Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Army Way

Only in America do kids sending "get-well" and holiday wishes to soldiers recovering from horrific war injuries get the cold shoulder.

From the Army, no less.

Check out Jeff Maynor's story at about the 400 students at Highland Drive Elementary in Brecksville just north of Akron. Talk about no good deed going unpunished! Walter Reed Army Hospital notes security regulations that say any cards or letters must go to patients or staff by name, no exceptions.

At least the teachers at the school are using this as a great tool to educate kids where there's a will, there's a way: all these good wishes and hand-made cards will go to a soldier and his unit in Afghanistan.

1 comment:

  1. I saw Mr. Maynor's report and sent him the following e-mail, with a .cc to the school:

    Mr. Maynor, I find it very regrettable that neither the Highland Drive Elementary teachers who put their 2d graders onto the holiday greeting card project, nor you in reporting it, appear to have done even a small bit of research that would have helped avoid the sadness you report. Had you or the teachers checked with Walter Reed (or at least taken the time to click into their web site - specifically you would have found information on how the children could have achieved their goal of sending holiday cards to our wounded veterans. Noted there is the fact that, "... through a unique partnership between the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc., communities across America are invited to mail cards along with personal messages of support to wounded service members at military hospitals around the country."

    I think your report fell short, because it didn't tell the whole story. Obviously, it isn't very reasonable, when you stop and think about it, to expect the mail rooms of even the largest corporations in America to be able to handle the volume of mail if every 2d grade class in the country sent cards. Add to that the need to take prudent security precautions (something I'm sure all Amercians expect Walter Reed do on behalf of their recovering sons & daughters), and, I believe you and the teachers must agree that - while this was verymuch a good idea for the chilren - the adults failed them in not thinking it through very well.

    And your report (I watched the video) appears to have been intended to have your audience believe that nothing more than regulatory bureacracy is to blame in what I think was an absolutely appropriate response of Walter Reed in "refusing" the package of cards. You should consider a follow-up now for the express purpose of telling your viewers how they CAN send cards. I would suggest you also consider talking about DOD's "America Supports You" program (see, which provides other means of contacting our Soldiers to tell them how much they are supported and appreciated.

    Don Carr
    Woodbridge, Va.