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      Countdown to the holidays begins with launch of 'Holiday Mail for Heroes' program

      The countdown to the holiday season has begun with the American Red Cross launching its "Holiday Mail for Heroes" program Monday.

      Now through December 6, you can send a holiday card to service members, veterans and their families. The program gives Americans a chance to express their gratitude and best wishes for the holiday season to the people giving the ultimate gift to our country.

      Red Cross volunteers the United States and at military bases around the world will sort through and deliver the cards during the holiday season. Since the "Holiday Mail for Heroes" program began in 2006, more than 6.5 million cards have been sent to members of the armed forces, veterans and their families.

      The Red Cross is asking all cards be postmarked by December 6 to ensure they're delivered in time for the holidays.

      You can send your cards to the following address:

      Holiday Mail for HeroesP.O. Box 5456Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

      Visit the Red Cross "Holiday Mail for Heroes" website for more information on guidelines and restrictions for sending cards.