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Sunday, July 12, 2009

N is for No Reply.

What happens if you send a care package and you don't hear back from the recipient? What does it mean? Would the package have been intercepted on the way to Afghanistan or is it just that whomever received it didn't care enough to reply to your note inside?

I heard from someone who is getting a bit disheartened because they've sent a few care packages over to Afghanistan, but have never received any sort of acknowlegdement that the parcels have arrived.

My policy with correspondence in care packages is that if I hear back, I hear back. If I don't, I don't.

I'm not very good at writing cover letters, but one thing I always conclude it with is that any replies are welcomed, but not necessary.

Sometimes I get a response, sometimes I don't.

Don't get me wrong, it's a buzz getting a reply, and knowing that a soldier has gotten himself a small piece of home out of the blue, but I don't have to have one.

The conditions over there are nothing like home, so internet access, and the ability to actually utilise it aren't exactly what I have here (Bigpond adsl - mine works a treat and I couldn't live without it).

Another point is that a lot of military folk aren't really that into the internet, so sending an email is just a bit much. Especially when composing a letter to someone you wouldn't know if you tripped over them.

One of the reasons I've not posted any replies from Afghanistan is that I don't post private correspondence without permission. When I do get permission, I'll be happy to show that yes, the care packages do get to where we send them.

We're just used to the instant gratification of today's communications, I suspect, and as a result our expectations may be a bit higher than we realise.

Basically, don't feel disheartened if you don't get a response straight away. You'll just open your inbox one day and find a few lines from someone you've never heard of, reminding you of a care package you sent and forgot about.

That's what's happened to me.

Keep up the good work.


Pedro the Ignorant said...

Don't worry Nilk.
I never send contact details other than what's required on the parcel for Customs, I don't expect or want any thanks.
It is enough for me to know that somewhere over there someone is enjoying a magazine from Oz, or a cup of soup or coffee that didn't come out of a ration pack, and to know that someone at home cares enough to spend a few dollars and spends a few minutes thinking about them.
Karma is a pagan concept, but even for a card carrying Mick like me, it works.

Boy on a bike said...

I'm with you, Pedro.

Carpe Jugulum said...

For myself i'm not overly fussed if i get a reply or not, although the first parcel my daughter & i sent got a reply which did give us a bit of a thrill.

Anonymous said...

I'd be tickled pink to get a reply but, if I don't, no probs.

I just hope that the packages are reaching their intended destination and bring a little bit of home to the recipient.


Nilk said...

I'm not fussed for myself either, guys. I just wrote this in response to a comment in an email I had the other day.

If one person writes to me feeling a bit of concern about no reply, then possibly others are too.

There are a few factors that can impact upon why a soldier doesn't reply, and who knows, there may even be a little bit of difficulty writing in general in there. I don't mean illiteracy as such, but sometimes it's difficult to write and people can feel a bit awkward about stringing words together.

Not everyone is a as wondrous a wordsmith as I are.