Just a few days ago, our nation joined together to celebrate and honor the brave men and women who have defended -- and are still defending -- our nation from those who would stamp out freedom and democracy.
In small towns and large cities, Americans of every political stripe and of all ages attended parades, heard speeches, and personally thanked veterans for their dedication to our country.
As the grandson of a veteran and co-chair of the Rural Veterans Caucus I understand the challenges facing not only those who served our country in previous conflicts, but also the new generation of soldiers just now returning home after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Our nation's commitment to our veterans and their families remains strong. It transcends party politics and during a time of unprecedented rancor has proven to be one of the few areas in which Washington has been able to step up to the plate in a bipartisan manner.
I also am proud to be a part of an effort to offer all Americans the chance to ensure our veterans and those serving around the world have a touch of holiday cheer. The American Red Cross will once again deliver holiday cards to American military personnel, veterans, and their families across the country and around the world. The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will sort and package the cards and deliver them to military bases, veterans' hospitals, and other locations in the U.S. and abroad during the holidays.
This is a wonderful opportunity for families, schools, and other groups to show their support for our troops and our veterans. My district offices in Scottsbluff and Grand Island will again serve as collection points for constituents to drop off postage free cards.
Last year, the Red Cross' Service to the Armed Forces staff and volunteers delivered more than one million cards for military men and women and their families -- and I'm sure each and every card was appreciated.
Cards should be sent to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
Postage free cards may also be dropped off at either of my district offices:
Scottsbluff Grand Island
416 Valley View Dr., Suite 600 1811 W. 2nd Street, Suite 105
Scottsbluff, NE 69361 Grand Island, NE 68803
To ensure cards reach their destination, the following guidelines apply:
* All cards should be postmarked or dropped off to my offices no later than Thursday, December 9, 2010.
* Participants are encouraged to limit the number of cards they submit to 15 from any one person or 50 from any one class or group.
* If mailing a large quantity, cards should be bundled and placed in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope or postage.
* All cards should be signed.
* Cards should be addressed to: "Dear Servicemember, family or veteran".
* Cards may not contain inserts, glitter, monetary gifts, photos, personal letters, or e-mail or home addresses.
As we enter into the holiday season, we have a chance to show our support for the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country. Let us honor the service and dedication of all our troops throughout the world -- past, present, and in the future. Let's all help make the holidays a wonderful time for our troops.