WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)—As we approach the holiday season, many of us are looking forward to spending time with loved ones. However, many of the men and women serving our country won't get that time.
That's why the American Legion Post 492 in West Lafayette wants to send holiday cheer to deployed units.
The legion released a statement, which states 200,000 soldiers will not be home for the holidays this year. Post 492's goal is to let those servicemen and women know their country appreciates all they do.
The goal is to send 10,000 letters to deployed armed forces this holiday season.
In order to reach that goal, the legion needs help from the community.
If you are interested in participating in the 'Letters from Home' campaign, here's all you need to do:
Write a letter starting with the greeting "Dear Soldier."
In the letter, you can write anything you would like. Jill Wable, Commander of American Legion Post 492, said to imagine the soldier receiving that letter is a family member of your own.
She suggests thanking them for their service, or expressing your support of the military.
"What message would you like to give that individual to let them know that the folks back at home, your family, your friends, care about them and what they are doing for our country," Wable said.
After you have written a letter, you can take it to any of the drop-off locations. Each location has a wrapped box with 'Letters from Home' on the front.
Locations include American Legion Posts 492 and 11, VFW posts in Lafayette and Delphi and also the Purdue Veterans Success Center.
The last day to drop letters in one of the boxes is Friday, December 6th.
Letters can also be brought to the annual Christmas parade in Downtown Lafayette. Post 492 is leading the parade this year on December 7th. Community members can give their letters to the soldiers on the float, who will then send them to deployed units.
This is the first time the post is doing this, but Wable told News 18 she hopes they can exceed the goal of 10,000 letters.
She explained it's all about giving servicemen and women the feeling of home.
"As you're sitting with your family around your Christmas tree and such at Christmastime," Wable explained. "That feeling of connection; we wanted to be able to have that same feeling of connection that we're sending to our deployed soldiers that are overseas."
Post 492 is working with the local national guard unit for addresses on where to send the letters.
If you know of any deployed units where the letters could be sent, you can contact the post.
The legion is also accepting monetary donations to cover postage costs.