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Congressman Chris Collins

Representing the 27th District of New York

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Collins Calls on Postmaster General to Review Removal of Veterans Distributing Poppies at Rochester Post Offices

May 24, 2018
Press Release

WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today sent a letter to United States Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan Brennan reacting to reports that Rochester area post offices are turning away Veterans who are distributing Buddy Poppies in honor of Memorial Day. Distributing Buddy Poppies before Memorial Day is a long honored tradition, dating back to the 1920s, where artificial flowers are given away for awareness or as a thank-you for a donation to a veteran’s organization.

“I am saddened to see veterans getting turned away for doing something that they have committed their life to doing, and that is serving their fellow Americans,” said Collins. “Heading into Memorial Day weekend, we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and wear poppies as a symbol of our gratitude to the fallen. This is an important tradition and I needed to take action to elevate the issue to the highest authority at USPS.”

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organizes the Buddy Poppy program each year. These artificial flowers are assembled by disabled and needy veterans and any donations raised go to programs that support these individuals.   

In the letter, Collins urged Brennan to quickly resolve this issue so we can continue to honor those who have fought to keep this nation safe. If the situation is not resolved, Collins will look into legislative solutions to prevent this from happening in the future. 

Collins also noted that many post offices are named after men and women who have served our country and sacrificed their lives for our nation.

Collins added: “I’m hopeful that the USPS will do the right thing and this solution will be resolved, but if not I will be introducing a bill to make sure this doesn’t happen next year.” 

To read a copy of the letter, click here.