Message claims that people can send Christmas greetings to wounded soldiers by addressing cards to “A Recovering American soldier” care of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
The addressing information contained in the message is incorrect. The original Walter Reed Army Medical Center has now closed. See the Detailed Analysis below for more information about giving cards via the “Holidays for Heroes” program operated by the American Red Cross.
Subject: FW: Christmas CardsGREAT IDEA!! When doing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get.
When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:
A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
If you approve, please pass it on.
This message advises recipients that they can send Christmas cards addressed to “A Recovering American Soldier” care of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. While this might seem like a good way to show support for wounded soldiers, the information in the message is incorrect.
Cards sent to “A Recovering American soldier” or similar will not be accepted by Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In fact, the original Walter Reed Army Medical Center closed down in August 2011. The facility was reborn as the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and is now located in Bethesda.
So, sending a card to the address specified in above hoax message is a futile gesture that will help nobody. However, you can help veterans via the Holidays For Heroes program operated by the American Red Cross. The program’s website notes:
The Holiday Mail for Heroes program is now Holidays for Heroes. This change allows local Red Cross offices to identify and engage in a variety of activities that thank and recognize members of the military and veterans living in our communities. There is no longer a national Holiday Mail for Heroes P.O. Box to which cards are sent. Please contact your local Red Cross office for details.
Versions of the above message begin circulating anew every year as Christmas approaches. If it should come your way please let the sender know that the address information in the message is incorrect and direct him or her to the Red Cross Holidays For Heroes website. To reiterate, mail addressed to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center will not reach any recovering soldiers.
A UK-based version of the hoax message is also circulating. The UK version also contains incorrect information. For details of the UK version, see:
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!