Two Grannies Become Pen Pals To American Soldiers

Sisters Frances Metcalf and Jeanne Graeser are known as the two Grannies to hundreds of U.S. soldiers deployed overseas. They, along with neighbor Andrea Coote, are among 20,000 people who take part in the national "Soldiers' Angels Program"

The goal is to ensure everyone serving the nation gets letters during mail call.

"We have had someone tell us that a grown man will cry because they don't receive mail," Coote said.

"Recently we were sent an addie. That's what we call an address from a soldier who received no mail. On the bottom of his letter he put, 'My family are Jehovah Witnesses. They do not believe in war, therefore I don't receive any mail or packages,'" Graeser said.

It's often fellow soldiers who notice those who aren't getting mail, and turn their names into the Soldiers' Angels Program.

"We adopted our first soldier in August. From then on we must have written to or sent packages to over 800 soldiers up to this point. We go through about 300 stamps a month," Graeser said.

The Soldiers' Angels say they grow attached to their pen pals. Graeser's walls have become a shrine of sorts to those soldiers who write back.

A recent message from one troop member told the two Grannies they complete their military family. It brought the women to tears.

"It touched our hearts. We don't expect anything back from them. We're here to support them," Graeser said.

Local merchants, like the Waveland Wal-mart, donate gift cards to help buy merchandise for the soldiers.

If you'd like to become a pen pal, you can find more information at

by Al Showers