Living Intentionally – How Writing a Daily Letter to a Deployed Friend has Helped Strengthen our Friendship

Before I started dating, I was about 25 years old and had my mind set on other things. Over the last four years I have gone out on many dates, met even more men, and even made a few friends along the way. Like many people, I definitely have a “type.” This type tends to be Veterans (many of which are Combat Vets).

While getting to know these men, they would always tell me how they enjoyed receiving and writing letter to and from their loved ones while on deployment. They would tell me how they really enjoyed the small details in the letters. For example: one person told me that he enjoyed reading about how his sister went to Starbucks with one of her best friends then later she went to the grocery store. It has always been a mystery to me; why do you want to know every detail about what is happening here? In my mind, I find these small details to be rather boring. Wouldn’t someone who is deployed feel the same way about the small details of life at home?

Fast forward a few years to present day. I now have a friend who works part time for the National Guard (Former Air Force Officer) and was recently deployed. During his deployment, I made the decision to intentionally write him a long deployment letter every day at noon. I didn’t know his physical address, so all of our communication was via Facebook Messenger.

At first, I had no idea what to tell him about. So naturally, I started telling him all about the weather. Then eventually, with the more letters I sent him, the more comfortable I became with telling him about other things. I would tell him about my minor victories and losses, frustrations, sicknesses, plans, work, friendships, and so on. Often times he would respond in ways that I was not expecting. 

Unexpectedly, my deployment letters turned into actual conversations. They became conversations of substance. We become more comfortable with each other during his deployment because of my letters.. Despite being thousands of miles apart, we became closer and our friendship became much deeper.

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