Misty brought up an excellent point about “Supporting the Troops” in my comments recently. Yeah, we all say “We support the troops” (whether you’re for or against the war in Iraq)… but have you given any thought of what it means?
Are we just waving a flag, and talking about it? Or are we actually DOING something to show our gratitude to those who are putting their lives on the line for our country?
I, for one, am very leery of a lot of these online donation places. It’s brings back too many sad memories of all of the September 11th charities, many of which were nothing but a scam. Well-meaning people opened their hearts and checkbooks just to make some heartless con artist richer.
- Why not go straight to the source?
- Marine Corps Community Services – Support our troops: Supplies a list and suggestions what you can do to show your support. It lists places like Operation: USO Care Package, and The Gift of Groceries Program (Helping a soldier’s family out in the rough times is probably the greatest support of all).
- Sgt. Hook’s CIF Warehouse – (via Blackfive) – Sgt. Hook is a blogger, deploying to Afghanistan:
“All proceeds will go to the Sgt Hook morale fund which will be used to help keep morale up for my soldiers once we get to Afghanistan. I’m hoping to have a BBQ each weekend we are there so that they can enjoy a little down time and count down ’52’ BBQs until we are mission complete. ”
The reason I’m linking to his entry, rather than directly to his cafepress site is because I think the better bet is to hit his “donation” button… which is probably what I’ll do next payday.
You can probably check with your local Salvation Army, American Legion/VFW Post and other places to see if they are doing any drives like the two that Amy Riben did here in the Poconos, which were wildly successful.
- Besides Misty’s question, a lot of recent stories have really brought this issue to mind:
- Mistake proves costly for widow of hero Marine – Besides losing her husband, a career military man in 1999, a bureaucratic snafu now finds her credit ruined and she’s being garnishiered back money from her benefits. The story broke my heart, and I’ll keep you posted on what’s being done to help her.
- Community support pours in for ailing vet – Here in the Poconos, we are proud to count Harvey Possinger as our own. He is the highest decorated WWII vet living, and a campaign is now in effect to have him awarded The Congressional Medal of Honor… with a pension owing him over $100,000…
Which he can badly use right now, as he has fallen on hard times. The community has been pouring in donations to this hero recently. He’s not out of the woods yet… but at least he knows how much he is loved.
It’s the least we can do for him.
If you’d like to help him, or send him a card of thanks… his address is in the article.
- A touching letter to the editor today (Scroll down) – in which a reader praises a Dunkin Donuts owner that just donated 2 cases of coffee to her nephew’s unit in Iraq. Coffee is in short supply out there.
It’s easy, even trendy these days, to say you support the troops. No matter how you feel about who is in office, or why troops are in combat, these men and women deserve our support and gratitude no matter what.
But sometimes words aren’t enough. It doesn’t keep a soldier company on a lonely night of patrol, it doesn’t keep them entertained when there’s nothing to do, and it doesn’t keep them from missing home.
To Sgt. Hook, his unit, and all of the brave men and women of the armed forces… we pray for you, wish you the best, and hope for a safe return home when your job is done.
You’re making a difference.