Monday, June 26, 2017

Letters to Soldiers -- Past and Present

From the Amarillo Globe-News
This past weekend, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas, hosted a letter writing event in conjunction with its exhibit “The Great War and the Panhandle-Plains Region.”

The story caught my attention because of the letter writing aspect but also because I visited that museum a time or two as a kid. We lived about an hour away.

According to Lisa Lamb’s article on the Amarillo Globe-News’ website, there were two parts to the Saturday event. Area residents brought their World War I memorabilia to be considered for inclusion in the museum’s collection, and a program on Letters From Home highlighted the importance of letter writing during World War I. Additionally, visitors had the opportunity to write a letter to today’s U.S. military members through the Operation Gratitude project.

After reading that story, I tracked down Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit organization in California. The group’s online media kit says that they send care packages and letters of support to individual soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines deployed in harm’s way, to their children left behind, and to first responders, veterans, new recruits, military families, wounded heroes and their caregivers. Starting in 2003, they have sent 1,784,080 care packages so far.

Those care packages include a variety of items, including letters. According to the Operation Gratitude website, they have sent 5 million hand-written letters. That’s a lot of letters!

You can read more about Operation Gratitude and how you can become involved on the organization’s website.

It sounds like a good project that letter writers will enjoy!

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