- Address each letter “Dear Hero,” “Dear Serviceperson,” “Dear Defender of Freedom,” etc., avoiding titles that would limit who we can send the letter to (for instance, if it says Dear Marine, we cannot send it to an Airman, or if it says Dear Soldier, we cannot send it to a Sailor).
- Thank them for their service to our great country and tell them why you are thanking them. For instance, one gentleman wrote that the selflessness of our men and women in uniform inspired him to become a better husband and father. A schoolchild wrote that she admired the bravery of the soldiers and wanted to join the Service when she grew up. A mother wrote a note of thanks for helping her to sleep better at night because she knew her children were safe in America, and America is safe because of our Heroes willing to defend it. Troops also like hearing about your day-to-day life (your work, school, family, hobbies, interests, etc.), as it reminds them of the comforts and simplicity of home even when they are in harm’s way.
- If there’s a holiday coming up, such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Passover, Christmas, etc., it’s perfectly fine to wish them a happy holiday. For example, “Happy Valentine’s Day to you. You are my hero. America loves you!” etc.
- The troops love seeing who wrote the letter, so feel free to include a family snapshot or appropriate photo with your letter. Our troops can get very lonely sometimes so seeing fellow Americans who are not in uniform is always a welcome sight and reminds them why they are serving.
- Pictures drawn by children are also very popular to include. It’s a poignant reminder of who they are fighting to protect.
- Please refrain from negative thoughts or comments about their deployment, such as, “I hope you don’t get hurt.” Please also refrain from writing about any political or controversial topics. We send packages to troops from every branch of the military who come from all walks of life. We want to SUPPORT, rather than insult our heroes.
- If you include your email address, or if you’re part of a group, your school/work/scout troop email address, you may be surprised to receive a response from a serviceperson. We have a group of Girl Scouts that has remained pen pals with a service person for more than 8 years because they included their email address in letters sent to the troops.
- If you or your group is writing more than one letter, put all the letters into a larger envelope and mail them to: Packages From Home, Attn: Letter Project, 5643 N. 52nd Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85301.
- When we receive the letters, they will each be inspected/approved and then included in packages we send to the troops. Please do not seal your letters, as we proofread each one before sending along with our care packages. Please remember to keep all comments, photos, drawings, etc., positive and appropriate. Any suggestive, negative, or inappropriate letters or photos will not be sent. Approved letters will go into a carefully packed package, along with food snacks, games, or toiletry items.
Thank you for taking the time to write letters of encouragement to our troops!