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WASHINGTON — Overwhelmed by well-wishers, Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, the American prisoner of war who gripped much public attention sinceher rescue in Iraq, has asked supporters to ease up on sending stuff to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where she is recuperating.

Lynch and her family have asked donations instead be made to charity organizations, including the Army Emergency Relief, Air Force Aid Society, Navy & Marine Corps Aid Society, American Red Cross, the United Services Organization and the Fisher House Foundation. These groups have a history of helping servicemembers, according to a press statement released by the hospital on Lynch’s behalf.

“While she appreciates the gifts, and they have done so much to lift her spirits and those of her family and countless hospitalized soldiers, the volume is beginning to put a strain on the hospital’s postal, medical and support staffs,” the release states. “Besides cards and flowers, Pfc. Lynch has received a variety of candy, fruit baskets, T-shirts, stuffed animals and other items.”

Lynch, who turns 20 on Friday, is recovering from a head wound, a spinal injury and fractures to her right arm, both legs and her right foot and ankle.

“This is a continuation of gifts that began pouring in when she arrived at the hospital in Germany,” said Sgt. Maj. Kiki Bryant, a spokeswoman assigned to handle inquiries about Lynch. “It gets just overwhelming for the room.”

Before Lynch’s family left Germany they spent more than $150 to mail gifts back to the family home in Palestine, W.Va.

Other items were donated to children or other patients at the military hospital in Landstuhl and at Walter Reed.

Letters and cards still are being accepted and can be mailed to this address:Pfc. Jessica Lynchc/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center6900 Georgia Ave. NWWashington, DC 20307-5001

Personal mail for other members of the Lynch family can be sent care of the Post Office, Palestine, WV, 26160. No post office box number or other address is necessary.

Walter Reed is treating about 40 men and women who have recently returned from Kuwait and Iraq.

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