-Chair of the Congressional Military Family Caucus. “I am so proud of the outstanding work the Red Cross has done to support America’s brave men and women who serve our country abroad – not only during the holidays, but every day of the year.”
Particularly, during this season of hope and giving, their kind words of thanks remind servicemen and women around the globe that they are not forgotten amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
"I commend the American Red Cross for this undertaking. Our servicemen and women are our American heroes and deserve our deepest thanks and support, especially at this time of year when they have the additional hardship of being away from their loved ones. That's what makes this program particularly important," said U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV).
Now in its sixth year, the Holiday Mail for Heroes program provides Americans with the opportunity to extend holiday greetings, expressions of gratitude and well wishes to service members, veterans and their families worldwide. Last year, the Red Cross distributed more than 1 million cards for service members, veterans and their families in communities around the world.
“I truly enjoy participating in this yearly tradition as a small gesture to honor our American patriots. It is our way of telling them we appreciate their service, we are grateful for their sacrifice and during the holiday season we keep them and their families in our thoughts and prayers,” said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). “God bless our troops who work so hard to safeguard the greatest democracy on earth.”
Send Your Own Holiday Cards
From now until December 7, the public is invited to send holiday cards that contain messages of cheer and appreciation. The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will then screen the cards for hazardous materials, sort and package the cards, and deliver them to military bases and hospitals, veteran’s hospitals and other locations during the holidays.
The Holiday Mail for Heroes post office box is open and ready to receive cards. Please send all mail to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
For more information and card requirements, please visit Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes.
The Holiday Mail for Heroes program is just one way that the Red Cross reaches out to military members across the country and around the world. Each year the Red Cross provides assistance to more than two million service members and many of our nation’s 24 million veterans. The Red Cross supports military families, military and veterans hospitals and provides emergency communications across the globe.