Letters to 'Any Wounded Soldier' rejected, thrown away - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Letters to 'Any Wounded Soldier' rejected, thrown away

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.  - The Pentagon says it's sending back or throwing away any of the thousands of letters sent generically to "Any Wounded Soldier."

The rule has been in place since the September 11th attacks and the anthrax scare. The Pentagon and the U.S. Postal Service say they're concerned about people sending toxic substances or demoralizing messages. Despite the rule, as many as 450,000 pieces of mail not addressed to anyone reached Walter Reed Army Medical Center last year.

A spokesman says the hospital didn't have the manpower to open and screen the mail. The letters were returned or -- if there was no return address -- thrown out.

The ban pains some people during the holiday season. One woman was encouraging people to send mail to unspecified soldiers, until she learned of the ban. She calls the rule a sad commentary on society.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)