Lakewood’s “Thank a Servicemember” campaign, which sends postcards and letters of appreciation to our nation’s troops deployed overseas, will be sorely missing letters this year from one exceptional individual who made military correspondence a core part of her life.
Original Lakewood resident Alleen Cooper passed away recently at the age of 102, but not without touching the lives of thousands of servicemembers over a span of decades.
Alleen started writing letters during World War II to her brother-in-law shortly before he was killed during the Allied invasion of Normandy, and continued writing to his surviving troop mates throughout the war. After a break, Alleen picked up the pen again when her son served in Vietnam, and then started up a third time after 9-11 and kept going.
Watch the CityTV video about Alleen, “Patriotism through a Pen.” It was filmed in 2017, when Alleen was close to celebrating her 99th birthday.
In total, Alleen wrote over 8,000 letters to military servicemembers over the years, a testament to her desire to connect with—and thank—the many who serve our nation.
Learn more about how you can get involved with Thank a Servicemember.