The Canadian Armed Forces are asking for residents to send cards and letters to service members who will be away from their families for the holidays.

“In the morning, I would walk into the cafeteria to get breakfast,” said Sargent Jacques Ouelette, Master Warrant Officer, “and everybody would stop eating and stare at me with lit-up eyes, hoping they would be the lucky ones to get a letter… For soldiers, mail [is] as important as food.”

Currently, over 2,100 Forces members are deployed overseas. “For a lot of these people, it is their first tour away,” said Sargent Michael Hemmingsen, postmaster assigned to Operation Impact, an international coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Henningsen told Global News on Friday that serving over the holidays can be tough, especially for those newer to the military.

Having something as tangible as a card or letter for service members to display is most welcome. He said, “it’s easy to call, text or Facetime, but making a card takes a little more leg work. It means more, in my opinion.”

Letters from children, Hemmingsen said, where children write thanking military personnel for their service, and include pictures and drawing, or any well wishes, are particularly meaningful.

The Canadian Armed Forces posted on Twitter last week, saying that many of their troops would be spending the holidays away from their families, and shared the address to which you can send your mail. Here is that adddress:

Any Canadian Armed Forces Member
P.O. Box 5004 Stn Forces
Belleville, Ontario
K8N 5W6

They also mentioned you can specify mission or region. Be sure you follow the full guidelines here.

In order for your card or letter to reach troops by Christmas, post it before December 9, and make a service member’s holidays that much warmer.

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