Albany, N.Y. - Every year millions of Americans send out greeting cards, but this year the Red Cross is making sure our troops and their families get a holiday message too.
"Well they weren't trying to sell me something," said Barbara Kipniss of Albany.
Kipniss is one of thousands that are trying to brighten up the holidays for our service members past and present. Shoppers like Kipniss dropped everything to take a minute and sign a card as a show of gratitude for our armed forces.
"I said that I hoped that they have a safe tour and a Merry Christmas and I thank them for their courage," said Kipniss.
Dianna Rios with the Red Cross knows all too well about the courage of military service. Two years ago she received a touching holiday card when her husband was deployed overseas.
"The nicest card that I've received is a card that actually came to my daughter, you know please know that we know that your dad is away, we're wishing you well, have a happy holiday," said Rios.
Joanie Dowling was proud to sign a special message on her card Friday. Her husband and two sons have all served, one in the Army, another in the Coast Guard and for the Marines. She remembers what holidays without her boys were like.
"You know it was scary, it was very lonely," said Dowling of Greenwich.
Dowling and her family didn't think twice to put their shopping on hold for a few minutes.
"Because I know when they were in anything they got from home from family or not they truly appreciated it," said Dowling.
The cards aren't just going to active duty soldiers.
"We deliver to the VA, the American Legion, to the disabled veterans, to the VFW," said Rios.
If you would like to send a holiday card to the troops the Red Cross will be at Crossgates Mall until 8 p.m. on Friday. On Tuesday, December 4th you can make a card to send out at the Red Cross at 33 Everett Road in Albany from 4 until 8 p.m.