‘To those who have sacrificed so much’

The Service to Armed Forces Department of the American Red Cross in Tacoma collected 4,074 holiday greeting cards for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program to distribute to local National Guardsmen and Reservists, as well as service members in Afghanistan, during the holiday season in December.

The cards were signed by residents of retirement communities, Tacoma businesspersons, Tacoma Public Schools students, local Girl Scout troops, church members in Olympia, and Wal-Mart and Westfield Capital Mall shoppers.

Also sending their greetings by signing the cards were Governor Chris Gregoire, state Rep. Laurie Jinkins, board members of the Mount Rainier Chapter of Red Cross that includes Pierce and Kitsap counties, members of The American Legion, and military leaders.

The cards are a “simple, yet very meaningful tradition of giving thanks to those who have sacrificed so much,” said Tracy Peacock, chapter executive of the Mount Rainier Chapter.

Once Red Cross received the cards that were sent in by the public, Pitney Bowes Inc. scanned them to ensure safety and security. Red Cross volunteers sorted and delivered them to military installations, Veterans Administration and military hospitals, and veterans’ organizations in the United States and overseas.