I was going to post my eats from the week, but after commenting over at Amanda’s blog about how she came up with her blog name one thing led to another and we discussed both having written to soldiers overseas and it dawned on me that it would be a great post for Random Wednesday. It is a cause near and dear to my heart as my Dad served in the Vietnam War.
See the story behind my blog name is how I sign the bottom of letters that I write. When writing to soldiers the first message was usually signed Stay Safe, Smile Often which then transitioned to Till Then, Smile Often. I wrote a lot of soldiers overseas and when they wrote back a lot of them commented about that line and how it made them smile on some of the rougher days. It meant so much to me that I could have an impact on someone else and I wanted to bring that same joy to my blog. Or at least I hope I do.
I can’t carry a tune so I choose to write. Writing a letter to a soldier overseas can mean so much to them. Bringing a sense of normalcy to a less than ideal condition can mean the world to them. Just think how excited you get when you find a card or present in the mail?! It brightens a bad day right? Now imagine yourself thousands of miles away from friends and family during the holidays. For me my family is everything to me especially during the holiday. Some soldiers don’t have a lot of family or people who support them. Why not be one of them?
There are so many resources out there to connect you with a soldier in need. Here are a few great organizations:
Soldier’s Angels provided and used by Amanda
Any Soldier – I used this one a lot. Click on “Where to Send” – on the left click through the names to read their personal note request – it will include what would be appreciated to be send and what not to send based on their station and what that have already provided for them. Know you can send as little or as much as you want.
Operation Military Support – Click Request a name. Fill out Name, address and email and they will email you a name and address to send a letter or care package. You can also request e-pals so you can communicate via email.
Military Pen Pals – You have to register to gain access but once you get approved there are different threads for each branch of the military, care packages, even boards by state of the soldier.
Wounded Warrior – Send a thank you card through their Facebook page. This is a one time message to thank them for their service and sacrifice.
This is just a few that I have directly worked with or used and suggested by Amanda. This is not an extensive list by any means and there are a ton of other non-profit organizations that organize letters and care packages to soldiers. If you have had direct experience with a group please feel free to add it to the comments so others can check it out too.
Here are some of the soldiers that sent me some pictures:
Please if you are going to request a soldier’s contact information make sure you are going to follow through with sending a card or care package. Usually a soldier will be taken off the list once assigned so if you don’t send something after requesting a name and address they will get nothing.
If you get an email address to respond know that they love to talk about ANYTHING, the mundane daily stuff, the big stuff, current movies, anything takes their mind off of being away from home. Know that you can make a difference in a soldier’s life and make their tour a little less difficult and that is an amazing thing!!
(*Note I am using soldier in a loose general term rather than using military person, airman, marine etc so please know this is for all branches of the military)