So, I guess I'll start off with WHY I'm writing this blog.. ever since Sailor deployed last September I have received a hand written, sealed up, stamped letter from my pen pal. We'll call my pen pal, V. V wrote to me once or twice every month from September until the beginning of March since Sailor came home March 24th. The pen pal program is supposed to be helpful for those going through a deployment. Requirements to be a team writer, like V, is to have completed at least one deployment. She had completed a deployment with her husband & was also in the military. V lives in South Korea where this program was started & is founded for right now until M, the founder, moves on to her husband's next duty station. This pen pal program has helped me so much just knowing someone else in this world, who had went through the same thing I was currently going through, took the time out of their busy day to write me a hand written letter. Regardless if it was just a quick "Hi, I'm checking on you" or a long 3 page letter - it still made my day.
Now that Sailor is home, I'm a team writer to 4 lovely women! I still write V letters once a month checking in on her & send her cards when holidays come around. I started in the last part of March writing letters & I absolutely love it. I love the fact that my girls look forward to checking the mail to see a blue envelope in the mail from me knowing that even if they don't write back, I'll always write a letter or at least send a note/card. It's not about getting something in return.. it's about helping someone in need. Who know what they're going through.. & having someone write them a letter telling them how strong they are for even watching their husband fly, sail or walk away to an unknown land completely makes their day! Two of my girls have kids, one even has two little boys. I know she's very busy raising her boys on her own while her husband is deployed & I realize I may never get a letter back. Yes, it does hurt your feelings but then you realize that you brightened their day just a little bit by simply writing that letter or sending that card.
Why not email? Why not Facebook? Facebook isn't very personal.. to me anyways. I don't feel connected with that person like I do in a written letter. I can see their constant updates.. I want to wait to see what they have to say & to see what they want to share with ME.. keeping it personal & private is the best way to get to know someone I think. & even writing letters before seeing someone helps you not judge them for what they look or sound like.. but what they really feel and have to say to YOU. This whole program has made me re-think how Sailor & I are going to communicate this coming deployment. I would much rather write letters (numbered of course) to one another & just an occasional email to 'check in' or a quick 'I love you.'
Doesn't it make you think back to before email, MySpace, Facebook, etc? What being a military wife was during the Civil War, WWI & II?! Waiting every day for ONE letter that was sent months ago? How would you survive? I'm sure it made the reunion soo much better.
This program is called Sealed Strength. Sealed Strength is probably the BEST thing I've started doing in a while. You can also find them here! You'll find all the info you need on those to websites.
If you need 'outside' support & help, I encourage you to join Sealed Strength.. & even if you feel like you need to give back to the military community so to speak.. join as a team writer! It's so much fun getting to know other girls all over the world and looking for letters in your mail box every day!