I’ve been thinking for a long, long while about writing letters to some soldier in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or someplace, because I keep reading in newspaper articles that the level of troop morale is dropping so fast our boys are suffering deep depression from the bad circumstances. I’ve also read that it’s worse for those who receive no mail for whatever reason; family disapproves of their choice to serve, or there is no family to start with, or what-have-you. I talked about this idea with my husband a lot over the last six months, and mostly we agreed that it would be a very good thing to try writing, but neither of us knew how to go about it.
Yesterday, I sat down and did some research, and came across a wonderful site, http://anysoldier.com/. It was started by a military man who served initially in Iraq, as a way to boost the morale of his men. The website posts requests for mail and care packages sent in by troop leaders, and people like you and me can go in and request their contact information to send stuff to. It’s easy, it’s simple, and after scouring that website and several others, it seems Any Soldier is a lot more relaxed by putting everything in your hands. They don’t require you to send anything. They just ask that you send something to show your support, and they don’t care how often you do it.
Hubby and I talked over it for a good portion of the morning. And then I put in a request for the address of a troop in the mountains of Afghanistan. Together, we sat down and wrote two letters, addressed as requested, and today, we will send them off. In them, we talked about summer here in Washington, farming, the sorts of hobbies we enjoyed, and the types of things we do for a living. We let these two soldiers (whom we don’t know the names of yet) know that two of us back here care about what they are doing for us. For America. And that they aren’t alone. That two of us back here are willing to be a friend in dark times, should they need a hand to hold.
On one of the websites I looked at, a soldier wrote in, thanking everyone for everything they’ve sent, and that the letters were the best, because they offered escapism from the loneliness, from the unusual — and hostile — land they were in. One soldier wrote, saying that it was nice to know someone cared.
I don’t necessarily agree with the war, nor do I disagree with it — everything’s become so muddled I’m not sure anymore if what I read in the news is true — but I will say this: those are our boys over there, and regardless of where YOU stand on the political issues of this time, don’t be so quick to dismiss what our guys are doing for us. They’re ours. They’re Americans. They’re protecting our rights. Our Freedom.
And regardless of what you think about it all, they’re someone’s Husband. Brother. Son. Someone’s Wife. Mother. Daughter. Someone’s Friend.
If they were yours, wouldn’t you want to be there for them?
I know I would.