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Congress and the Red Cross Team Up to Spread Holiday Joy to Troops Overseas
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November 20, 2009

Members of Congress joined the American Red Cross on Thursday, November 19, to sign holiday cards for United States service members, showing appreciation and support for all they do to protect our nation.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)

The event, which was held in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building, was part of the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. For the third year in a row, the Red Cross is partnering with Pitney Bowes to collect and distribute holiday cards to American service members, veterans and their families in the United States and around the world.

Thousands of cards were signed by more than 30 members of Congress and their staff, while others took blank cards to sign and deliver at a later date. A special thanks to all those who participated and to the House Armed Services Committee and the Congressional Military Family Caucus, who encouraged Members of Congress and Congressional staff to participate. 

All of the cards collected at the event will be sent to troops overseas, serving in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. The holiday cards will provide a touch of home to service members who will be far away from their loved ones this holiday season.

"I know what it's like to be separated from your family. I served 25 years in the Marines and I think I was away for at least five Christmases during those years—and it's lonely," replied Rep. John Kline (R-MN) when asked why he feels the Holiday Mail for Heroes program is important. "Everything that you can get that brings you a touch from home is welcomed—particularly in the Christmas season."  

Perhaps the sentiment of the program is best summarized by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), who chairs the House Armed Services Committee: "I just want to say happy holidays to all of our troops. After all, they are America's national treasures and we want to let them know that they're remembered, that we're fond of them, that we're proud of them and that we're grateful for what they do for us."  

People are invited to send holiday cards from November 2 until December 7 with messages of thanks and holiday cheer to a special post office box set up by Pitney Bowes:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456 Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456


Please visit Redcross.org/holidaymail for a complete list of guidelines for sending cards.


Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)
Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS)
Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU)
Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL)
Rep. Parker Griffith (D-AL)
Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC)
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE)
Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN)
Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS)
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA)
Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX)
Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)
Rep. John Boccieri (D-OH)
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL)
Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA)
Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY)
Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) HASC CHAIRMAN
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV)
Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY)
Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-NY)
Rep. Phil Hare (D-IL)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH)
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
Rep. Don Young (R-AK)
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)


About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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