The U.S. Marine Corps has issued an apology after it sent Christmas ornaments addressed to dead marines to the families of those who received Purple Hearts during their service.
Of the 9,000 Purple Heart Christmas tree ornaments sent last week, about 1,150 were mailed and addressed to fallen Marines and sailors instead of their living family members, according to ABC News. The ornaments were intended to be sent to living Purple Heart recipients in thanks for their service.
There are no words to express how very sorry we are for the hurt such a mistake has caused the families of our fallen warriors, commanding officer Col. John L. Mayer said in a statement. We always strive to honor the sacrifices these Marines, sailors and their families gave to this country.
The Marine's Wounded Warrior Regiment said the list of Purple Heart recipients, the award given to those wounded in combat, was not updated to differentiate living and dead.
There is no excuse for why this happened, Mayer said. We accept full responsibility for this error and are moving quickly to reach out to the families we have affected.
The Marine Corps said about 35 calls from upset family member came in Monday night after receiving the ornaments donated by the Semper Fi Fund charity. ABC News reported that most were in shock and asked to be removed from the list.
Mayer said he is personally calling the families who notified the Corps after receiving the ornaments under the name of a fallen Marines and sailors. The Marine Corps will also send letters of apology to the estimated 1,150 families, as well.
The Los Angeles Times reported the gold Christmas ornaments also contained a letter of thanks addressed to the Purple Heart recipients and an information packet about a physical conditioning program.