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Last Chance: Please send a Christmas meal to a wounded GI & family

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Dear Patriotic American,

Sadly, as Christmas approaches many of our severely wounded troops have empty refrigerators, their children have empty stomachs...and time is running out for you to help them.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible Christmas donation to the Merry Christmas Meals Project, sponsored by the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes.

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Your Christmas donation will help provide these financially strapped military families with a $60 gift card to buy groceries over the Christmas holidays, or even go out to a restaurant for dinner.

My name is Major General John K. Singlaub, U.S. Army (Ret.). As I mentioned in my previous e-mail to you, I served our nation during three wars, and today I'm working with the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes. The Coalition is a group of patriotic Americans (like you) who have come together to help our troops who have been severely wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan.

So far the Coalition has responded with emergency financial aid to more than 11,000 requests from our disabled GIs and their families, providing them with over $22 million.

But as you may recall from one of my previous e-mails, for the first time the Coalition has a waiting list of military families who desperately need financial aid.

I didn't want even one family to go hungry on Christmas Day. So I took a "leap of faith" and sent $60 to EVERY disabled serviceman and woman military on our list. That is the only way I could be sure these paralyzed, burned or blinded heroes had the money to put Christmas dinner on the table.

I did not have the funds in our budget to do that. But I did have faith in you, because I know you're a good American who has supported patriotic causes in the past. I had faith that if I explained to you what I had done - and why - you would respond with a special Christmas donation to help pay the money back.

So please send a generous, tax-deductible Christmas gift right now.

If my e-mail does not raise enough funds to repay the money I've just sent to our seriously injured troops, we will have to slash our emergency financial aid program, which rescues wounded troops facing evictions, utility cutoffs and other disasters.

As you may know, the ongoing recession has hit our wounded troops especially hard.

Even before the recession, nearly half the spouses of our wounded troops had quit their jobs to take care of them. But now, with the unemployment rate over 10 percent, many spouses who were able to work have lost their jobs as well.

That is one reason they are struggling to feed their families. Another is many wounded heroes have to wait nine months or more for their disability checks to emerge from the government bureaucracy.

A gift of $60 can help provide Christmas dinner with all the trimmings for one severely wounded GI and his or her family, $120 can help feed two families, $180 can provide dinner for three families, and so on.

And a gift of $15, $25 or $35 can be combined with other donations to feed a family in need.

Your gift to the Coalition's Merry Christmas Meals Project could help someone like Blair Didion Sr., who suffered multiple spinal fractures from a roadside bomb in Iraq. Sadly, Blair says he sometimes relies on "food from public pantries" to help feed his family. And there are many more like him.

That's just not right, and I'm sure you agree.

The good news is you can let our wounded heroes know you respect and honor the painful sacrifice they have made by helping to provide their family with meals during the Christmas Season.

Let's face it: Our paralyzed, blinded or brain-damaged troops won't have the same kind of Christmas you and I will, no matter what. But your continued kindness can make their Christmas the best it can be, given the circumstances.

This is your last chance to help put food on the table this Christmas for a serviceman or woman who has made a painful sacrifice while protecting your family's freedom.

Please give whatever you can afford right now.

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Major General John K. Singlaub

U.S. Army (Ret.)

P.S. As I mentioned, the budget for our Merry Christmas Meals Project had run dry . . . and I didn't want even one family to go hungry on Christmas Day. So I took a "leap of faith" and sent $60 to EVERY severely wounded serviceman and woman on our waiting list. I had faith that you would respond to my last-minute appeal with a generous Christmas donation.

If my e-mail does not raise enough funds to repay the money I've just sent to our seriously injured troops, we will have to slash our emergency financial aid program, which rescues wounded troops facing evictions, utility cutoffs and other disasters.

So please send the most generous Christmas gift you can afford today.

Thank you and God bless you.

P.P.S. Here's an easy way to double the power of your gift: After making your donation to help provide a Christmas meal for a disabled GI, please forward this e-mail to your friends who also may want to help. Our wounded GIs were there for us, and now we must be there for them.