Writing to Veterans
Personal letters of appreciation are often some of the most memorable and positive items that our military servicemembers receive. Our office gets numerous requests to help students and student groups send letters to those who are serving. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources or contact information for individuals to do this ourselves. It is our suggestion that students work with organizations like Operation Gratitude to get their letters to those who serve.
Where to Start
Start with deciding what third party organization you are going to use to send your letters. It is our suggestion that students work with Operation Gratitude. But there are other organizations who do the same thing. Do a google search to find more. Always read up on what the exact protocol and specification each organization has for their letters.
What Should Letters Look Like
Letters can look just about anyway you want. We suggest that you make it as personal as possible. Include things like a handwritten letter of appreciation, drawings, photographs, etc. Share a little about yourself, your hobbies, school, and stuff like that. Of course, thank them for their service. Try to keep the size of the paper within 8 ½” by 11”.
Where Should the Letters Be Sent
Each organization has different protocols for their letters, usually it will involve taking all the separate letters and mailing them in a single envelope to the organization who then sends them to the recipient. Specific information for Operation Gratitude can be found here.
Starting the Letter
It is suggested to start with “Dear Hero”, “Dear Service Member”, “Dear Veteran”, or a creative greeting of your own. It is a good idea not to use “Dear Soldier” or “Dear Marine” or “Dear Sailor” as they refer to members of specific military branches and organizations may not be able to guarantee that the letters will be delivered to individuals within those branches.
Signing the Letter
Yes, please sign your letter. If the letter is typed, you should sign by hand.
Using Glitter and Stickers
Thin stick on images are alright. Do not use glitter! It makes a mess and contaminates the other letters.
Questions and More Information
If you have a question about your letters, it is best to contact the third party organization to understand the specifics of what they need. If you have other questions, feel free to contact us and we can try to help get your question answered.