Add an Element of Fun to your Letters
If your favorite member of the military is deployed overseas or away at basic combat training, your interactions are limited to short phone calls and heartfelt letters sent in the mail. It’s sometimes hard to come up with motivating and inspiring words to share in your notes when you’re missing your soldier or soldier-in-training and wish they were back home with you.
The fact is, no matter what you say in your letters, no matter how mundane the topic of conversation is, your soldier treasures your handwritten mail because it’s a connection to you — a fiancée, parent, sibling, or dear friend.
Liven up your weekly letters by adding a quick, paper-based game on a sticky note or index card. Play your first turn, and mail it to your soldier. They’ll play their turn, and send it back to you with their next letter, continuing until the game is complete. Here are a few games you can play via the United States Postal Service!
Tic Tac Toe
This classic game doesn’t need explaining; everyone knows how to play! Draw up your nine-sectioned game board, and decide who will be Xs and who will be Os — and write it on your note so no one forgets! Who will win this game of strategy? You’ll soon find out!
Dots and Boxes
For a longer-term pencil-and-paper game, draw up an empty grid of dots in the desired size. Take turns adding a single horizontal or vertical line between two unjoined, adjacent dots — no diagonals allowed! The player who completes the fourth side of a box earns a point and writes their initial inside the box before taking another turn. The game is over when every box is claimed. The person with the most completed boxes wins.
Come up with a word or short phrase, but keep it a secret! Instead, draw lines with spaces between to represent each letter. Your loved one can take guesses as to which letters fit into the words, Wheel of Fortune style, without the spinning! If they get a letter right, write it into the space. If the letter is wrong, add a component to a hangman drawing. If you don’t like the idea of drawing a hangman, your drawing can be anything — a dog, cat, boat, car, or anything else you prefer, to keep the game light.
Draw several dots in a random pattern on your sheet of paper. We recommend starting with four or five, but you can play with as few as two. Each player will take turns drawing a line between two dots (or a dot back to itself) and adding a new spot somewhere along the line. The lines can be straight or curved, but can never touch or cross a line. The new dot a player adds cannot be placed on an existing endpoint, and no spot can have more than three lines attached to it. The game is over when a player is the last to draw a line that follows these rules. Like Dots and Boxes, this game is rooted in mathematical strategy!
Gifts for Military Members
When basic combat training is over, or if you’re looking for something more special than a pencil-and-paper game board to send your loved one overseas or stationed on base away from home, My Hero Crate builds and sends military care packages for your heroes!
Each My Hero Crate contains an assortment of military-approved snacks and treats, all sourced from American suppliers. Choose from our specialty military care packages, including gift boxes for soldiers with special diet requirements, or purchase a monthly snack box subscription so your hero gets an Army care package twelve times a year — or whichever branch of military your loved one serves in!