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Red Cross Solicits Donations for Walter Reed Patients

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2003 – The American Red Cross office at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here is seeking donations for patients being treated at the facility for injuries received during Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle.

The three operations represent U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as homeland defense and civil support activities in the United States in support of the war against terrorism.

Barbara Green, Red Cross station manager at Walter Reed, said the 123 such patients who are hospitalized or undergoing outpatient treatment at the facility have the basics they need, but could use a few things to make their hospital stays more comfortable.

"We're especially in need of items like telephone cards so they're able to call home, luggage that rolls on wheels, and comfortable clothing that they can wear to make them as comfortable as possible when they're undergoing physical therapy and other treatment," she said.

The most-needed clothing items, Green said, are new men's and women's clothing in all sizes, particularly T-shirts, shorts, sweatpants, sweatshirts, athletic socks, men's briefs and boxer underwear, and women's sports bras. Also on the Red Cross wish list are shower shoes and boxes of note cards with stamps. No food goods are requested.

Green said patients are "ecstatic" when they receive the gifts, presented by Red Cross volunteers in a gift kit that includes a phone card, prepackaged snacks, letters sent from the public, and personal hygiene items donated by the Red Cross. "Our volunteers make it clear that the donations are from the American public -- a way of saying 'thank you' for their service," she said.

To participate in the drive, mail donations to: American Red Cross, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20307.

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