State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) is encouraging Oklahomans to take a few minutes and write a Christmas card to recovering troops at Fort Sill.
Dorman began his Holiday for Heroes program after he heard from an Oklahoma teacher whose class sent well wishes to soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The cards were returned because the hospital would not deliver anonymous cards to patients at the facility.
The commanding general at Fort Sill agreed to accept the cards and give them to patients at Reynolds Army Hospital, and that was the start of a new holiday tradition.
"I wanted to ensure those Oklahomans who were making an effort to show their support for troops actually had their cards received by a recovering soldier, so I started this program and every year I take a large bundle of cards to troops in Fort Sill," Dorman said.
If you want to send a Christmas card to a recovering soldier, follow these guidelines:
• Make sure all cards are signed.
• Use generic salutations such as "Dear Service Member."
• Do not send letters.
• Do not include email or home addresses on the cards.
• Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos.
• Do not use glitter. Many of these cards will be delivered to military and veterans medical facilities and the glitter could interfere with a patient's recovery.
• Mail as many cards as you are comfortable sending. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes or use a flat rate box from the post office. Each card does not need its own envelope.
You can mail cards to:
Holiday for Heroes, c/o Rep Joe Dorman
507 State Capitol Bldg.
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Cards must be received by Friday, December 20, 2011. Cards received after that date will be delivered with next year's cards.
Christmas cards can also be sent through the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program. You can do it online at mailforheroes.com; or send your cards to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456.
All cards sent to the American Red Cross program must be postmarked no later than Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. This deadline ensures enough time to sort and distribute cards before the holidays.