At least two of the letters went to families of men born in the 1800s.
Chuck Huey of Kingston, outside Wilkes-Barre in northeastern Pennsylvania, says a Selective Service notice for his late grandfather recently arrived in the mail. Bert Huey is a World War I veteran who died in 1995 at age 100.
Huey told the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre he was unsure what to do when he first received the letter, “Do I really have to fill out the form and return it?” he asked. “Maybe the Selective Service can come for a visit and I will take them to Denison Cemetery and introduce them to my grandfather at his grave site.”
In northwestern Pennsylvania, a similar notice was sent to the late Fred Minnick, who was born in 1894 and died in 1992.
Selective Service spokesman Pat Schuback tells that the error originated with the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles. He says the error was caught after several of the notices went out.
“First, we are sorry if these letters have evoked sadness for any families,” Schuback told the paper. “This is not a typical occurrence, and it is regrettable. The good news, however, is that government works.”
The agency is considering sending a follow-up mailing to families explaining what happened.