Christmas card for soldiers meme is not accurate

You can’t send a Christmas card to an unnamed “recovered American soldier,” as one meme claims, this holiday season because the postal service won’t deliver it.

It’s the season of greetings and many of you may be preparing to spread the joy by sending Christmas cards.

VERIFY viewer Kathy texted us about it a meme She saw on Facebook that people were being asked to send Christmas cards to US troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The text says: “If you are filling out your Christmas cards this year, take a card and mail it to this address: A Recovering American Soldier, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20307-5001. As we pass this along and everyone sends out a card, think of how many cards these wonderful, selfless people who sacrificed so much would get. Please copy and post on your wall.”

THE QUESTION

Can you send a Christmas card to an unnamed “recovered American soldier,” as Meme claims?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

That's wrong.

No, you can’t send Christmas cards to an unnamed “recovered American soldier,” a viral meme claims.

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WHAT WE FOUND

A person cannot simply send a Christmas card or other form of mail to a service member without a name and address, This is reported by the United States Postal Service (USPS)..

The viral posts circulating on Facebook are called copypasta memes. Copypasta is internet slang for a block of text that is repeatedly copied and pasted. This particular meme has been online for years and contains outdated information.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the rules for sending mail to military members changed, according to the USPS.

“Mail addressed as ‘Any Service Member’, ‘Any Soldier, Sailor, etc.’ will not be accepted,” says the USPS. “If this mail is placed in a collection box, it will be returned to the sender. Shipments without a return address are opened in our Mail Recovery Center Network to determine the return address. If the return address cannot be determined, we donate care items to local charities.”

The address listed in the meme is also incorrect. while there is some offices linked to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center listed at this address in Washington, DC, the actual medical center where patients are recuperating moved to Maryland in 2011 after merger with the National Naval Medical Center

Military OneSource, a website created by the US Department of Defense to provide information on how to support the military community a counselor what you need to know about sending military parcels.

Since you can’t send a Christmas card to a random soldier, here are some other resources to consider if you’re looking to support the troops this holiday season:

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https://www.kvue.com/article/news/verify/memes/christmas-cards-for-recovering-american-soldiers-meme-not-accurate-fact-check/536-e2698308-6c1e-4af2-9ab3-e4e4f454640c Christmas card for soldiers meme is not accurate

Laura Coffey

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