One of the best ways to connect with a deployed Marine is to write him or her a letter of support. Marines and other soldiers deployed abroad must fight feelings of loneliness and boredom as they live thousands of miles away from friends and family. While you can no longer send letters and care packages to "any service member," you have many avenues to connect with a deployed Marine who would appreciate your letters.
Ask family and friends to recommend a Marine or other soldier who would like a letter. Having a personal connection to a soldier will make you feel more comfortable writing the letter, and it will give the soldier an opportunity to hear from someone close to home. Advertise your search on Facebook and other social networking sites.
Check to see what local groups can put you in touch with Marines from your hometown. Organizations that may be able to help with this include local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, AMVETS or other veteran's organisation. Other options include community centres, churches and nearby military bases.
Many penpal organisations exist to pair soldiers with well-wishers. These organisations act as charities and should provide their services for free. (Some may ask for donations.) They may ask for some personal information for security purposes. Be wary of any organisation that charges a fee for the service of pairing people together. See the References section for a link to a page with links to organisations such as Operation Military Pride, a service that will pair you with deployed members of any branch of service you choose.
Write a brief introductory letter and encourage the Marine to write back. An e-mail also works well because most Marines have Internet access now. Some may be busy, so don't be discouraged if you don't hear back right away, especially if the soldier does not know you.
Be patient; it may take some time to find a Marine and for the soldier to receive your letter. Consider sending a care package with your letter for a special introduction.
Tips and warnings
- Be patient; it may take some time to find a Marine and for the soldier to receive your letter.
- Consider sending a care package with your letter for a special introduction.