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The freedoms we enjoy in many parts of the world are guarded by brave men and women who sacrifice and risk their lives every day. Many of them spend long amounts of time away from home in isolation, which can take a toll on their morale.
As a token of your thanks, it’s a great idea to write to a soldier with words of encouragement. It might seem like a small gesture to you, but a note letting a soldier know that they’re appreciated will do wonders for them. Here are some great websites to help you start writing to soldiers.
1. Any Soldier
Any Soldier is one of the first resources you should check out for writing letters to soldiers. The site has paired up with overseas military members who act as representatives for others that they serve with. When you send letters (plus packages, if you wish), they distribute them to soldiers who don’t get any other mail first.
On the Where To Send page, you’ll find a list of soldier contacts, sorted by date of last contact, along the left side. Click one to see some information about them, including where they’re stationed and how many male and female soldiers they represent. If you decide you want to support that soldier, you can request their complete address on the page.
There’s a lot of information on Any Soldier, though the site is a little tough to navigate. It’s definitely worth checking the FAQ pages to find out what types of items to send and answer other questions before you get ready to send a support package.
Operation Gratitude is an organization that sends care packages to troops, including new recruits and veterans. These packages include snacks, clothes, toys, and other items that soldiers appreciate. In addition, they have letters inside to lift the recipients’ spirits.
On the above page, you can register for letter writing and get a guide on doing so. You don’t have to contribute the other items in the package, making this an easy way to be part of something that’s much appreciated.
If you’d rather email a soldier than write a physical letter, this site makes it easy. It offers a simple form where you provide your first name, state, country, and email address along with a message.
Once you send it in, Forgotten Soldiers Outreach will print out your letter and include it in one of its packages sent to soldiers. This makes it a great way to let someone in the armed forces know you’re thinking about them without having to mail a physical letter or package overseas.
This service is focused on writing letters to soldiers in basic training. It adds a touch of modern technology to help it stand out.
Using Sandboxx, you write out a letter using your phone or computer, including a picture if you like. The service then sends the letter to your recruit with next-day delivery. It arrives on high-quality paper in an airmail envelope, giving it a premium appearance.
Every letter includes tracking, so you’ll know when your message arrives. And they can reply using the included custom stationery and return envelope. This removes the hassle of visiting the post office, buying stamps, and finding addresses to write to soldiers.
Due to everything it includes, the service is not free. Sandboxx charges $4 to send a single letter, but you can save by purchasing multiple letters at once. For example, $50 gets you 15 letters—dropping the price to $3.33 per letter.
Check Sandboxx’s pricing page for more info and to see all the benefits it provides compared to traditional mail.
If you’d like to commit to writing letters to soldiers for some time, give Soldiers’ Angels a look. The letter writing team is one part of its effort to provide support to troops.
Joining this team requires at least a three-month commitment where you write a letter a minimum of one time per month. Of course, you can write more if you’d like. Have a look at the Team Angel information page if you’d like to sign up.
This provides some important details about the program, including the fact that you don’t decide where to send letters to soldiers on your own. The company chooses who you will support. Additionally, you are required to report your activity monthly and recognize that you act on behalf of the organization.
You should make sure you know what you’re getting into with this before you sign up.
Best Military Pen Pal Sites Outside the US
We’ve focused on sites to write to United States soldiers above. If you live in a different part of the world, here are a few resources to write to service members from your country.
6. UK: Forces Penpals
If you’re located in the UK, give this site a look. It allows you to write to armed forces members and even live chat with them via instant messaging and chatrooms. The service also offers forums for discussion with service members and fellow supporters, making it a great way to hear real stories from veterans.
Strangely, the site makes mention of dating members of the military too. We wouldn’t recommend using this as a dating site, but the opportunity is there if you’re really interested.
7. Canada: Canadian Armed Forces Messages
Those in Canada can use this official government website to write to CAF troops. Click Post Message on the page above to write a brief message (under 1,500 characters). It will then appear on the message board for service members to see.
You can use the View Messages link to have a look at messages that others have posted, too.
8. Australia: Department of Defence Message to the Troops
Australia also has a dedicated government page for sending mail to soldiers. This site advises you to email firstname.lastname@example.org, which will pass your email onto those in the Navy, Army, and Air Force. You’ll also find a physical mailing address here if you want to send a postcard to the troops.
Write to a Soldier and Make Their Day
With these resources, you have everything you need to send a note of thanks and encouragement to military service members. It’s important to let them know they’re appreciated for everything they do. A simple note for you could mean everything to them.