How to write to soldiers that have no family

A letter from family or friends can mean a great deal to soldiers who are away from home. A letter from home can help keep soldiers overseas in touch with what may be happening at home and fill the void created by being away from family and loved ones.

Some soldiers, however, may not have family to receive letters from. Thanks to organisations devoted to ensuring our soldiers are looked after, you can write to soldiers who may not have family or friends.

Contact an agency that specialises in getting letters to soldiers away from home. Getting letters through military channels can be difficult and time-consuming. There are plenty of agencies that have lines of communication in place to get letters and care packages to soldiers away from home (see resources). If you write to someone in the military who has a friend serving without family, send a letter along with the one you send to your soldier.

Write a letter that is informative. Avoid stating that you are writing because you know there is no one else to write a letter. The soldier no doubt knows this, so there is no need to point it out. Introduce yourself, then ask about the soldier you're writing to. This first letter is an invitation to the soldier you're writing to to write back and hopefully develop continued communication.

Write a response if you get one that addresses the interests of the soldier. In the second letter, share more details about yourself and some of the events and news going on at home. Express your appreciation of the duty the soldier is performing, but don't make a point of doing it in each and every letter. Too much praise may make someone feel uncomfortable, even if it's appreciated.