Dear Soldier (212th new thing)

November 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

On Day Two Hundred Twelve I participated in the Bert Show’s “Big Thank You” project, and wrote a letter to a soldier serving during Thanksgiving.

It had been quite awhile since I had fashioned a hand-written letter (or anything hand-written besides a grocery list), so I was a bit rusty. My past letters were usually addressed to friends or relatives and had a specific format. Friend: Ramble on about whatever is on my mind, and end it when I’ve developed a hand cramp or have really and thoroughly described every detail of my current life situation (usually the former). Family: These are usually in the form of birthday or celebratory cards and mention something about hoping the day is as fantastic as they are and how much I miss them. Generic, but sincere.

So there I was, sitting down at the dining room table, stationary lying flat, pen poised in hand. And all I had was, “Dear Soldier.” This would be a lot more difficult than I thought. So I started to ramble write. First of all I thanked this unknown recipient for their service in the military. I salute anyone with that much motivation, drive, and stamina to join the armed forces. I don’t think I could ever take such a bold brave step.

Then I mentioned a little something about myself, about turning thirty, and may have even jotted down this blog address. I thanked the soldier again and by this point my rambling had paid off and I had reached the end of the single page limit to the letter. Apparently I have plenty to say to a stranger.

I sent the note off in the mail to the Bert Show and the whole act of writing the letter and mailing it cheered me up immensely. I wasn’t in any sort of bad mood to begin with, but imagining someone taking the time to read MY letter and being cheered by it made me happier. In some way the activity seemed very self-serving, but then doing something nice for someone usually makes you feel better, so are all good deeds actually selfish? In a way. But at least there might be a little less loneliness on Thanksgiving this year.

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