Even though many of our troops have come home, there are still men and woman deployed overseas–away from their families. People don’t realize that writing letters to our military is still important today. In the earlier years of the War on Terror, everyone sent letters to the military. Now, without the media constantly reminding us, it’s easy to forget that we still have troops around the world and the War on Terror has not ended.
Our troops are still homesick, anxious and sometimes bored. Letters, cards and care packages remain the best diversion a soldier might have during the day, week or even a month. And remember, some of our personnel don’t have families. They only receive mail from grateful citizens.
How Can Kids Get Involved?
Besides writing letters to our military, kids can color pictures and make cards to send. Not only will it help improve their writing skills and penmanship, kids can learn about empathy and gratitude. You can even add in a lesson on current events while they are coloring or writing.
What Should You Write?
According to Soldiers’ Angels, a non-profit with letter-writing teams, there are no rules to writing letters to the military s as long as it come from the heart. They suggest writing like you speak and show your personality.
Here are a few of “dos’ and “don’ts”:
- Keep things light.
- Thank them for their service.
- Let them know you support them.
- Be positive.
- Share things about yourself like hobbies or interests.
- Write about your life but keep it positive.
- Include questions for conversation.
- Include your adult’s contact information (mail or email) so the letter recipient can reply.
- Stay away from political or polarizing topics.
- Stay away from things happening in the news.
- Never share anything negative.
- Avoid writing about personal struggles.
- Do not share thoughts about controversial subjects.
- Don’t ask their opinion about controversial subjects.
- Avoid overly religious content but absolutely let them know you are praying for them.
- Don’t put your letters in sealed envelopes. They will need to be reviewed.
Operation Gratitude suggests starting your letters to the military with “Dear Hero” or “Dear Brave One”. We’ve made a free printable to get you started or use your own stationary or artwork for your letter writing.
If students are too young to write, encourage them to draw pictures or make “military buddies” from from FreeKidsCrafts.com.
Where Can You Send Your Letters to Our Military?
Operation Gratitude sends care packages that include a bundle of letters from the American people, thanking Deployed Troops for their service to our country.
Soldier’s Angels is looking for individuals to commit to writing three letters within a month. Of course more is always welcomed.
Support Our Troops collects cards and letters from groups and sends them them to deployed soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen.