A Lesson on Vmail (with Writing Prompts!)
by Cara Putman
What’s that sound? Listen really hard. Do you hear it? It’s the sound of the mail Jeep pulling up to the mailbox. The click of the lid being closed. You hurry outside, eager to get the mail before your brother can.
Now imagine the date is 1943, and your big brother is serving in England. You wonder when—and if—he’ll make the move into Europe. So far he’s safe . . . but it’s been weeks since you’ve heard from him.
So each day you race to the mailbox as soon as you hear the mailman leave.
When you reach the mailbox you pull open the lid and reach inside. As you pull the mall pile out, your hands begin to tremble. A small rectangle is nestled on top of the small pile. It’s here!
V-mail was a unique way that the United States shipped mail to and from the troops during WWII.
A single sheet of paper, one portion had a space for your address and the address of the person receiving the mail. The rest was to be used for the letter. If you were in the military, you had to assume that your letter would be read by military censors. As a result, you couldn’t include any specifics. Or the letter would have a black mark where the censor had cut out words or sentences.
Once the letter was received by the military, it was photographed on microfiche and shipped overseas or to the States in rolls of film that were developed at the destination and then delivered to the recipient. What was received was smaller than what was sent, but the result was the same. A touch of home for the lonely soldier and a reassurance that the soldier or sailor was still alive.
Have you ever written a letter to a soldier?
What would you write to a soldier or sailor?
What do you think they would like to read about?
What would it have been like to receive a letter from home in the days before internet, email, cell phones, and TV?
To find out how you can send your own letter to troops and download the Vmail Writing Prompts worksheet, stop by FreeHomeschoolDeals.com!
About Cara Putman
Cara C. Putman graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. The best-selling author of more than a dozen books, Cara is active in women’s ministry at her church, teaches graduate courses at Purdue University, practices law, and is a homeschooling mom. She lives with her husband and 4 children in Indiana.
You can learn more at caraputman.com.
About Where Treetops Glisten
The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime.
Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas.
Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.
In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.
Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?
In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.
The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?
Shirley Chapel says
That I can remember , I have never written a letter to a soldier. Last Christmas our church along with a few others got supplies such as cookies Bibles and books and other gifts together and boxed them and they were presented to troops as they prepared to leave for Afganistan after Christmas. That was our special mission project for last year.
Shirley Strait says
I remember sending goodies to various uncles of mine who have served in the armed forces as a child. More recently I have connected with my nephew while he was on 2 deployments in the Middle East. In all situations, they were awefully glad to get whatever we sent
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Megan Hamsher says
I sent a couple letters to a handful of soldiers through Soldiers’ Angels.
One female soldier even wrote a card back, thanking me.
When I read the description, they said:
Talk about every-day kind of stuff – church, work, weather, pets, sports.
Thank him/her for their service and how you hope he/she stays safe.
Ya never know who you might just touch….
http://www.anysoldier.com is another very popular website that you can find soldiers to send letters to.