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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Taking care of our soldiers

Yesterday #2 son deployed overseas. I was on the phone with him late at night until we heard the call, "Soldiers, form up" and I knew he was leaving. We had laughed earlier when I asked him which personal items he took with him. I knew about the computer and NintendoDS. When I asked how many books he’d shoved into that rather large backpack, he just laughed and told me I’d need a higher security clearance to get the answer out of him. I’m going to assume that means "quite alot." Where does he get that need to read?

Last week when we visited, we snapped a few pictures that I wanted to share. Here is one of him with his brother just chatting about what the next year will be like. Then there’s the photo of me faking a smile so he’d never know how much I wanted to cry. Do you think he knew? 

As I wait for son to send me an address for letters, I can take comfort in writing to other soldiers. For the past two months I’ve been writing for the Soldier’s Angels Letter Writing Brigade. The Soldier’s Angels program provides you with the opportunity to step up and volunteer to be an angel and care for a soldier oversears.  

They even have opportunities to make it easier for you to send care packages. Imagine how I laughed when I saw some of the care packages contained Mary Kay products for protection against the sun and for the lips. I’ll be able to walk over to my own shelves to create my own care packages. 

The Letter Writing Brigade is one activity of this nonprofit organization of volunteers. According to their website:

The Letter Writing Team (LWT) is made up of registered Soldiers’ Angels who enjoy writing to our heroes, and who know how important it is to hear your name called at mail call (sadly some soldiers get no mail at all from back home). We select names from those that submit themselves through the Soldiers’ Angel website and have indicated that they would like to receive additional support. These soldiers are also assigned an Angel to provide ongoing support, but our team provides them with some extra cards and letters.

Before I blogged about them, I tried out the program by writing at least one letter a week to the name that is emailed me. This is not a school project. You must be 18 to participate. It’s not for dating (yuck! dating!) and you don’t share the address with others. You must commit to writing at least one letter a week for three months. You may never hear back from the people you write, but the simple act of writing makes me feel a little better. Maybe someday my soldiers will be lonely overseas and hear their names called at mail call.