Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Army sends thousands of John Doe letters

This letter just showed up on the "Army Long Term Family Case Management Web Site"

Apparently several thousand letters were sent to advise family members of organizations that want to offer gifts to Families of Soldiers who have died in OEF/OIF. Because of a terrible oversight, many of these letters were addressed to "John Doe". In addition to the web posting below, every survivor is getting an apology letter. The unofficial story is that the printer didn't send a proof letter back to the Army before sending out the letters to survivors.

But the Army is doing the right thing: you don't blame the printer (at least not in public, but you can bet someone is catchin' heck right now). You step up, admit the mistake and make amends as best you can.

You can never make this okay ... you can keep it from becoming a disaster by doing what is right by the people who have been hurt.

We recently mailed you a letter sharing information about organizations offering gifts and services to Survivors of Soldiers killed in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. This letter contained an unfortunate error in the salutation, addressing every Survivor as "John Doe."

There are no words to adequately apologize for this mistake or the hurt it may have caused you and your Family. Every Family affected by this error will receive a personal letter of apology. Moreover, I am working diligently to ensure this type of error does not occur again.

On behalf of the entire Army, please accept my personal apology for this unintentional error and any discomfort it may have caused. My staff remains dedicated to helping you and will be available at our toll-free number, 866-272-5841, if you should have any questions or concerns.

Reuben D. Jones
Brigadier General, U.S. Army
The Adjutant General


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