Around Christmastime one year during my childhood, an article in the newspaper caught my eye. It was an appeal for folks to remember the troops who were away from their families in Vietnam. I immediately took up paper and pencil and wrote notes to two soldiers. My mother gave me Christmas cards to put the letters in, along with the necessary postage.
Sometime early in the next year, I received responses from both men! Seeing the exotic stamps they used and reading their letters to me, a little kid, swelled my heart and stirred my imagination. To think these envelopes had crossed a few oceans!
We continued our correspondences throughout their tours of duty. I remember sending them some Peanuts cartoons – my personal favorites – and worrying they might be too frivolous considering what these men were up against every day. Both assured me, the comic strips were as breaths of fresh air, reminders of home, and humor, and sanity. One of the soldiers sent me some Vietnamese coins, the other, stamps.
I regret to say I don’t know what happened to these men, but the memory of our sweet pen pal relationships still warms my heart.
Today I share with you some stories of women who wrote to soldiers wounded in the American Civil War. You can hear it on my podcast, “American Stories With Rebecca Price Janney” at Anchor.fm/rebeccapricejanney.