In the past during times of war or military operations, you could address a letter or package "To Any Soldier" and it would reach deployed troops for distribution. Today, you need the actual name of a deployed solider for your mail to reach the front lines. You can adopt a soldier to write letters and send care packages to through one outstanding organization called Soldiers' Angels.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Log on to the Soldiers' Angels website and click on the "Adopt a Soldier" link. Complete the online application to begin the adoption process and commit to sending at least one card or letter each week and one to two care packages per month to your adopted soldier. There is no fee required to join, and Soldiers' Angels is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2003 by Patti Patton-Bader.
Wait to hear of your application approval, which will come via email notification. You will receive an email with the name and address of a soldier who will enjoy hearing from you. Mail call is a powerful, uplifting and motivating force to a deployed soldier far from home.
Visit the FAQ area of the Soldiers' Angel website, browse through the Angel Store of ready-made care packages and other items, peruse the letter writing, care package ideas and shipping information online, view the downloads and check out the online Angel Forums. All of these resources (and more) have lots of information and ideas so you can successfully support your deployed soldier.
Write an introductory letter or send a care package to let the soldier know that you have adopted him through Soldiers' Angels for the duration of his deployment. Introduce yourself, your family and your connection to Soldiers' Angels. Keep your letter positive, uplifting and supportive. Thank the soldier for his service and sacrifice.
Honor your commitment to care for the deployed soldier that you adopt, even if you never get a response from her. Include your email address and phone number if you would like her to have that information. Many soldiers have email and phone access, so she may be able to contact you as time and availability allows.
Adopt a worthwhile mission and join specialty Soldiers' Angels teams based on your own hobbies or passions such as the Letter Writing Team, the VA Team, the Sewing Team, Living Legends and the Wounded TLC Team, to name just a few. You can get the names and addresses of other soldiers who welcome letters of support.
Tips and warnings
- A frugal yet thoughtful care package can minimally consist of a beef stick and a powdered drink mix single with a heartfelt note from home, packaged in a padded envelope.
- Have a ready supply of United States Postal Service Customs Declaration Form 2976 and 2976-A on hand so you can itemize care package contents before you get to the post office.
- If you have more sea-fairing legs, you can adopt a sailor through the Soldiers' Angel website as well. Just click on the "Adopt a Sailor" link.
- This is not a dating service. Soldiers' Angels offers a serious venue through which you can adopt a soldier and write letters of support to U.S. troops who are often deployed in hostile territory.
- Once your adopted soldier is stateside, you will not have forwarding contact information, so the soldier will need to contact you if they desire continued correspondence. Don't take it personally if they need to leave all of their deployed experiences, including corresponding with you, on the battlefield.
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