Some benefits of pen pals include encouragement for soldiers who are feeling sad or lonely, and friendly support for soldiers who are often exposed to dangerous conditions daily. Homesick soldiers generally look forward to receiving letters from home as such letters can bring joy to those serving in a difficult situation. The best way to send letters to a soldier is to do so through a nonprofit organization, according to Veterans United.
Organizations that coordinate pen pal letters for deployed soldiers include Soldiers' Angels, which is a service that supplies letters, cards, care packages and requested items to enlisted men and women throughout the world. Its Letter Writing Team is particularly important to those who may not receive other mail from home, and many recipients have expressed their sincere appreciation of the program after receiving caring letters from strangers.
Keystone Soldiers, which is based in Shoemakersville, PA, is another nonprofit that sends letters, cards, care packages and snacks to deployed soldiers, while also offering support for their families who are still in the United States. Staffed by volunteers who run every aspect of the organization, Keystone Soldiers maintains a pen pal list and matches letter writers with those in need.
Adopt A U.S. Soldier also supports deployed Americans by connecting them with encouraging pen pals. With over 1 million volunteers, AAUSS supplies soldiers in the program with one postcard or letter per week. The program is designed to foster long-term supportive friendships between soldiers and civilian volunteers. AAUSS is based in Colorado and recruits volunteers at public events, such as state fairs, and through social media. One soldier in the program stated that getting letters from a pen pal helps him feel less homesick. Other soldiers explained that they enjoy the letters because they are a distraction from day-to-day deployment life.