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Current Penpal Information

This policy became effective June 1, 2006, and will remain in effect going forward. We have changed the way our penpal program operates. Please read and follow the directions listed below to be sure your letters get to the troops! All letters are processed through our office only.

Why are we doing this? Simple. We want to ensure that our troops are getting letters of support and that their safety and security are assured. That is our number one priority and will never change.

There are those who seem to ignore the rules about treating your penpals as if they are your brother or sister. Lots of these troops are married and are NOT looking for love, just a little honest support and compassion. Photos of you and your family are great. Bedroom type photos are prohibited by our rules and just plain show poor taste! We are committed to making sure that all those who sign up with us get mail as often as possible. All letters are screened for content. You may think this sounds harsh, but as I said before the safety and well-being of the troops are our main concern. Our program only operates to show our respect and support for those who are making great sacrifices for our country. We will not jeopardize that for the sake of a few people who refuse to follow the rules.

The program rules are as follows:

All letters and cards to the troops should be written and placed in a plain, unaddressed, unsealed envelope. You may put your return address on the envelope. You may also include photos, phone cards or mementos if you like but all pictures must follow the lines of good taste. Do not write anything in the address section of the envelope.

If a stamp is on the envelope we will add a mailing label and send it directly to one of our troops. If no stamps are on the envelope it will be included in one of our care packages. Regular first class stamps are all that is needed for mailing unless the envelope is more than 1 ounce. Then additional postage is required.

Just a reminder: Do NOT seal the envelope.

Pack all your letters together in another envelope and mail them to us at the address listed below. Every letter you write goes to a different military member who has authorized penpals. Remember that not all of our troops are in Iraq. We have soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Kosovo and several other places around the world. All of the letters and cards will be mailed as long as the guidelines are followed.

Please mail all your letters and cards to:

Keystone Soldiers
PO Box 152
Fleetwood, Pa 19522-0152

Thanks in advance for your consideration and cooperation.

If you receive a letter back from one of our troops you are free to then communicate directly. You may send care packages through Keystone or on your own. Care packages through Keystone Soldiers are still only $20.00 (cheaper than you can do yourself!) and are packed in a box 12x12x8 with a card listing the sponsor's name (and address if you like). They contain an assortment of basic toiletries, snacks, stationary items and phone cards when we have them. We have been able to maintain the price thanks to many kind donors and businesses that send us some of the things we include. Most of the price is to cover the postage that runs from $10.00 to 20.00 per package. We currently are shipping care packages several days a week! You can sponsor a care package by using the Paypal link in the right column or mailing a check or money order to us at the address listed above.

I would also like to address another question we get on a regular basis. Why don't we give out email penpals or include their email address with their information? The answer is simple. We only give out their email address when we are asked to do so. Their computer time, in most cases, is very limited and we feel that email is for communication with their families. If their email is filled up with mail, jokes and forwards from their penpals then the email from their families may not get through. The idea of penpals is so that they have mail during mail call. No one should have to walk away from mail call empty handed. If you get a reply and they include their email address please keep in mind the limited size of their mailbox. Write to them but don't send junk emails unless they ask for it.

I hope that you all understand the changes to our program and why they have become necessary. I know for those who want to offer true support they will not pose a problem.

Thanks for your continued support for Keystone and for our troops!!


Last Updated Sunday, July 13 2008 @ 05:02 PM MST; 64,335 Hits View Printable Version

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