Since the several posts I have written about how important it is to help those soldiers returning from America’s Iraq and Afghanistan operations, I have been flooded by notes from those wondering where they can send checks.
Some soldiers’ familes are economically undermined because of the long-term deployment of the man or woman deployed abroad. This is particularly severe in the case of National Guard men and women deployed in these conflicts. But those wounded physically or psychologically have a set of adjustments ahead an order of magnitude greater.
I think that the American government and private sector are going to have to partner to find ways to assist these soldiers and their families — but in the mean time, I have done some digging into some options for those of you who want to do something.
These requests may sound trivial given the scale of the problems we are writing about — but the number one request from wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center is phone cards.
According to contacts I have at Walter Reed, the government does not pay for long distance phone calls for the troops who are convalescing there. The phone cards can be purchased in many places and can be of any denomination, even as small as $5.00 I am told.
Books and cds are also welcome and are often requested.
There are two ways to send things in if you feel inclined to do something on this front.
The first is to send purchased phone cards to:
Medical Family Assistance Center
Walter Reed Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20307-5001
Secondly, you may send a check directly to me if you prefer, and I will gather the money and purchase cards and other items that these soldiers have specifically requested. I will run the donated money through the Walter Reed Society, a 501(c)3 organization which has agreed to direct donations received for the soldiers to supporting their needs. I will make sure that tax-deductible receipts are sent to those who donate through this route.
The checks should be made out to WALTER REED SOCIETY.
Those who prefer this second option should just send checks to me at the following name and address but mark on the check “Soldiers Donation.” The address is:
The Washington Note
1630 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
I don’t think that purchasing phone cards goes very far in addressing the heavy burdens that deployed soldiers and their families are managing, but during this season — this is a nice way for modest dollars to help these folks stay in contact with their friends and families.
— Steve Clemons