US Army warns of holiday mail hoax

The US Army is warning the public of a hoax e-mail asking recipients to send holiday mail to soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The e-mail instructs recipients to send Christmas cards to “A Recovering American Soldier,” and lists Walter Reed’s Washington, D.C., mailing address. 

While the idea sounds good on paper the medical center cannot accept and the US Postal Service no longer will deliver such items.  Under a 2001 policy designed to improve security, the medical center can’t accept mail addressed to “Any Wounded Soldier” or “A Recovering American Soldier.”

 According to an article on the ArmyTimes.com Web site, Lt. Col. Kevin Arata, a spokesman for Army Human Resources Command, said his office has been inundated with inquiries from the public about the e-mail. “It’s not true,” he said. “Don’t do it.” 

Instead, the public is asked to military’s “American Supports You” Web site for information about more than 300 nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping U.S. soldiers and their families. 

The Walter Reed Web site offers these sites if you want to show support for service personnel:  

USO: http://www.usocares.org/

US Army site: http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/tooursoldiers/

Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org 

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