Letters to Soldiers

There is a notion of romance to sending a handwritten letter to a soldier at war—miles of land and sea and emotion between you. It is a gesture of hope and gratitude, of pride and encouragement, of love and admiration. It is a reminder that—even as we go about our daily routines and enjoy the comforts afforded by these very soldiers—they have not been forgotten.

And while a handwritten letter may not be as immediately gratifying as an email or video conversation, there is something tangible, something rooted, something magical about ink on paper. For this can be tucked into a soldier’s pocket, it can ride with them through the desert, it can stand with them on the front lines. It can be spritzed with your fragrance and blessed with your kiss.

When a soldier receives a handwritten letter, it is a connection to home, to joy, to their purpose.

As a former military spouse, and current military sibling and friend, handwriting letters to soldiers is an act I feel deeply passionate about. It breaks my heart that our soldiers feel isolated, both at home and abroad. And regardless of my wish that we could make all kinds of lovely things instead of war, I feel an unwavering responsibility to support the wellbeing of those defending our freedom, our safety, our humanity.

So today, as we celebrate our nation’s independence, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating those who continue to make our freedom possible by either handwriting a letter to a soldier you know, or participating in one of the following letter writing programs.

Soldiers’ Angels

Operation Gratitude

A Million Thanks

Operation We Are Here

If ever there were a letter to write, it is the one a soldier carries.

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4 comments

  1. This is all so true! I am a military member, so I feel strongly about this as well. I have not yet deployed, but I have heard about it from friends who have. It can be a very difficult time. Sending a hand-written letter gives them something tangible, like you said. I’ve sent them in packages with some gifts from America, our shared homeland. This practice is one I want to continue as more of my friends deploy.
    It goes back to you blog post from April on letters and how personal and intimate they can be. If you allow yourself the opportunity to be vulnerable, letters like these can really mean a lot. As you brought up, there are many other, easier ways to contact someone in today’s world. This truth makes it even more special that one would take the time to write letters to soldiers.

    1. You brought up a wonderful point, Gabe! That because there are so many easier ways to communicate with soldiers, it is even more meaningful when they receive a handwritten letter. I also find that vulnerability is heightened in letters to soldiers at war, which is a really beautiful thing. I’m happy to hear that you take the time to send letters and packages to your deployed friends, and know that when you deploy someday, you’ll be getting the same love in return!

  2. Long before my son joined the military, I responded to a “letter-writing call for military overseas” I saw in the newspaper. I wrote many letters and I was blessed when one of the young men wrote back to me!!! I will never forget the relationship forged 30 some years ago with my penpal.

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