Holiday mail for heroes touches lives - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Holiday mail for heroes touches lives

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Many servicemen are away from their friends and families during the holidays. The American Red Cross recognized that and wanted to make sure they didn't miss out on the Christmas spirit. So they started a program called, "Holiday Cards for Heroes".

"It was during Desert Storm. I remember and it was from Arkansas and it was from an elementary school," said Colonel John Ladner.

"We were away for Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Saints winning the Super Bowl," said Master Sergeant Dwane Nowell.

Servicemen like Sergeant Nowell said, while he was deployed in South Asia, he received a Christmas card from people back home. They were cards from people Nowell didn't know.

But, those people reminded him what the season was all about.

"It just for a moment it took you there and it meant everything. It felt as though you were opening a gift on Christmas morning," said Nowell.

"The holiday mail for heroes campaign is a joint campaign between the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes. Every year we ask the community to participate in sending a holiday greeting to the servicemen, their families and the veterans. It's just one simple way to show our appreciation for all that they've done," said Leslie Pitre with the American Red Cross.

Pitre said it takes two minutes to write a card. Two minutes that could change someone's life.

"Wow, they took the time to do this. I was still fairly young then. I was away from home. Still scared," said Colonel John Ladner.

Colonel Ladner remembered the first card he received many years ago.

"I wanted to go back to them and say thank you," said Colonel Ladner crying.

Those servicemen are forever grateful.

"Thank you. Thanks for all that they do and just know that when they're doing it, it really means something," said Nowell.

The American Red Cross will be accepting cards through December 7.

For more information click HERE.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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