One original Lakewood resident has proven that age is but a number, and patriotism knows no bounds. Although Alleen Cooper will reach an astounding 99 years in age in early October, she shows no signs of stopping her 70+ year tradition of writing letters of thanks and support to U.S. troops. So far she’s penned nearly 7,000 letters, and they are still coming.
Alleen sent her first letters to American troops during World War II. But when her son Larry served in the Vietnam War, Alleen wrote him a letter every single day. She realized that some servicemembers might not have friends or family to send correspondence, so she made it a mission to try and reach out to as many as she could.
She only started counting the letters 10 years ago, and takes the time to write up to four pages for each one, often with a funny story or comic strip. Her son Bob noted that Alleen’s Christmas wish list consists of stamps, writing pads and envelopes to keep her supplies stocked.
Alleen has developed a pen-pal type relationship with many, and has received American flags and special military certificates in appreciation for her efforts. “It’s just so interesting,” she says. “I’ve written to servicemembers stationed in so many countries.”
Alleen has no plans to stop, and the community and American troops are grateful for her dedication in taking so much time to share all the kind words to our brave men and women in service.
If you’d like to join Alleen in this worthwhile effort, the City of Lakewood will be kicking off its fourth annual “Thank a Servicemember” campaign this fall. To learn more, visit Lakewoodcity.org/ThankAServicemember or call (562) 866-9771, ext 2123.
To see a Lakewood CityTV video about Alleen go to www.lakewoodcity.org/TASwriter.