Support Our Troops
- Here's a way to support the troops without supporting the war. For $25
U.S. you can send a care package to one of our troops overseas.
I've never been at war, technically, but I have been deployed for extended
periods on a submarine and I can tell you that receiving a care package
(from home in my case) was always a very happy moment, especially at a
family holiday like Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Now I'm sure most of you here know I _don't_ support the Iraq war and that
I think Bush is an incompetent creep (at best), but I _do_ support the
troops and this is one way to do that without endorsing the conflict.
- And in case that didn't motivate you, there's this:
VETERANS DAY 2007
Name: CAPT Benjamin Tupper
Posting date: 11/11/07
Returned from: Afghanistan
Veterans Day 2007 marks the six month anniversary of my return to
the United States. A week doesn't go by but that I repeatedly catch
myself saying I "just got back". My internal fact checker buzzes in
and reminds me that this is not an accurate thing to be telling
people, but I rarely correct myself. It feels accurate. It feels
honest. It still feels like I got home last week.
The reasons why I still feel like I'm shaking Afghan dust out of my
hair are twofold. Internally, I wake up most mornings happy to have
survived a torturous visit into an Afghan Dreamscape of tension,
stress, fear, and an impending sense of doom. Externally, and more
to the point of this Veterans Day reflection, I'm physically in a
country that seems to have no sense of personal sacrifice, and no
national emotional consciousness of the fact that American soldiers
are dying daily in two wars that are complex, long term (multi-
generational), being fought half-assed, and unfortunately seem to be
slipping away from our intended objectives.
The sense of sacrifice, urgency, and commitment at home is
practically non-existent, save for those who literally have skin in
the game (soldiers and their families), and a handful of motivated
activists on the right and left who sincerely love the warrior no
matter what battlefield they are bleeding on. The rest of America is
marching to the drum of consumption, entertainment, immediate
gratification, and ignorance, that drowns out the importance of
However, there are brief moments when I feel like I'm home. When the
stars align I can sense that the people around me understand what
their country, right or wrong, has committed its youth and its
patriots to wrestle with. In these moments I feel comfortable here,
and I feel like the sacrifices of my comrades are at least being
Last week I had one of these moments. I attended a large sports-
related event, and I felt this familiar sense of American ignorance
about life outside our borders. Thousands of carefree people were
gulping down beers and Cokes, chatting on about their daily lives
and significant events. The cotton candy man strolled through the
aisle in front of me, just like he did before I went to war. I sat
there, equally amazed and disgusted that if you eavesdropped on the
thousands of conversations going on, save one or two you would never
know we were a country at war.
And then the National Anthem was played. The arena fell silent. I
looked around at the faces surrounding me, and I saw, for the first
time since I've been home, what I can only describe as a look of
collective fear, and concern, and sorrow. For these short moments,
as the familiar notes played, everyone was firmly reminded of what
is going on. They couldn't escape it. They couldn't distract
themselves with some factoid about work or the kids. They were
confronted with the enormity of the mission, and its sacrifices.
I was glad to see the pained discomfort on their faces. While the
man with the trumpet expertly played the final notes of the anthem,
I choked back an emotional tide rising from my gut. Seeing these
Americans share in this collective grief finally made me feel like I
- On Nov 13, 2007 7:35 AM, pencimen <brighto@...> wrote:
> And in case that didn't motivate you, there's this:personal sacrifice. And a lack of leadership asking us to make a sacrifice,
> Good stuff. I sure share that frustration with the lack of a sense of
even one that would be symbolic. Instead, we are told to live our lives as
One of the things I did as a result of, and increasingly in honor of, Wes'
sacrifice was get involved in Critical Incident Stress Management, with the
Bay Area CISM Team. On Saturday, which was the third anniversary of Wes'
death in Fallujah, I helped lead one of the most difficult CIS debriefings
I've done so far, from about 10 pm to midnight at our county 911
communications center. I think it was a good way to honor his sacrifice,
not to mention what dispatchers go through (most of us have no idea how
truly hard that job is).