COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Retired U.S. Army Lt. General Michael Ferriter remembers the comfort that arrived with letters from home during deployments.
“We just stood by and waited for that 1st sergeant to bark out, ‘Ferriter, mail call!’” he recalled.
“You’d receive a letter and often it would have that sweet smell of perfume of someone back home.”
Lt. Gen. Ferriter, the president and CEO of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, hopes to replicate the feeling and promote togetherness through an initiative with Experience Columbus.
“Even in our busy days or lockdown days or Zoom days online… we can take a moment and impact people’s lives,” he said.
The Columbus Letters to Veterans campaign runs through April 30th and encourages everyone to send messages, drawings, photos and words of encouragement to veterans at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center.
“Reach out, making sure they know they’re still loved — even though they can’t be with their loved ones. We appreciate the sacrifices they’ve gone through and the sacrifices they’re continuing to make at this time,” explained Lexi Sweet, the public relations manager at Experience Columbus.
The goal of the campaign is to make veterans feeling isolated realize their service is still appreciated.
“When they receive these letters, it’ll bring back memories of when they were once distant and away from family and loved ones. And suddenly that touch of home comes to them,” Lt. Gen. Ferriter said.
Send your letters of support to the Chillicothe VA Medical Center:
Chillicothe VA Voluntary Service (135)
17273 State Route 104
Chillicothe, OH 45601
If you don’t have letter writing supplies or would like help, Cascata Gifts is offering free handwritten mail services. Send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or text to 614-638-1006 with what you want the note to say, they’ll create a physical letter and send it to the facility.
While it’s closed to the public, The National Veterans Memorial and Museum is offering virtual learning opportunities, including a webinar Thursday about Navigating Life’s Battlefields. Learn more here.