Soldiers' Angels was founded in 2003 by military mom, Patti Patton-Bader. At that time, her eldest son Brandon was deployed to Iraq and Patti would religiously send him care packages filled with goodies from home. Brandon told Patti that many of the other deployed service members in his unit never received any packages or mail... this was the spark that started the idea of Soldiers' Angels and brought thousands of volunteers together with one vision in mind: "May No Soldier Go Unloved."
As the organization grew, there were many individuals that were interested in supporting the deployed-- but stuffing an entire care package and shipping it all the way to the Middle East can be expensive. That's when Angel Sara came up with the great idea of starting the Letter Writing Team -- all you need is paper and a pen! She brought the idea to Patti, telling her that many more volunteers could help when the cost was virtually nothing and, more importantly, that many more service members could be reached when more volunteers were able to help.
From that day on, the Soldiers' Angels Letter Writing Team has been one of the most popular programs we offer-- for volunteers and service members.
Below is "The First Letter." This is the response letter that Angel Sara received after she mailed one of the very first Soldiers' Angels Letter Writing Team letters to a lucky deployed service member.
Dear "Army Mom,"
Just wanted to take a second to tell you what happened in Iraq today. It was raining - and I was just coming in to my headquarters when I passed by one of my newer soldiers - an immigrant from the former Soviet Union - and one of my BEST privates.
I was stopped in my tracks, for behold - on such a dreary day he was smiling. I was being funny (at first) and I said "awww you got a package with some goodies? Who sent that to you?" And as I expected to hear him say "my mom (or something like that)" he turned his face to me and said "I don't know...." he had a smile on his face.....and as I saw his eyes glazing he said " ...that's why I was smiling" and at that my eyes began to glaze too.
I can never take for granted their service, not for one minute - not for one second. And now...even in a hell hole like this - God has sent yet another Angel.
I'll bet you didn't know that did you? How truly amazing - how close we come to God in such a far away place.
And how silly I am for thinking that this private's safety is for me only to keep. Seems there are many who share this burden-and make me sleep sound.
You made one of my soldiers smile today - sitting there by himself - and for that, you have touched my soul.
I'd thank you, but that's not why Angels do what they do (I know). So instead I'll just say - Well Done! You can rest easy, message received. And I'll do my best to bring them home. I owe God one ;-)
Thank you from my soul,
PS (the Fourth Army son of a mom like you, no doubt)