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Letter (and email) Writing

One of the things you can do to help out soldiers is to write letters to them to help keep them up with life here at home, as well as help a lonely soldier stay connected.

It shows our soldiers that we care and may help them get over rough times when they get that Mail Call and hear their name! If you don't believe me that a letter can lift a soldier's spirits, check out this short video from Soldiers' Angels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHJCg1a_Bjs

Of course, when you adopt a soldier, as I have many times, you are expected to write to them each week to help keep up their spirits. As I mentioned in my Activities Update section, letter writing is a lost art. It was to me, too. As a computer specialist for about the last 20 years and tech writer for many recent years, most of my prose were pounded out on a keyboard. So it took me a little time to get back into the habit of writing letters. But I always did enjoy writing...so I got myself a stationery box to keep my letter writing tools gathered, ordered some nice paper and envelopes, stocked up on pens and bought some great THANK YOU stickers...and requested a spot on the Soldiers' Angels Letter Writing Team.

For security reasons, I can't list details of each soldier, but I wanted to start a list so I could keep track of those to whom I write, as well as allowing the soldiers to confirm that I was the person who wrote them, should they come to my site.

NOTE!
Click HERE to view some writing supply ideas and download templates I use, which you can customize for your own use.

NOTE!
Throughout 2011, I continued to write to soldiers and probably got another hundred or so letters out. However, I had to lower my level to one soldier name a week because so much was going on in my own life during 2011. I'd cared for mom for 15 yrs, but now she had to move to my sister's home for better wheelchair access. I then saw the sale of our family homestead, which was sad after owning it for over 55 years. My brother died in Jun/2011 from cancer and mom died at nearly 92 in Oct/2011. Then sad holidays without much family, as well as hearing a couple good friends/colleagues died at the end of the year and even my beloved oldest dog moved on to doggie heaven, which broke our hearts! So I wasn't taking time to document each letter as I had in the past...but letters were still going out and still do.

I receive names weekly. The date shows the date of my letter or email to each soldier.

200) Feb 27, 11 - A WWII Vet...c/o Honor Flight Mail Call, Illinois WWII Veterans. This being my 200th letter...I wanted it to be extra special, so I wrote a thank you letter to a WWII vet who will get my letter during Mail Call on his return flight home from his Honor Flight to Washington, DC after viewing his WWII memorial.

For more info about Honor Flights, see these links: http://www.honorflight.org/ and http://www.honorflightchicago.org/

Also, if you wish to write a thank you letter to a WWII vet, who will be given your letter during his return flight home from Washington, write to: Thanks-A-Vet, c/o David King & Associates, 1011 Lake Street, Suite 313, Oak Park, IL 60301

199) Feb 27, 11 - Amelia @ 09354

198) Feb 26, 11 - Christopher @ 09314
197) Feb 26, 11 - Matthew @ 09342
196) Feb 26, 11 - Kyle @ 09311

195) Feb 25, 11 - Matt & Bosco @ 09370...(my adopted MWD Team, long letter w/pics & K9 Care pkg)
194) Feb 25, 11 - Nydia @ 09391

193) Jan 28, 11 - Tawayna @ 09355
192) Jan 28, 11 - Diego @ 09355

191) Jan 26, 11 - Juan @ 09310
190) Jan 26, 11 - Kandy @ 09311

189) Jan 24, 11 - Timothy @ 96661

188) Jan 23, 11 - Vannell @ 09354 ...(also sent small care pkg w/favorite soap he requested).

187) Jan 22, 11 - Shaqueena @ 09334
186) Jan 22, 11 - Adam @ 09313

185) Jan 13, 11 - Nicholas @ 09354

184) Jan 12, 11 - Robert @ 09338

183) Jan 05, 11 - Jarret @ 96427
182) Jan 05, 11 - Carl @ 09338

181) Jan 02, 11 - Brandon @ 09338
180) Jan 02, 11 - Amakoe @ 09334

179) Dec 30, 10 - Terry @ 09334
178) Dec 30, 10 - Scott @ 09311
177) Dec 30, 10 - Alaric @ 09372
176) Dec 30, 10 - Sylvester @ 09355

175) Dec 28, 10 - Andrea @ 09391

174) Dec 26, 10 - Matthew @ 96601
173) Dec 26, 10 - Kristopher @ 96601
172) Dec 26, 10 - Christopher @ 96601

171) Dec 25, 10 - Hector @ 09334

170) Dec 16, 10 - Bibiana @ 09334

169) Dec 13, 10 - Julie @ 09311

168) Dec 12, 10 - Larry @ 09354
167) Dec 12, 10 - Derrick @ 09354

166) Dec 08, 10 - Hazel @ 89701 ...(WWII vet recovering from surgery...sent letter of encouragement for her recovery).
165) Dec 08, 10 - Billy @ 09354
164) Dec 08, 10 - Edward @ 09354

163) Nov 22, 10 - Garfield @ 09355

162) Nov 21, 10 - Jon @ 09311 ... he emailed back a thank you for writing him, as well as sent pictures of himself at work.

161) Nov 13, 10 - Taylor @ 09311

160) Nov 10, 10 - Timothy @ 09396

159) Nov 07, 10 - Kyle @ 09313

158) Nov 04, 10 - (no first name available) @ 96624

157) Nov 02, 10 - Isaac @ 09355

156) Oct 29, 10 - (no first name available) @ 96624
155) Oct 29, 10 - Margaret @ 09354

I had to take a hiatus from the writing team for a couple months to deal with a sudden, large home move when mom moved in with other family members who finally stepped up to help out after 15 yrs of me caring for mom. This allowed Greg & I to move out of the city to a wonderful, new home. However, it was quite an ordeal leaving Chicago and the family homestead that mom & dad purchased in 1956, but we didn't have much choice as mom needed more care than she could get while still living in her old city home, which didn't accommodate a wheelchair very well. So she moved in with other family members, who could better accommodate her needs at 91 yrs old...and Greg & I moved on with our new lives.

154) Jul 26, 10 - Justin @ 09312
153) Jul 26, 10 - Troy @ 09312
152) Jul 26, 10 - Sharia @ 09312

151) Jul 24, 10 - Leslie @ 09354

150) Jul 22, 10 - John @ 09354
149) Jul 22, 10 - Thomas @ 09354

148) Jul 20, 10 - Adrianna @ 09310
147) Jul 20, 10 - Jeremy @ 09310
146) Jul 20, 10 - Timothy @ 09310
145) Jul 20, 10 - Adam @ 09355
144) Jul 20, 10 - Jenna @ 09354

143) Jul 18, 10 - Robert @ 09815
142) Jul 18, 10 - Douglas @ 09368
141) Jul 18, 10 - Selahaldean @ 09368
140) Jul 18, 10 - Martin @ 09354

139) Jul 14, 10 - Tony @ 09355
138) Jul 14, 10 - Noah @ 09368
137) Jul 14, 10 - Alyssa @ 09374
136) Jul 14, 10 - Zulma @ 09354

135) Jul 08, 10 - Danielle @ 09309

134) Jul 05, 10 - Michael @ 09331

133) Jun 28, 10 - Johnny @ 09355
132) Jun 28, 10 - Joseph @ 09363
131) Jun 28, 10 - Harold @ 09348

130) Jun 26, 10 - Michael @ 09378
129) Jun 26, 10 - Dana @ 09342 ... she wrote back twice, to first thank me for writing, then to keep in touch.

128) Jun 22, 10 - Brian @ 09342
127) Jun 22, 10 - Andy @ 09378
126) Jun 22, 10 - Mark @ 09368
125) Jun 22, 10 - Donald @ 09331
124) Jun 22, 10 - Syrita @ 09378

123) Jun 21, 10 - Larry @ 09378
122) Jun 21, 10 - Shane @ 09331
121) Jun 21, 10 - Donghak @ 09368
120) Jun 21, 10 - Sarah @ 09344
119) Jun 21, 10 - Mitchell @ 09355

118) Jun 17, 10 - Wesley @ 09310
117) Jun 17, 10 - Joseph @ 09310
116) Jun 17, 10 - Larry @ 09310

115) Jun 15, 10 - Andrew @ 09378
114) Jun 15, 10 - Garrett @ 09311 ... he emailed back a thank you for writing him.
113) Jun 15, 10 - Amber @ 09338

112) Jun 13, 10 - Patrick @ 96427
111) Jun 13, 10 - Milton @ 96427
110) Jun 13, 10 - Derrick @ 96427

109) Jun 02, 10 - Jermey @ 09311
108) Jun 02, 10 - Jon @ 09311
107) Jun 02, 10 - Michael @ 09354
106) Jun 02, 10 - Nathanael @ 09330

105) May 25, 10 - Aleksandra @ 96427
104) May 25, 10 - Thomas @ 09391
103) May 25, 10 - Lucas @ 09344
102) May 25, 10 - Kenneth @ 09338

101) May 24, 10 - Javier @ 09334

100) May 18, 10 - Kurt @ 09378
099) May 18, 10 - Steven @ 09378
098) May 18, 10 - Maint @ 09378

097) May 17, 10 - Jacob @ 09366
096) May 17, 10 - Patrick @ 09366
095) May 17, 10 - Matthew @ 09366

094) May 12, 10 - Brian @ 09320
093) May 12, 10 - Terrance @ 09355 ... he emailed back a thank you for writing him.
092) May 12, 10 - Craig @ 09312

091) May 10, 10 - Michael @ 09364
090) May 10, 10 - Richard @ 09859
089) May 10, 10 - Anthony @ 09355
088) May 10, 10 - Cheynne @ 09354
087) May 10, 10 - Kevin @ 09355 ...he wrote back with a nice, long letter and later linked up via Facebook. He is now safely home with his kids. I also sent him one of my HERO blankets.

086) May 06, 10 - Martha @ 09310
085) May 06, 10 - Melvin @ 09310
084) May 06, 10 - Alex @ 09382

083) May 1, 10 - Jason (ePal)

Soldiers' Angels just started a new ePal team. Similar to the Letter Writing Team (LWT), Angels email soldier who have requested to keep in touch with Angels via email. There is a string of qualifications, including being a part of the LWT for some time and being an Angel for a period of time...since I qualified, I applied. I was just accepted, so some names (above) will now not show a zip, but ePal to designate those I've emailed.

082) Apr 28, 10 - Dyna @ 09355
081) Apr 28, 10 - Stephen @ 09311
080) Apr 28, 10 - Claudette @ 09355
079) Apr 28, 10 - Andrew @ 09310

078) Apr 24, 10 - Neil @ 09315
077) Apr 24, 10 - Amberlyn @ 09372

076) Apr 17, 10 - Robert @ 09322 ... he emailed a thank you, linked via Facebook w/Rob & his wife, sent Rob a couple care pkgs.
075) Apr 17, 10 - Jeremy @ 09338
074) Apr 17, 10 - Vanessa @ 09378
073) Apr 17, 10 - Debra @ 09342

072) Apr 04, 10 - Aaron @ 09374
071) Apr 04, 10 - Augustine @ 09338 ... (& sent a care pkg)
070) Apr 04, 10 - James @ 09354

069) March, 2010 - sent blanket to Ruth's Marine nephew, Marty ... he emailed a thank you via his wife & sent pics w/blanket
068) March, 2010 - sent blanket to Becky's Marine son

067) Mar 23, 10 - Wilberto @ 09354
066) Mar 23, 10 - John @ 09354
065) Mar 23, 10 - Joseph @ 09354

064) Mar 21, 10 - Sean @ 09378
063) Mar 21, 10 - David @ 09314
062) Mar 21, 10 - Jonathan @ 09321

061) Mar 19, 10 - McKay @ 09336

060) Mar 12, 10 - Royce @ 09855
059) Mar 12, 10 - Charles @ 09332

058) Mar 11, 10 - Jeremiah @ 09310 ... (& sent a care pkg)

057) Mar 06, 10 - William @ 09354 ... (& sent a care pkg)
056) Mar 06, 10 - Michael @ 09354 ... (& sent a care pkg)
055) Mar 06, 10 - Marlon @ 09338
054) Mar 06, 10 - Johnathan @ 09342
053) Mar 06, 10 - Jayson @ 09354

052) Feb 22, 10 - Jeff @ 09354

051) Feb 21, 10 - Timothy @ 09356
050) Feb 21, 10 - Nicole @ 09344
049) Feb 21, 10 - Maurice @ 09354

048) Feb 20, 10 - Matt @ 09544
047) Feb 20, 10 - Adam @ 09354

046) Feb 19, 10 - Ronald @ 09383

045) Feb 18, 10 - Matthew @ 96427

044) Feb 17, 10 - Donald @ 09834

043) Feb 16, 10 - Lance @ 09354
042) Feb 16, 10 - John @ 96610

041) Feb 13, 10 - Kathryn @ 09510

040)Feb 02, 10 - Jeremy @ 09331
039) Feb 02, 10 - Samuel @ 09382
038) Feb 02, 10 - Justin @ 09312

037) Jan 29, 10 - Matthew @ 09355
036) Jan 29, 10 - Mike @ 09324
035) Jan 29, 10 - Egbert @ 09324

034) Jan 25, 10 - José @ 09374
033) Jan 25, 10 - Jacklyn @ 09374
032) Jan 25, 10 - Byron @ 09374

031) Jan 24, 10 - Kayla @ 09374

030) Jan 21, 10 - Joshua @ 09374
029) Jan 21, 10 - William @ 09374

028) Jan 11, 10 - Brian @ 09331
027) Jan 11, 10 - Emil @ 09311

026) Jan 10, 10 - Jeff @ 09334

Promoted to FULL Letter Writing Team (off probation). Having been approved by the leader of the LW Bridge Team, I moved to the automated list. I log into my Approved Angel web site and the number of names I requested (max 3 a day) are loaded to my page on the day(s) I've requested. At this point, I've requested 3 names on Sat (for weekend writing) and 3 names each Monday (to get to during the week).

025) Jan 5, 10 - Demetrius @ 09312
024) Jan 5, 10 - George @ 09336

023) Dec 23, 09 - Russell @ 09391
022) Dec 23, 09 - Christopher @ 09391
021) Dec 23, 09 - Javier @ 09391

020) Dec 10, 09 - John @ 09332
019) Dec 10, 09 - Roberto @ 09510
018) Dec 10, 09 - Cable @ 09342
017) Dec 10, 09 - Jeremy @ 96677
016) Dec 10, 09 - Travis @ 09355

015) Dec 6, 09 - George @ 09359 ... he linked to me via Facebook.
014) Dec 6, 09 - Regina @ 09354 ... (& sent her a care pkg)
013) Dec 6, 09 - Gail @ 09320

012) Nov 29, 09 - Raford @ 09393
011) Nov 29, 09 - Justin @ 09378

010) Nov 22, 09 - Leslie @ 09336
009) Nov 22, 09 - Jason @ 09393 ...he wrote back with a nice, long letter.
008) Nov 22, 09 - Ramon @ 09336
007) Nov 22, 09 - Victoria @ 09334
006) Nov 22, 09 - Ryan @ 09278

005) Nov 17, 09 - Drew @ 09391
004) Nov 17, 09 - Randy @ 09312 ... he linked to me via Facebook, sent him a care pkg.
003) Nov 12, 09 - Sequoria @ 09393

002) Nov 12, 09 - Peter @ 09309
001) Nov 12, 09 - Troy @ 09808

Nov 10, 09 - Started with the Letter Writing "Bridge" (probationary) Team. For this month, I needed to REQUEST new names as needed. This way they could track how much attention I spent to letter writing each week.

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Writing Ideas and Free Downloads

From time to time I've posted pictures of some of my letters from a writing session (see image to right) on my Facebook page. Several people have asked me about my camo envelopes, as well as how to make the Angel cards I use. In this section of my site, I'm posting some details about my letter writing methods, as well as some downloads that you are free to take and customize for your own use. This will save you time from creating your own cards, labels and stationery, should you want to use some of my approaches.

What Should I Write?

Lots of people ask about getting involved in letter writing to soldiers, but they also feel they don't know what to write. True, letter writing is a lost art...particularly when you're writing for the first time to a stranger. Being a writer by trade, that's not a problem for me. But many people are stumped when it comes to thinking about how to write a letter to a soldier.

Here are a few thoughts...

  • Introduce yourself and how you got their name
    Assuming you are a member of the Soldiers' Angels Letter Writing Team and obtained their mailing details from Soldiers' Angels, start out by letting them know how you obtained their name. Or maybe you're writing to a relative of a friend. If that's the case, explain how you know the person in question and let the soldier know that you just wanted to write them to try to cheer up their day.

  • Show your appreciation for their service
    Be sure to tell them how much you appreciate their sacrifices and service to our country! Thank them for serving and protecting us. Make sure they know that you CARE about them and, if you are so inclined, let them know that you are praying for their safe return to their family. At first, you may feel these sentiments are a bit personal to be writing to someone you don't know, but realize you're writing to a soldier who has put their life on hold to serve our country. Plus, know that these words will surely be received with heartfelt appreciation by the men and women who are out there in rough conditions, away from their families. It is extremely enduring to hear words of thanks for your services from a stranger!

  • Enclose a little humor or good luck charm
    Being a dog lover myself, I have several fun dog comics and like to include a couple to try to give each soldier a giggle. I also include one of my Angel cards (see further below), which includes the URL to this site, so soldiers can learn more about me and easily get in touch with me if they wish to do so. I also crochet little angels and have, often, included a little crocheted angel in the letter.

  • Let them know what's going on at home
    Soldiers are away from home. Rather than being here in the states dealing with the often mundane activities of day-to-day life, they are sitting in a desert, often extremely hot and miserable as they not only battle the elements, including nasty sand storms, heat and cold, but they are missing the pleasure of being at home and they learn to greatly appreciate all those mundane activities and chores. So take a little time to tell the soldier about what you're doing. Tell them about the chores you're doing...about the garden you're planting or the daily antics with your kids and/or pets. Help them visualize home life in their mind's eye to give them a release from the battle weary life they are currently enduring on your behalf. Tell them where you live and what life is like there. There's a good chance that the recipient soldier lives in another part of the country and would appreciate knowing about life in your part of America.

  • Encourage them to keep in touch and/or send them something
    If you are so inclined, make sure the soldier knows that they can feel comfortable about writing/emailing you back and include your email address as well (if you wish) since many soldiers don't have the time or supplies to send handwritten letters, but they may wish to email you back to at least thank you for thinking of them. You might also ask them if there is anything they need and let them know that you'll try your best to help out if you wish to help them by sending care packages. They may tell you about a couple items that would make their life easier and most of the time it is a simple thing like some favorite snacks or hygiene products that would make their life more comfortable. Or maybe you'd prefer to send a predesigned care package directly from Soldiers' Angels? They have lots of themed packages ready to go, which you can easily purchase online...and shipping is free! See their Store for details: http://www.angelsstore.org Or you can usually get wanted items quite cheap at a discount store and you can ship up to 70 lbs of items in the new Post Office care boxes. See shipping details at the Post Office web site at http://www.usps.com or feel free to email me directly...I'll be happy to give you lots of info and advice about shipping, items best to send and how to easily handle the required Customs form! Contact me at: dian@mousetrax.com


  • Don't bring them down
    Finally, one vitally important issue to keep in mind! Remember, these soldiers are enduring a lot on your behalf! Don't weigh them down by writing about your own personal problems! Don't whine about your job or complain about family life or hard things you have to endure. Keep your letters light, fun and enjoyable. Sure, if you have a problem you're tackling you can tell them about it, but don't harp on your own emotions by writing too much about all the trouble you are having enduring your own issues. If you want to mention how you had to clean up after a flood or had to find someone to fix your broken car, keep these stories to the facts. Limit the amount of whining you do...just tell the story...don't complain or invoke too many of your own troublesome emotions!
    Additionally, since you have no idea about the thoughts of the person to whom you are writing, do not get into discussions or push your views on religion or politics...always hot topics and ones you should not include in letters to soldiers!

With luck, you may get a reply from your soldier. And let me tell you...there's not many things better to brighten your day than finding a letter or email from a deployed soldier thanking you for taking the time to write him/her!

Angel Cards

This (image to the left) is my "Angel Card." I keep some in my purse to pass to people I meet to encourage them to get involved, as well as pass them to people when I take photos...such as during Patriot Guard missions...so they can easily find my photos on this Angel web site.

The layout is a simple Microsoft Word document that I've constructed with an image of me on my motorcycle, some words of encouragement to "get involved" and the URL to my Angel web site (this site), so people can go online to read more about what I do and contact me, if they wish.

If you don't have your own web site that is geared toward your activities, it would be best for you to enter the Soldiers' Angels web site link, which would be: http://www.soldiersangels.org

Copy and paste that URL into your own cards.

The blank card sheets I use are Avery # 8875, Matte White Ink Jet Clean Edge Business Cards. The template they suggest using with these business cards is # 8371, however, if you download my template, the layout will work with these cards. You can purchase these business cards at most business supply stores or order them online by clicking HERE to go to the item page at Avery.com. Note that Avery now lists this item as # 8859, but they seem to be the same, as they work with my old layout document. Or...you can also just print your cards to any cardstock and then manually cut out the cards. To download my Word document for the above Angel cards, click HERE.

Mailing Labels

This (image to the left) shows my mailing labels. Although I usually hand write the addresses on my letters, to make them more personal, I also send out a lot of care packages to soldiers. It is easier to address one of these labels versus hand writing on boxes. I also adopt soldiers, so when I get a new soldier under my wing, I create a full sheet of these address labels with their mailing address on each label and print out a sheet. I put the sheet of their labels in a file folder I keep for each adopted soldier, so I have mailing labels ready to go for their next letter or care package.

Again, I get my blank label supply from Avery.com. The labels I use from Avery are # 85563, using template # 5163. The image I display to the left is slightly smaller than the real label size, which is actually about the same size as the business cards shown above and gives you 10 labels to a sheet...5 in 2 columns. If you wish to order these labels online, click HERE to go to this item at Avery.com.

If you'd like to use my label document and customize it with your own return address, click HERE to download my document. Save it to your hard drive. Then simply open the document within Microsoft Word and type over my name and address with your own.

Camo Envelopes

As you can see in the image of my letters further above, the envelopes I use are camo envelopes. There is a camo side panel on the front and the back has a camo flap. To order these envelopes for your own writing, you can get them from PaperDirect.com. I highly recommend this site and have been ordering paper supplies from them for many years. The direct link for these camo envelopes is below, but you can also enter PATRIOTIC in their site's search input box to find several other items you might prefer.

To order the camo envelopes I use, go HERE.

Thank You Stickers

A neat idea I thought about after a time on the Soldiers' Angels Letter Writing Team was to seal each envelope with a THANK YOU sticker as an added way to say Thank You to our soldiers. Again, I get my stickers from Paper Direct. To order the stickers I use, click HERE, but they have another version that is a little less bold, which you might prefer. To view/order the other Thank You stickers, click HERE.

Note that as of 2010, Soldiers' Angels also now has a roll of official Soldiers' Angels sealing stickers that you can purchase directly from the Soldiers' Angels web site. If you prefer to use these stickers, you can view/order them by clicking HERE.

Stationery Layout

Rather than using a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, which can be difficult to neatly write on without lines, I prefer to use a half-sheet of paper. Plus, a half-sheet of 8.5x11" paper fits perfectly into the camo envelopes without folding and makes for a neat, flat mailing. However, if you plan to cut standard pages in half, you'll want to have access to some very straight cutting devices, such as a paper slicer. Since I sew quilts, I already have a rotary cutter, a ruler and a cutting board that works out perfectly for this. I can quickly slice about 10-15 pages neatly in half using these tools. Don't attempt to use scissors to cut paper in half! Not only will it most likely not come out very straight, it will take you forever to chop a load of pages. If you don't have a proper cutting device, then I'd suggest you get one of the many, nice stationery papers that have decorative borders around them.

I purchase the Sand colored antique paper from Paper Direct, which you can view/order by clicking HERE. This paper is nothing fancy, it is just a texture and color I prefer. Feel free to snoop around the Paper Direct site to find your own favorite. And remember, type PATRIOTIC to find other selections, including a camo stationery that matches the envelopes I display above.

However, if you wish to use plain paper and slice it in half as I do, feel free to download my color template which will put a gold frame around each half of the paper, as well as give you a center spot in which to slice to ensure evenly spaced halves. I print these gold frames onto the plain paper using my color printer. However, you can easily change the gold table cell colors to whatever color you wish by putting your cursor within each cell and adjusting the color selection under Microsoft Word's table cell border feature. To download my gold half-sheet stationery document to use as your own, click HERE.

If you have any questions about any of these items or about any of my suggestions...or have ones of your own...or, if you need any help using Microsoft Word to customize any of these items, know that I'm not only a Patriot Guard Rider and Soldiers Angel, but I'm also a Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Word expert, so I'll be happy to provide you with any computer/Word advice to help you customize these items and get them working for your use. Feel free to contact me at dian@mousetrax.com

Happy writing!

Go back to the top.


Cup of Joe

Also, another great way to do a little something nice for soldiers is to buy them a Cup of Joe (coffee).

Green Bean Coffee has put together a terrific Cup of Joe campaign that allows anyone to easily and securely jump to their Cup of Joe web site, toss a few bucks into the virtual kitty to buy a soldier a cup of coffee. When a soldier in the Middle East stops by one of the on-base Green Bean coffeehouses, whose motto is HONOR FIRST, COFFEE SECOND, to buy a nice cup of coffee, they may get a note from you letting them know...this coffee's on YOU!

While the soldier is enjoying their wonderful Green Bean Coffee, they can drop you a little note of thanks that you'll receive via email. And often, the soldiers check the option to keep in touch as an email Pen Pal by requesting to correspond by passing you their email address. (See the thank yous, further below, I've received from soldiers whose coffee I've purchased.)

Just another way to not only do something nice by buying a brave soldier a great cup of coffee, but also a chance to possibly strike up a connection to a soldier serving for our country. Coffee starts as little as $2.00 for one cup, but you can toss in $10 and buy five soldiers coffee or even go higher and buy coffee for a whole unit. Go here and DO IT: http://www.greenbeanscoffee.com/coj/

And don't miss checking out the Baghdad Bad Boys (our soldiers) jamming at one of the Green Bean coffeehouses in Iraq. How about buying that next soldier a cup of joe, eh?

Baghdad Bad Boys music video from Iraq: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR77EhCfiCQ

Cup of Joe Thank Yous I've Received

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Afghanistan - Bagram South in Afghanistan

    • Dian, Thank you so much for your kind words and patriotism. Thanks for riding for what you belive in!!!! It is truly people like you that keep us motivated at the jobs that we are doing. I hope that your day is great. Thanks again!!!

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Stryker in Iraq.

    • Thanks so much for remembering us!!

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Baqubah in Iraq.

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

  • We want you to know that we’ve delivered your personal message and gift of a CUP OF JOE to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Taji in Iraq.

    • Your support of our service men and women through your gift of a CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE provided a much appreciated morale boost and helped make a Soldier’s day a little brighter.

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Kuwait - Camp Virginia

    • Thank you for thinking of us, especially on Independence Day. I am glad to be able to do it. SSG Derek ******

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Afghanistan - Kandahar Boardwalk in Afghanistan.

    • I just wanted to thank you for the cup of joe. Happy 4th of July. Sgt Jeremy ******

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - South Victory in Iraq.

    • Thank you Dian! For the coffee, and for all you do for Soldiers! You are awesome!! Have a great 4th of July!! Michelle

      Michelle has asked to be a COJ PEN PAL with you. To begin your correspondence, please use the email address ************

      • Michelle linked up with me via Facebook, too, and we've since become friends.

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Afghanistan - Phoenix in Afghanistan

    • Ms Chapman No words can express my appreciation. Thank-you

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Speicher Main in Iraq.

    • Thanks Dian! I'll enjoy each sip of joe! - Dave

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Afghanistan - CFC Eggers in Afghanistan.

    • Thanks soo much Dian for the cup of Joe. It helps me wake up at the crack of dawn so I can concentrate better. I hope you have a wonderful day and an awesome summer riding your Harley. Dave

      David has asked to be a COJ PEN PAL with you. To begin your correspondence, please use the email address ***********

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Q-West in Iraq.

    • Thanks, We are glad that there are Americans back home supporting and keeping us in their prayers. Your brother was a true hero and great veteran. Thanks again, im proud to serve my country.

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Slayer in Iraq.

    • stay strong , stay army strong to all

  • We want you to know that we’ve delivered your personal message and gift of a CUP OF JOE to a Soldier serving at Qatar - ATOC.

    • Your support of our service men and women through your gift of a CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE provided a much appreciated morale boost and helped make a Soldier’s day a little brighter.

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Afghanistan - Bagram South in Afghanistan

    • Thank you Dian Chapman. This gesture makes what we do a lot easier. Thank you for your support. have a wonderful day

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Balad PAX

    • Thank you Dian for your support and the cup of coffee. I'm sorry about the loss of your brother who made the ultimate sacrifice. I just wish the soldiers of that time had the same support that we have today. People like you make my sacrifice worth it. Thank you again and may God Bless you!

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Basrah

    • Thanks you for the warm support my Soldiers and I are doing well here in Iraq, thank you for the CUP OF JOE. SSG ****, and K-9 Partner **** COB Basra, Iraq

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Stryker in Iraq.

    • Dian, Thanks for your note, support and generosity. I appreciate the coffee and will benefit from the caffeine. Jeff in Baghdad

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Afghanistan - Bagram South in Afghanistan.

    • Dian, Thank you for all that you do for the American Soldiers defending our nation. The weather here is no where near what you all in the States have experienced this year. Thank you for the cup of coffee. It is always a great escape to sit back and drink a cup in the coffee shop. Thanks again for all your sacrifice of time and family and for the coffee. Sincerely, Donnie

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Balad PAX Terminal

    • "Thank you for the support. It is great to know that everyone back home is behind us 100% Thanks again!"

  • We want you to know that we’ve delivered your personal message and gift of a CUP OF JOE to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Taji in Iraq.

    • Your support of our service men and women through your gift of a CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE provided a much appreciated morale boost and helped make a Soldier’s day a little brighter.

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Delta in Iraq.

    • "Dian, Thank you so much for your kind words. You would be amazed how many Americans support us. We continue to get packages and letters, it is great to know that we are supported. That means the most. Please keep doing what you do, because it does make a differnce Alan FOB Delta, Iraq"

  • We want you to know that we’ve delivered your personal message and gift of a CUP OF JOE to a Soldier serving at Afghanistan - Phoenix in Afghanistan.

    • Your support of our service men and women through your gift of a CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE provided a much appreciated morale boost and helped make a Soldier’s day a little brighter.

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - South Victory in Iraq.

    • "thanks"

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Delta in Iraq.

    • "thank you for the cup of joe. it is greatly appreciated and i appreciate all you are doing."

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Balad H-6 in Iraq.

    • "Ms Chapman, Thank you so much for the Cup of Joe! It warms my hands and my heart knowing that people back home remember us! It helps us remember that we are not over here because of the enemies in front of us; but rather the family and friends behind us! Have a great holiday season! A Grateful Airman"

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - NEC in Iraq.

    • "Thank you for your coffee and thank you for your support!!! Be well and happy holidays! Dan ******* US Embassy Baghdad"

  • We want you to know that we’ve delivered your personal message and gift of a CUP OF JOE to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Slayer in Iraq.

    • Your support of our service men and women through your gift of a CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE provided a much appreciated morale boost and helped make a Soldier’s day a little brighter.

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving in Iraq.

    • "Thank you very much. I really appreciate it and all your extra effort you do for us ... I love seeing the bikers come out in support of veterans."

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Afghanistan - Phoenix in Afghanistan.

    • "Thank you for what you and others like you do as well. You guys let us know just how much you appreciate us by this simple token and it really does mean more than just a cup of joe. I cannot speak for others but here in Afghanistan there is not much to do so going to Green Beans and grabbing a cup of coffee is kind of a big deal...LOL. It helps us pass time as I am sure things back home are done to take their minds off of us being here. Again thank you so much and may God bless you and others like you!"

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Falcon in Iraq.

    • "Hi Thank you very much for the coffee!! It is starting to get cold here in theater and a good hot cup warms the spirit and keeps me going.. Thank you for your devotion to us and America. My job would be meaningless if America had no faith in what we do.. Thanks again from a grateful soldier, Sgt. Davis ***** Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!!"

  • We want you to know that we’ve delivered your personal message and gift of a CUP OF JOE to a Soldier serving at Afghanistan - Bagram South in Afghanistan.

    • Your support of our service men and women through your gift of a CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE provided a much appreciated morale boost and helped make a Soldier’s day a little brighter.

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Sather AB in Iraq.

    • "Thank you so very much for your support and for the coffee. Working nights over here so it is appreciated SO MUCH! :) Thanks again and take care. v/r MSgt Rebecca ******"

      • Rebecca has asked to be a COJ PEN PAL with you. To begin your correspondence, please use the email address below: ***************

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Falcon in Iraq.

    • "Thanks Dian, I will enjoy this cup of joe. SSG Smith"

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Afghanistan - Kandahar MWR in Afghanistan.

    • "Thank you so much!"

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Falcon in Iraq.

    • "Thank you so much for the coffee. It's the littlest things sometimes that make the biggest difference, and knowing there are still people in this country that care enough to do a simple thing like buy a cup of coffee for someone else is a comforting thought. Thank you again...I will enjoy my coffee with a smile :) Sincerely, Spc Kelly ************"

  • We want you to know that we’ve delivered your personal message and gift of a CUP OF JOE to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Falcon in Iraq.

    • "Your support of our service men and women through your gift of a CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE provided a much appreciated morale boost and helped make a Soldier’s day a little brighter. Thank you!"

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Balad H-6 in Iraq.

    • "Thank you for this token of appreciation."

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Afghanistan - Salerno in Afghanistan.

    • "Thank you for your continued support of myself and my fellow troops. Without you guys to support us we would be lost, even something as simple as a cup of joe does wonders for morale. Thank you"

  • Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Soldier serving at Iraq - Stryker in Iraq.

    • "HI DIAN. THANK YOU for the cup of joe. I'm doing well out here. Hope you and your family are doing well. Take care. BILL"

      • William has asked to be a COJ PEN PAL with you. To begin your correspondence, please use the email address below: ******************

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