GSM letter

Receiving a letter from a thankful citizen can mean a lot to U.S. service members, particularly those stationed far from home.

Service members can feel extreme loneliness on deployment, particularly during the holiday season.

When everyone else is gathering with friends and family for revelry, soldiers remain on duty doing their jobs. A letter from a citizen of a thankful nation can brighten their day. Share your heart this holiday season. Get the kids involved for a great lesson in civics and empathy.

Writing tips

Writer’s block — that condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing — is a real thing. Even Stephen King has had to step away from the word processor to clear his thinking.

The first rule of thumb is there are no wrong ways to write a letter, as long as the sentiments are genuine. Soldiers’ Angels provides some tips to get started.

• Be positive. The letter is meant to uplift and encourage. Don’t share any personal problems.

• Be thankful. Be sure to communicate your appreciation for the soldiers’ sacrifices and dedication to us and our country.

• Be respectful. These women and men have earned it more than most of us.

• Be kind. Remember most of us have never and will probably never have to endure the difficulties that these soldiers have experienced.

• Be encouraging. Motivational quotes are always good.

• Do not include your email or mailing address

• Do not use your last name.

• If it is a classroom or workplace or group project, you can include a group photo.

• Leave them unsealed for inspection or they won’t be delivered.

Mail to Support Our Troops,

13791 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, FL 33613.

Testimonials from

writers

These exercises might be of benefit to you, as well. Consider this testimonial from Lisa, per Soldiers’ Angels: “I thanked him, let him know how proud I was of his service. Asked if there was anything I could do for him and his family. Turns out we are both pastry chefs and have rescue animals. So now we have so much to write back and forth about.”

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