My Yellow Cab drivers are young guys and gals who are quite surprised when I tell them that at the beginning of the Vietnam War death notices to “next of kin” were piling up so fast the cab company’s drivers were called upon to deliver those tragic missives. The sight of a Yellow Cab coming down the street struck terror in the hearts of many a family member.
I was reminded of this insensitivity this morning when I read that some 7,000 Army family members who have lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan will be receiving letters with the greeting, “Dear John Doe.”
The error was made by a printing company contracted by the Army.
While there was no malicious intent, there are plenty of red faces in the offices of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command's Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Center in Alexandria, Virginia.
Top-ranking Army personnel have apologized, in advance, to these families and are asking them and the public to consider the original intent of the letters – to inform these families of services provided to them by non-profit organizations.
Maybe it’s time to pull out that old axiom, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” or maybe Sherman’s truism, “War is hell.”
Or, maybe it’s just time to stop and reflect on the heartache.
Read the CNN article.