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Tuesday, December 7, 2010: Supporting our Troops

             Over the years, I've received all sorts of emails about "support our troops," from friends who know my three sons are in the military.  Friends send the pictures and the poems and the chain letters than almost always end with "send a prayer for our troops and pass this on." The emails circulate as a reminder of how many Americans (even those against the war) still have gratitude, appreciation, and respect for those willing to serve our country. I know that some who send emails, like myself, carry a strange knot in the pit of the stomach; a reality of risk that cannot be divorced from the common moments of pride and concern when we think of our loved ones in the service.

           Most of the emails come from friends of my age group.  Are they remembering Viet Nam and the horrid treatment (or apathy) dealt out to returning vets?  I hope the nation has learned to separate any of its anti-war feelings from a nation's responsibilities and indebtedness toward its military.

            It was a military blog that made me wonder how we actually support our troops. I had seen lots of "support our troops" ribbons on car bumpers; I'd seen flagpoles put up after 9-11, proudly flying the American flag (though few owners seem to realize a flag on display twenty-four hours a day should be "properly illuminated during the hours of darkness"). I knew people were trying to reach out to those in harm's way.

          What I began questioning most was my own commitment. In the beginning, I had my yellow ribbon on my car, my Blue Star Service Pennant in my front window; I was making contributions to the Naval Academy and the parents' support groups; I was sending a mother's support to my own son, and relaying news of his activities to concerned relatives. I prayed for the troops and for the troubled spots in the world.

           But I realized that was not enough.  In the beginning, I was focused on being a mother to the first of three sons to go through officer training, only vaguely extending support to the rest of the military. Yet, how could I sit comfortably in my home and claim gratitude to all those who protect our freedoms, while still not making some sincere sacrifice in my life to help the countless numbers of soldiers currently serving overseas, those wounded and recovering in hospitals, wives and husbands trying to rear children while a spouse is deployed, vets returning from war who may need physical, emotional and financial support. 

             Today I continue putting more of my money where my mouth and heart are. I speak up about our government needing to support the troops without all the political grandstanding.

            I searched the internet and came up with six website links, which I've added under "Support our Troops." For some time now, I've decided to personally make monthly contributions, and to email the website links to friends.  Emotional support of troops is wonderful but soldiers also need tangible services. If you've bought a yellow ribbon, put up a flag, and ever passed along "support our troops" emails, please consider expanding your own involvement.

Posted on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:05PM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

December 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter好秘书

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