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As we gather with family and friends to celebrate the season, it is important to take time to remember the brave men and women in uniform who cannot be home with their loved ones during the holidays because they are serving our country abroad.
This year, about 285,000 American troops will serve overseas during the holidays, including more than 6,400 from Kentucky. Fortunately, there are many ways we can show our support and share the Christmas spirit with our nation’s service men and women.
The American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes have teamed up for “Holiday Mail for Heroes,” a program that provides Americans with the opportunity to extend holiday greetings and thanks to soldiers and their families stationed around the globe. Last year, the program received more than 1.4 million cards for service members, their families and veterans.
Between now and Dec. 7, holiday cards will be collected at a special address, screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes, and then boxed for delivery by hundreds of Red Cross volunteers. To learn more about the program, visit www.redcross.org/holidaymail. You can send your greeting cards to: Holiday Mail for Heroes; P.O. Box 5456; Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456.
If you would like to send a care package to our deployed service members or their families during the holiday season, the Kentucky National Guard can help. Through their Family Assistance Center, you can obtain guidance and information on popular care package items, unit mailing addresses and organizations that collect care package donations. For more information, call (800) 372-7601.
Many military families could use your assistance to make the holidays brighter for the children of our nation’s fallen heroes. Operation Ensuring Christmas is a non-profit organization that was founded for the purpose of bringing a little extra joy to children who have lost a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan. Through the Web site www.opchristmas.org, you can learn how to help send personalized Christmas gift cards to the children of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.
Showing support for our service men and women should not be limited to the holiday season. In order to ensure Kentuckians have access to resources and information on various organizations that need volunteers, donations, and fundraising help to continue their to the troops all year, I recently launched a new “Support Our Troops” section on my Web site.
On the Web site, Kentuckians can find out how to give back to veterans and make things a little easier for active-duty soldiers. You can also read about some of the extraordinary ways communities within the Fourth District are paying tribute to our nation’s heroes. To visit the ‘Support Our Troops’ section of the website, go to www.GeoffDavis.house.gov/troops/.
We are all deeply indebted to our men and women in uniform for their sacrifices. I hope each of you will find a way to show your support for these brave patriots during this holiday season.
U.S. Representative Geoff Davis