Troops always need reading material, but instead of another paperback, why not send a one-of-a-kind letter?
Step 1: Find a soldier Soldiers really value happy words from home, but you won't get too far if you randomly mail your note. Your best bet is to contact organizations like penpalsforsoldiers.com, amillionthanks.org, soldiersangels.org, and mysoldier.com. These sites can help you follow postal guidelines, and ensure that your letter gets into the right hands.
Step 2: Show off your handwriting Break out the pen and paper, and practice your chicken scratch! A handwritten letter is much more personal, thoughtful, and enjoyable than something churned out by a printer. A little longhand shows you spent some time on your note.
Step 3: Address your letter Start your letter with "Dear Soldier."
Step 4: Introduce yourself Introduce yourself by giving your pen pal a few details about yourself. Include your name, where you're from, how old you are, and a few fun facts.
Step 5: Say thank you Tell the soldier how much you appreciate their service. A little encouragement goes a long way in a tough situation.
Step 6: Keep it light Pretend that you're writing to a friend, and share funny anecdotes or even your favorite joke.
TIP: Keep your politics to yourself, and keep your letter upbeat.
Step 7: Don’t expect a reply If you’d like to send the soldier a care package, ask them if they have any special requests -- but don’t expect a reply. If a soldier has time to write a letter, it will probably be to their family or friends.
TIP: Remember: your goal should be to lift a soldier’s spirits, period.
Step 8: Be discreet Don't share your pen pal's contact information with other would-be writers. If you've got friends who are eager to drop our troops a line, encourage them to contact the same pen-pal organization you used.
FACT: Out of all the things they'd like to receive, enlisted soldiers request encouraging letters the most.