Thanksgiving Day is a day of thanks, and Stacey Hurwitz, a University of Washington freshman, is thankful to our troops. For the third year, she s getting people to join her Letters to Soldiers drive.

Please write a handwritten letter, wrote Hurwitz in a letter to potential letter writers, talking about what their service means to you and simply thank them for risking their lives for our security.

So far, she s collected 1300 letters for our service men and women who won t be coming home for the holidays to be with their loved ones. She says this letter drive is so important to her even though she doesn't have any family members serving.

With over 1.5 million soldiers taking part to selflessly defend our country and our freedoms, comes a depressingly high rate of suicides amongst them, specifically around the holidays, Hurwitz points out. So what can you do?

The answer is get something to write on and start writing that letter. That s what students at Liberty High School and Newcastle Elementary did, thanks to Stacey.

I insist they hand write the letters, she said. It gives a more personal touch.

Sophomore Sara Flash wrote: My grandpa used to be in the military and I m so lucky to know him. He s brave, loyal and loving, and caring. I m sure you are the same way.

When you think about it, the idea that Hurwitz had is simple. Everybody could write a letter. There s still time to write one if you re interested. Reach out to her as soon as possible at sbh449@msn.com.

She works with an organization called Operation Stars and Stripes that will get those letters to military bases overseas in time for Christmas. Stacey suggests starting the letter: Dear Hero....

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