27 November 2009

The Value Of A Letter...

During this time of year I have many friends who ask what was really wanted by deployed military members.  Back in November of 2006 my husband wrote the following when I asked him this question and I would like to share it with you.


At 41, after serving an entire adult life in uniform, I hope I can offer some thoughts.

Mail, few things bring home closer than mail. Few things are more important. Even in the instantly gratified world we live in, the feeling of getting snail mail is indescribable. I can recall the feeling of at the end of the day, walking the mile or so to the MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) tent to check the mail list (in the Air Force the mail clerks would post a handwritten list of who had mail to save the questions), and the gloom that resulted from having no letter from my family. I remember the day I got 27 cards from my daughters, most containing only one word, but there were 27 of them. They weren’t big cards, all hand made, but they were for me, and there were 27 of them.

Because it’s not really a letter, you’re sending. It’s a taste of home, a reminder that someone knows your there, and a distraction from the endless routine. Getting a package of candy from a stranger is a strange wonderful feeling that can pick you up by the boot straps at a time when you need it most. Remember, it’s not the bombs or bullets that are the greatest danger, its stress and depression.

So what to send? A card, a letter, a picture of something other than sand. It doesn’t have to be big, small is okay, although contents you can eat are a plus. A book to read and pass on, home made cookies. I could go on for hours on a fruitcake I got in Korea (thanks Mom).

Movies are great also. In short anything sent is great, just make it personal.

While I’m not a Marine or Soldier and take a lot of ribbing for being a Wingnut, when I'm deployed, it's usually “down range” hauling explosives over the highways in decrepit trucks wearing less than perfect body armor. And I would never miss mail call.

For all of you who have taken the time and energy and personal funds to help the morale of, not only my own husband, but everyone just like him, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
QOTD: "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) 35th American President


  1. This was a beautiful letter! And it has inspired me to write a few more letters for those deployed overseas.

    Thank you to your husband (and to you!) for your service. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  2. I am so glad you are blogging again. Truly one of my favorite places to visit, and this post is a good example of why that is!

  3. Tootie - I hope you also had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I THANK YOU for taking the time to write a simple letter expressing a little bit of home to the men and women who are sometimes feel like they stand alone.

    Bob - Thank you sir and the feeling is mutual. I especially LOVE your photographs. They say so much without a word.

  4. Many a young man and woman has become family over the years. As you know both my boys served in the military and what was a call home except to share with everyone in the barracks. Scamp was famous for passing the phone around so that I could talk to everyone. Many of those young men didn't get the chance to talk to their own families, so Scamp made them a part of ours. Thank god for him. Goodness knows how much he spent on calling cards, but that is what makes him so special. And he knew we would not let him or his men down.


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