Happy Veteran’s Day! The eleventh month, on the eleventh day, in the eleventh hour is apparently when World War I ended and that is why Veteran’s day is always on November 11th! I searched for the picture of my grandfather in his uniform, but alas it could not be found, but I did my find my tears as I searched through hundreds of letters written to my grandmother while he was in service.
These letters are some of the most beautiful I have ever read from a man who was sometimes nicknamed “Grumpy.” Private Harold Brown wrote to his “dearest darling,” his “girl of my heart,” “sweetheart of all my dreams,” and his love, my Grandma Selma, kept all of those letters. I cherish them and the words and sentiment in them, but what can’t be escaped are the parts where he talks about learning to shoot a rifle, about not knowing where he will be shipped next, or when he will see his wife and kids. Heartbreakingly beautiful. It’s thankfully much easier these days for military personnel to communicate with their families, but there is something so innocent and raw when you put pen to paper and wait for that letter to come in the post. Service members love to receive mail too, and there’s a way you can send some cheer through the American Red Cross program “Holiday Mail for Heroes!”
Here are the guidelines:
Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.
Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:
- Ensure that all cards are signed.
- Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not 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 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.
All holiday greetings should be addressed and sent to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
The deadline for having cards to the P.O. Box is December 6th.
Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.
My family will participate, and I will think of my Grampa as I do. I shared a story about my Grandma the other day and included her picture, now I will share the whole picture of my grandparents who are long gone, but always together.
To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.