No matter what country you live in or what part of the world you call home, the odds are pretty good that your safety and security is insured by a select group of folks who risk their lives every day. The folks who protect you and your loved ones may be a national police force, international security force or your own nation’s military.
Regardless of country or region, one thing holds true for almost every citizen – we admire and appreciate the sacrifices these brave men and women make to keep our families and our homes safe from our enemies and those who would do us harm.
International security is a touchy subject for a lot of folks. There are skirmishes, border disputes and completely senseless attacks against innocent civilians. It’s during these violent moments that we come to appreciate the people who devote their lives to serving the public welfare. There are times when you may appreciate their hard work and sacrifice so much that you want to write soldiers and send them a token of your gratitude, but you simply don’t know where to write to these soldiers with notes of encouragement or gifts of support.
With this in mind, I’d like to offer some excellent online resources that offer the public contact details or online forms where you can find and write to any soldier that you choose. Because many of these soldiers are often deployed in areas of the world that are isolated – and they miss their homes and families very much – every note of encouragement they receive becomes a godsend.
One more note before we get started – this particular list turned out somewhat westernized. This was not intentional. I searched long and hard for International organizations that foster troop support. Unfortunately it’s difficult to uncover those organizations (at least online) for eastern countries. Even many western countries don’t offer many online services for citizens who are interested in contacting soldiers in duty.
That doesn’t mean the services don’t exist or that these countries don’t care as much about their soldiers, it just means that I couldn’t find them. If you know of a specific organization for your country that helps connect appreciative citizens with the soldiers and forces that protect them, please add that group or organization to the comments below. Thanks!
With that said, let’s get started with five great organizations where you can write to soldiers.
Canada – Check Out the CFPSA First
The Canadians know how to keep the influx of public support for their troops well managed. The government assigned The Canadian Forces Personnel and Family Support Services (CFPSA) to the task of managing public donations to deployed troops. That means if you’re a Canadian citizen, this is the first place to stop if you want to figure out how you can write to Canadian soldiers. They’ve even created an online message board that you can use to show your support – they’ve named it the Morale by Message Board.
At least for now, the Canadian Post actually offers free delivery of mail to deployed troops, and on the page above you can get all of the guidelines for how you can write a letter to “Any Canadian Forces Member” and have it delivered to any member of the Canadian Forces who haven’t received any mail. I must add that just reviewing some of the daily entries from Canadian citizens in the CFPSA message boards makes one realize that Canadians have very good reason to be proud of their country.
Israel – Write to an IDF Soldier
Considering that Israel sits in one of the world’s hottest spots for conflict, posting this next resource could come across as strong Western bias, but in all honesty I searched for soldier-writing resources for Middle Eastern countries and simply couldn’t find any. If you know of any, again please share it in the comments. This is not a vote of support for either side of any Mid-East conflicts, but only a nod to Chabad.org, a well-designed website created to assist Israelis and writing letters to IDF soldiers to boost morale and show their support.
The cool thing about this particular service is that you aren’t submitting your message electronically or even through the mail, this organization promises to “hand deliver” your message of support to an IDF soldier. You can even include you or your family’s picture so that they know you’re a real person and care about their well-being.
Europe – 2 Sites to Lend Moral Support to Troops
Now, while I’m American and I’m proud of the level of U.S. support for her deployed troops, just reviewing some of the websites across the pond I have to say the level of European patriotism easily rivals the U.S. The UK was the most abundant in support websites, but I know there are more organizations out there, and I hope our readers can share them.
For starters, I think probably the most vocal and active group is SOS – short for Support Our Soldiers.
This organization handles arranging for parcels where they will put together a care package for a soldier that you’ve sponsored. The site removes the need for you to try to figure out the sort of things a soldier needs – these folks know – all you need to do is help fund the care package and it gets put together and sent for you. When it comes to writing messages and letters of support, SOS partners with the next organization I’d like to cover, ForcesPenPals.
This site completely automates the process of linking up UK armed forces with the civilian population, serving as a perfect medium for civilians to exchange messages of support to UK troops. It appears that the site also serves as a dating service…interesting!
United States – Send a Care Package to Any Soldier
A couple of years ago, I wrote an online article titled “My Hero.” The hero that I chose was Sergeant Brian Horn of LaPlata, Maryland. A member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Iraq, Brian was well supported by his family and friends while serving in Iraq, but he also noticed that a lot of soldiers didn’t get any mail at all. My choice for Brian as a hero wasn’t so much for his bravery while in harms way (although that was without question), his true heroism started in 2003 when he came up with the idea to start an organization to funnel the overwhelming public support for the troops at home into material support that the deployed troops could actually see for themselves. From this simple concept, AnySoldier was born.
Through AnySoldier, you can sort through the database (shown above), filter by branch of armed services if you like, and then choose one of the contact names. The contacts are deployed soldiers who volunteer to deliver letters and care packages to other soldiers in their area who don’t normally receive much word or encouragement from home. Anysoldier remains one of the most well-run “write to soldiers” organizations that I’ve seen on the Internet.
Do you know of any organization that helps citizens support the armed forces? Have you ever tried any of these yourself? Please share your own resources and experiences in the comments section below.