FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Joe Dorman
Capitol: (405) 557-7305
Dorman, Fourth District Democrats Collecting Cards for Soldiers
OKLAHOMA C IT Y (November 25, 2009) – State Rep. Joe Dorman and Fourth District Democratic Party Chair Betty Simmons are heading up a project to collect and deliver holiday and get-well cards for soldiers recovering at Fort Sill, after learning of a hoax that has caused many cards to be returned to their senders.
“Many people I've talked with have seen an email asking people to send cards addressed not to a specific individual, but to ‘A Recovering American Soldier’ at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington , DC . The problem is that cards sent to the hospital are not delivered to soldiers without a specific recipient on the envelope,” Dorman, D-Rush Springs, said.
“Betty Simmons and I will be collecting cards from those wishing to express support to soldiers and ensure that they reach their intended recipients, bringing joy to soldiers hospitalized in Oklahoma this holiday season who are not able to make it home for the holidays.”
Dorman noted his own nephew had been in Reynolds Army Hospital at Fort Sill , and he knows what some words of support can mean to soldiers who must stay there through the holidays.”
“All of these men and women sacrifice so much for the rest of us, and now because of their bravery, many have to face spending a holiday hospitalized away from their families,” Dorman said. “I think this is a great chance for us to say 'Thank you!' for all that they have done to keep us safe.”
As reported by www.snopes.com, a widespread email has made the false claim that Walter Reed Hospital in will accept Christmas cards addressed to “A Recovering Soldier.” However, these cards are not opened because of security concerns. The Web site notes that the sentiment behind the idea being passed along e-mail lists is a good one, but unfortunately the information is false.
“I became aware of this hoax last year when middle school students at Rush Springs sent cards to Walter Reed at the address on the email and those cards were returned. The class teacher, Valetta Bentley, and the local newspaper editor, Karen Goodwin, contacted my office and asked me to find a way to get these cards delivered. I arranged for them to be given to recovering soldiers at Fort Sill ,” Dorman said. “The soldiers thoroughly enjoyed receiving the cards. They are a nice gesture, a thank you for the service our military servicemen and women provide, and I do not want that sentiment to be soured by someone pulling a hoax.”
Dorman noted he has seen postings similar to the e-mail begin to appear on social networking sites such as Facebook.
“I have noticed that email starting to make it around again and do not want people to be disappointed when their cards are returned,” said Dorman. “Many folks are sharing this email with their lists in order to spread good will and I want to make sure we get cards delivered to soldiers who will appreciate them.”
The Snopes website does verify that Christmas cards are being successfully collected through the Red Cross-sponsored “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.
Simmons said she hopes to get every Democratic county chair in her district to collect cards, as well as encourage citizens not involved with the Democratic Party to express their support.
“I have asked the party chair of each county to collect cards in their area or appoint someone to do so,” Simmons said. “Then we’ll get with Representative Dorman and have him deliver them to the Fort Sill hospital.”
Anyone wishing to take part in this endeavor can send cards addressed to Cards for Soldiers, c/o State Rep. Joe Dorman, Oklahoma House of Representatives, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Rm. 325, Oklahoma City , OK 73105 . Cards will be delivered the week before Christmas.
To send cards through the Red Cross “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program, mail must be addressed to Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456 , Capitol Heights , MD 20791-5456 and must be postmarked by Monday, Dec. 7.