Try something like "Dear Hero" or "Dear Brave Patriot" for a letter to an unidentified soldier. This immediately gives your message a positive tone. "Dear Sir or Madam" is too formal, while "Dear Soldier," while better, is still a touch too general. You can also write the letter to his or her unit commander if you have their mailing address.
It's important to remember that not all soldiers get mail. If you don't receive a response, it's OK to follow up with a letter.
Some units may have special procedures for writing home from war zones. If you are unsure of how to address an envelope to a specific unit, contact them directly through official channels. For example, if you have their phone number or email address, you can use those instead of going through postal services.
If you are sending mail to more than one person, list each on a separate piece of paper and insert into the mailing box in the order that you want them to read your letter. Or, if you have their physical addresses, send letters out in batches so that there is some kind of separation between letters. This will make it easier for them when they return home at once rather than having them come back in random orders.
Make sure that your letter is written clearly and concisely and that you include information about them and what unit they are with.
As a Letter Salutation, use "Dear Sir or Madam." "Dear Sir or Madam" is a formal manner of addressing a letter to someone whose name, title, or gender is unknown. This letter greeting can be used in some contexts, but it's best avoided since it comes across as old-fashioned, impersonal, and lazy. It's recommended that you simply write to the recipient without using this form of address.
There are times when you may not know the exact title of the person with whom you're writing, but you still want to express your respect. In these cases, you can use "Sir" or "Madam" as an adjective to describe their job or position. For example, if you were writing to a company president, you could say, "I found your suggestion on how to increase employee loyalty interesting and would like to discuss it with you further." Or, if they work for the government, you could refer to them as a "Senator" or a "Representative."
It's also acceptable to use "Sir" or "Madam" as a suffix after a person's name. For example, if your friend had a birthday last month, you could send him or her a card and write, "Have a great day! Hope you have a happy birthday."
Finally, if you're writing to more than one person, include each one by name before sending your letter. An easy way to do this is to separate each name with a comma.
If you are addressing the ambassador directly, use "Dear Honorable Ambassador." If you don't know the recipient's name or gender, you might start your letter with "Dear Sir or Madam." You should, however, make every attempt to address your message to a specific individual. If you cannot find an appropriate title for the person, write simply to "One of Your Employees." It is not necessary to use your full name when writing to a private citizen within the embassy.
Ambassadors are represented by officials called chargés d'affaires. There is also a political counselor who serves as an adviser on politics and foreign policy. Both are called ambassadors because they represent the president at diplomatic functions. In practice, however, only the chargé d'affaires acts as the ambassador in dealing with foreign governments. The position has no official standing within the United States government and does not require Senate confirmation. However, several laws have been passed over the years giving the position greater authority.
If you don't know the person's name, start your letter with Dear Sir or Dear Sir, or Madam or Dear Madam, and conclude with Yours Faithfully, followed by your complete name and designation. For example: "Dear Sir or Madam, John Smith."
You can also sign off as follows: "Yours faithfully," or "Yr. Affectionately," or "Affectionately yours." Then give your name and title if appropriate.
If you don't know the person's name, start your letter with Dear Sir or Dear Sir, or Madam or Dear Madam, and conclude with Yours Faithfully, followed by your company address or office. For example: "Dear Sir or Madam." (If you are writing to more than one person, then include their names at the beginning of the letter.)
Finally, you can simply state that you are "With respect to" something or other. For example: "With respect to our previous correspondence," or "With respect to the matter at hand."
A Dhuine Uasail (Dear Sir) and A Bhean Uasal (Dear Brother) are more formal ways to address a letter (Dear Madam). Don te lena mbaineann, which means "to whoever it may concern," is another alternative. Letters to celebrities or public figures often include only the recipient's first name.
You can also write to an individual person with an Irish name. If they have more than one title or surname, then you should write to them individually. For example, if they have both a first and second name, you should send your letter to both names separately.
In personal letters, it is usual practice not to use the pronoun "you" unless the writer knows the addressee well enough to be sure that they will understand who it is that they are writing to. If you are writing to more than one person, then you should write each one by their proper name instead of using "you" because letters written like this are called "collective letters.""
Here are some examples of letters:
To: Mary Jones
From: John Doe
Date: November 25, 2012
Subject: Happy Thanksgiving!
Mary, I just wanted to say thank you for being such a great friend.