Every holiday season, thousands of men and women stationed around the world are standing watch protecting the safety and peace of our loved ones back home. We understand it is a necessary sacrifice, and we do so with honor. This season, help give thanks to the men and women soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who are working diligently in the background to ensure we all have a joyful holiday.
US Navy Veteran
Senior, Mechanical Engineering Technology
Albert Dorman Honors College
Written by Prasanna Tati
Albert Dorman Honors College
To many of us, the memories we find most important during the holidays are those made with family and friends. Unfortunately, for some, there are a few members missing during the holiday season. And these missing members are likely those forgoing this relaxing break in service to our country.
Even during the holiday season, millions of men and women are unable to come home to see their families. Oftentimes, they are forgotten by those who are celebrating the holidays with their own families. For us, the time for “giving” is the holiday season. For the men and women in the armed forces, the time for “giving” is every single day.
This holiday season, consider writing a letter or drawing a card for a soldier overseas. The Honors Council Community Service Committee will be accepting letters and cards that will later be sent to a larger organization such as Operation Gratitude. Just be sure not to send anything with glitter as it can be harmful to soldiers under medical care.
You may be at a loss for words when writing the letter, but just think about what these men and women do for us. Thank them for their service and let them know you are thinking of them this holiday season. A few sentences about gratitude and wishing them happy holidays makes a bigger difference than you might think. Here are some guidelines provided by Ms. Feghhi, Assistant Director of the Center for Leadership and Professional Development:
- Start with a salutation such as “Dear Hero” or “Dear Brave One”
- Write to any of the following: a Deployed Troop (currently overseas in harm’s way), Veteran (has served our country in the past), New Recruit (just completed Boot Camp and has sworn to serve for the next 4+ years), Wounded Warrior (injured in combat). All deserve to be thanked for their commitment and bravery.
- Express your thanks for their selfless service
- Avoid politics completely and religion in excess; however, saying you pray for them is acceptable
- Share a little about yourself: family, hobbies, work, school, pets, travel
- Talk about life & interests: sports, weather, music, movies, food, books
- Adults: include your contact information (mail or e-mail) so the letter/package recipient can reply (optional); please remember that they may not be able to respond.
The letters and cards can be dropped off at the Center for Leadership and Professional Development, 2nd floor of the ADHC (the office with the mailbox on the window ledge). Each quality card or letter will also count for one internal service hour. Everyone is welcome to make and submit as many letters as they’d like, but only up to the first five quality letters may count for service hours. Please contact Prasanna Tati at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, or comments.