Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com
My Fox DFW – by Calvert Collins
They thought it was a kind holiday gesture, but dozens of Prosper students didn’t get to deliver the Christmas cards they made for local veterans because of a VA policy against specific religious cards and phrasing.
The cards are still in North Texas, and the writers are disappointed their thank you’s won’t be seen by the people they were intended for.
“I’m hoping that it might make their day because their family might live far away, and they might not have somebody to celebrate Christmas with and I’d like them to know they’ve not been forgotten and somebody wanted to say thank you,” said fourth grader Gracie Brown.
Gracie and her brother, Luke, put a lot of thought and effort into their Christmas cards.
“It includes ‘Merry Christmas,’ and when you open it up, it says ‘Thank you for your service’ and the American flag,” said Luke.
Fifty-two students at Grace Academy in Prosper spent Friday making the cards they planned to hand deliver to bedridden veterans at the VA hospital in Dallas Monday morning.
When Gracie and Luke’s mom, Andrea, found out they wouldn’t be able to, she was outraged.
“This wasn’t the country I grew up in, when you couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas,’ you couldn’t say ‘God bless you’ or reference any scripture,” she said.
The cards were the idea of Susan Chapman, a math teacher at Grace Academy. She’s married to a veteran and volunteers with the American Legion and other veterans’ organizations.
“It really didn’t occur to me there would be a problem with distributing Christmas cards,” said Chapman.
She didn’t find out about the VA’s holiday card policy until she called Monday morning to arrange details for the cards’ delivery.
“I told him my students made cards, we’d like to bring them down for the veterans,” said Chapman. “And he said, ‘That’s great. We’re thrilled to have them, except the only thing is, we can’t accept anything that says ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘God bless you’ or any scriptural references because of all the red tape.'”
An official with the VA later clarified the policy, which is in the Veterans Health Administration handbook, by stating the following:
“In order to be respectful of our Veterans religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by Chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. After the review is complete, the holiday cards that reference religious and/or secular tones are then distributed by Chaplaincy Service on a one-on-one basis if the patient agrees to the religious reference in the holiday card donation. The holiday cards that do not contain religious and/or secular tones are distributed freely to patients across the Health Care System. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.”
“I don’t know what their definition of appropriate is,” said Chapman.
Parents say as disappointing as this experience was for their children, they’re more heartbroken for the veterans.
“They couldn’t believe the people that these people they wanted to honor weren’t going to get the chance to see what they had done,” said Andrea.
The cards will not be thrown away — they are being shipped to Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio and to a private facility for veterans in Louisiana.
Read more: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/24293539/students-parents-upset-that-religious-christmas-cards-wont-go-to-north-texas-veterans#ixzz2oOjkMjc2
One thought on “Students, parents upset that Christmas cards won’t go to local veterans due to policy”
WOW! This is absolutely appalling!
I’ll have you know that my father was a Buffalo elementary school teacher for 30 years and EVERY year he would make it a point to spend a couple hours during a week in December to have his students make Christmas cards for the old people at retirement homes and veterans at the hospital who didn’t have any family, in hopes that his students would learn how to give back to their elders and to those less fortunate and to spread the joy and spirit of Christmas and giving during the Christmas Season. He absolutely loved it and his students loved it. He would have literally over 200 Christmas cards made for them. When my father was done with teaching at the end of that week, he along with my brother and I would go drive to the hospitals and retirement homes to deliver about 50 or so cards to each place. The happiness and joy on the nurses and old people’s faces when they saw these, made Christmas worth every moment and in many cases made those who had no one, feel special, loved and gave them hope as well as raised their spirits when many of them felt sad, depressed, while some others even felt they had nothing left to live for. NO ONE complained about it or gave any politically correct bullshit because it would be seen as an abominable action that would bring great shame and disgrace on them as well as bad karma or whatever you want to call it.
NOW THESE BASTARDS ARE TRYING TO KILL OUR SPIRIT AND THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS!!! THIS PISSES ME OFF BEYOND BELIEF!!!! 😡
HOW DARE THEY PLAY THIS POLITICALLY CORRECT GAME TO DESTROY WHAT THIS COUNTRY IS KNOWN FOR!! THIS IS A COMPLETE WAR ON OUR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM!!
THESE COMMUNIST/ELITISTS BASTARDS WILL HANG FOR THIS!
MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON THEIR SOULS!