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Military Christmas decorations accidentally sent to families of dead US Marines

The US military has apologised for the error, saying the packages were supposed to only go to living post-9/11 recipients of the Purple Heart medal.

A Purple Heart decoration on the White House Christmas tree in Washington.
A Purple Heart decoration on the White House Christmas tree in Washington.
Image: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

THE US MILITARY has apologised to the families of dead soldiers who were accidentally sent Purple Heart Christmas decorations.

The packages containing a decoration, information on athletic reconditioning programmes and a thank you letter to the individual Marine were supposed to have been sent to living Purple Heart recipients.

The Purple Heart medal is awarded to those wounded or killed while serving with the US armed forces.

The Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment last month appealed for volunteers to help package the thousands of decorations being sent to post-9/11 Marine Corps recipients of the Purple Heart award.

The WWR said the ornaments were intended to “highlight the accomplishments of wounded, ill and injured service members and those who care for them”.

WWR commander Col John L Mayer said that the error was discovered on Monday after one of the families who had received the package contacted the unit, according to Stars and Stripes.

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In a statement, Mayer said he is personally contacting the affected families and apologised for the error, saying: “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.”

- Additional reporting by the AP

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