Langevin Launches Operation Dear American Hero

Dec 10, 2001
(Warwick, R.I.)–Congressman Jim Langevin today launched “Operation: Dear American Hero,” a unique opportunity for Rhode Island schoolchildren to send holiday greetings to servicepeople supporting Operation Enduring Freedom aboard the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea.  Langevin made the announcement at Stone Hill School in Cranston, the first school to provide hundreds of greetings for this letter writing campaign.

 Langevin called upon all Rhode Island schools to follow the lead of Stone Hill School and create holiday greetings to be sent to the troops as a way of saying thanks for their sacrifice and efforts to curb terrorism.  The deadline for all letters is this Friday, December 14th to ensure that the correspondence will reach the carrier before the end of the holiday season.
 Lt. John Oliveria, Public Affairs Officer for the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt was also expected to personally call the school from the carrier to express his appreciation to the schoolchildren.

 “It is important that our servicemen and women serving overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom know that they are wholly supported by a united and grateful nation,” said Congressman Langevin.  “The letters local Rhode Island schoolchildren will send to our troops will provide an immeasurable moral boost and also some local holiday cheer.  I challenge all Rhode Island schoolchildren to create a holiday greeting for our troops and send the message that we appreciate their hard work and sacrifice.”

According to “To: Any Servicemember,” since 1967, when Sgt. Billy Thompson wrote Abigail Van Buren and mentioned that a wonderful Christmas present to our armed forces would be "just a letter from home," American citizens have been sending holiday wishes to servicemen and women stationed overseas every holiday season. Dubbed "Operation Dear Abby," the program has brought holiday joy to hundreds of thousands of U.S. military personnel deployed away from home.

 “Being away from home during the holidays is especially difficult,” added Langevin.  “We hope this holiday cheer will brighten the day of a hard working serviceperson.”

 Local schools interested in sending holiday greetings will be encouraged to contact Langevin’s Warwick, Rhode Island District Office as soon as possible at 401/732-9400.  Letters must be hand delivered to Langevin’s office and not enclosed in envelopes.  All letters must be created or written under the strict supervision of a teacher or other school administrator and letters created outside the classroom cannot be accepted for safety purposes.