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MDG collects holiday letters for 'wounded warriors'

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Maj. Dawn Hinckley, a 30th Medical Group health care integrator, stands outside of her office, Room 323, 30th MDG clinic, where she has set up a table to collect holiday cards from Team V members to send to injured service members at Walter Reed National Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Maj. Dawn Hinckley, a 30th Medical Group health care integrator, stands outside of her office, Room 323, 30th MDG clinic, where she has set up a table to collect holiday cards from Team V members to send to injured service members at Walter Reed National Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A lone table, positioned down the corridors of the 30th Medical Group's first floor, outside of Room 323, was erected Nov. 21 to serve as a depository of holiday cards, letters and notes written by members of the Vandenberg community in an effort to spread holiday cheer and to support the wounded service members of Operation Ward 57, at Walter Reed National Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.

After being tipped off by a Facebook post encouraging people to send holiday letters to America's injured service members, Maj. Dawn Hinckley, a 30th MDG health care integrator, decided to take action and recruit the support of the Vandenberg populace.

"I am asking people to take just a few minutes of their time to do something kind for a recovering American hero because it is the right thing to do," said Hinckley. "Kind words can lift someone's spirits. You never know how much you can touch someone's life just by being kind and extending yourself a little bit - it's immeasurable."

Letters dropped off at the 30th MDG's table will be mailed to Walter Reed National Medical Center Dec. 10. The last day people can contribute to the pile of holiday cards is Dec. 9 during normal duty hours (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

If an abundance of cards are received, the cards will also be sent to the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto.

"I would like a little bit of our effort to stay in our home region, but also be able to communicate our support to the wounded warriors in Bethesda," Hinckley said. "It only takes a few minutes to fill out a holiday card. Gratitude is critical - taking care of each other is part of our building resiliency."

The holiday letters are slated to be received by the injured Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines by mid-December.