Friday, January 4, 2013

#21.1: Letters to a soldier

I was on a flight somewhere sitting in DFW on layover where there was a group of soldiers leaving for deployment. Many leaving had wives/husbands, kids, friends there to see them off. As I sat there "reading" my book, watching the various interactions, fighting back my own tears I noticed the one soldier who was sitting one row over with his head in his hands. There was no one there to see him off, to give him a hug and a come back safe. Was it his choice? maybe. But I couldn't stand the though of him being over there and not having anyone checking in on him, sending him letters, telling him how much his sacrifice was appreciated, sending him corny care packages.

As I took my seat on the flight and we took off, I found out that the guy that was sitting next to me was a Blackhawk pilot, heading back to the Sandbox for the 2nd half of his 2nd deployment. He was an amazing guy. As we were landing all the passengers participated in a round of applause in thanks for their military service.

When I got home, I realized I wanted to do more. I needed to do more to show my appreciation for American soldiers. I started to research the idea and came across a non-profit organization called Soldier's Angels. They have so many ways to show support to our troops who are deployed. There are opportunities for long-term adoptions, one-time donations, one-time letter writing, groups etc. Check them out here.

I've adopted several soldiers over the last few years, but have kinda slacked off in the most recent past. So......for my list I've adopted a soldier for this 30th birthday year. Sometimes they send quite a bit of information about themselves in your initial adoption email....this one had very little. Hopefully my new soldier will write his angel back :). Even if he doesn't, I'll trust that my letters and care packages make a difference to someone who is so far away from home, from family and from everything he knows.

Dear Soldier (name removed for privacy)

Hello! I am your new angel though the organizations Soldier’s Angels. I have adopted soldiers before, but have been without one for a little while. I’m turning 30 soon and I decided that I should have a “dirty 30” list….30 things that I want to do before I turn 31 J I’m also new to the blogging world, as I started a blog so that people can follow me through my dirty 30 list. Anyway, one of the items was to get back into Soldiers Angels….that is where you come in. If you would like to follow my blog you can find it at

A little bit about me. I grew up in Colorado on a farm in a small town in eastern Colorado. I was active in 4-H and sports. I played volleyball, softball, basketball and ran track. After high school, I went to Western State College in Gunnison, CO and majored in business administration and economics while playing basketball. I really like Gunnison and I found a job at a guest ranch there so that I could stay in the summers too! I wasn’t ready for a real job when I graduated so I packed up and moved to Stillwater, Ok to get my Masters in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University. 2 years later I was off to cross the Mississippi for the first time ever when I packed up and moved to Tennessee. I worked as a Marketing Specialist for the University of Tennessee  for a year before moving back west and starting work for the US Department of Agriculture in Wyoming. I’ve lived 2 different places in Wyoming, but have been with the Agency for 4 years.

So here I am in western Wyoming and I think I’m settled in for a little while. I’ve bought a house and been doing some remodeling the whole time…..still have some to go. I have a great little dog. Her name is Tylie and she is a blue heeler. She will be 8 in February.

Please let me know if there are any specifics that you would like in your care packages. That is the hardest part for me, making sure that I send good stuff, so please let me know what you like. 

Please feel free to write me back or email me

Thank you for your service to our country. I appreciate all that you do!



  1. Great idea Jen! You've inspired me to do my own "dirty 32" list! :) I've wanted to start a blog for several years. This is just the push I need. Love your blog so far!

  2. I. Love. This. Seriously, so awesome. Good job, Jen!


  3. Hi!

    I am Lauren, a friend of Tiffany's! I actually just signed up for adopting a soldier thru the same organization. This is my first time though so I would love some of your input and ideas! Feel free to come by and check out my blog at!

    So excited to find your blog!