Saturday, September 8, 2012
Today it was time to write another letter (actually an e-mail) to my soldier in Afghanistan. I titled this post "Almost Home" because that's what he is! The replacements for his unit are due to arrive within 15 days and then he'll be leaving Afghanistan within a couple of weeks thereafter. I can hardly imagine how excited he is, especially as he's coming home and getting married in December.
I continue to marvel at the relationship we've created over these past 8-9 months, given that we've never met each other and were complete strangers prior to our random pairing through Soldiers' Angels. I feel like we've become good friends and I'm looking forward to continuing and growing that friendship upon his return to the States. He's going to be coming to join me for an Eagles' game in early November and I'm likely to be going to his home in Kentucky after the new year to catch a UK basketball game. Men can almost always bond over sports!
I was thinking tonight about how e-mail (and social media messaging like texting, Facebook, Twitter, et. al.) has mostly replaced letter writing. While some complain that this has caused communication to become so brief and informal, it does have the advantage of speed and immediacy. When I was writing letters to my soldier, it took awhile for them to arrive, and I waited for quite awhile wondering whether or not he had received them. As soon as I gave him my e-mail address, however, I got a quick reply and our relationship began to grow in earnest. It's amazing to think that I can send him an e-mail, and halfway across the world he's reading it almost instantaneously (depending on his army work schedule, of course), and then responding to me. In a matter of a days, we can have gone back and forth multiple times, whereas this could never have happened if we relied upon letters and the postal system.
To me, the benefits of this speed of communication far outweigh the disadvantages that we sometimes harp on. Where would my soldier and I be without it?