The Veteran’s Day Post That Didn’t Quite Go As Planned
Veteran’s Day has been a conundrum for me in recent years. How do you show support for our current veterans during a war I so vehemently oppose? People often call you a hypocrite. I often say back that the world is not black and white.
So, today, I was planning to urge us all to partake in a Christmas card campaign that has been circulating the Net. Where you just send one extra card to a “Recovering Soldier At Walter Reed Hospital.” I thought it was an absolutely lovely (and easy!) way to thank our veterans. But, just to be sure, I did a last minute Snopes check, and guess what! Walter Reed cannot accept any cards that are not addressed to specific soldiers. Doh! There goes that plan.
Maybe we should all just send George Bush that extra Christmas card instead – “thanking” him for all the terrible things he has done in the last 7 years, like putting all these honorable men and women in danger for questionable motives.
All kidding aside, on this Veteran’s Day, I would urge you to think about adding a small care package for a soldier or a veteran to your holiday list this year. Because these are the people who are on the ground right now making the difference, the people who are seen and heard. The people who prove that Americans *are* good and strong and true.
I have a friend whose husband who was in combat and several of us organized Operation Dave, where we alternated sending him soldier boxes till he finally came home from the sandbox. It really didn’t take much time or money (because it’s not like you can send much anyway, ha!) and it really was fun.
And if you don’t have any friends with soldiers abroad, as stated in the Snopes article, the Red Cross can help you get it to someone who needs it at Walter Reed.
Happy Veteran’s Day. Thank you all.
P.S. 30 Days of Thanks
I am thankful that I live in a country where I have the freedom to speak my thoughts.
Great idea. Good post.
Excellent idea! And there are plenty of vets and serving soldiers who hate this war too. You’re not alone.
…and if you need a name of a soldier, please look at fellow blogger Lori’s wonderful programs (yes more than one) to support our troops (not the war) …
Anitra and Nancy, thanks for the links!
Yeah, it seems more often than not when I criticize the war or the Bush administration, someone sees fit to “remind” me to support the troops.
Of course I support them. 100%. I just think it would be nice to have someone in charge that cared enough to not put them in un-necessary peril for, like you said, “questionable” motives.
Great links, thanks!
(p.s. you might want to check out The Fish Bowl. It’s a group I started at Nablopomo.)
Totally with you as usual.
Here’s something I received:
“The American Red Cross
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, D. C. 20307-5001
Inside add note to inform them that it is for the ‘Recovering
American Soldiers’ in the hospital , please distribute.
Due to all the problems with the mail the past few years, letter
bombs, etc. Walter Reed will not accept any letter until it has been
opened and inspected. So when they receive cards addressed as “A
Recovering Soldier” they will just throw them away. “
Really nice post.
Don’t get to comfy with the whole speaking your thoughts thing, though:
If I could throw another idea in there, what I’ve done in the past is put little packages together for the patients at the VA hospitals. Many of them don’t have families or anyone close by, but they need little things like toiletries, stamps, stationary, etc. They really, really appreciate it – and it’s veterans of all ages that get the stuff. My sister is very active in our local VA hospital and does things like bring in books and magazines, help decorate for holidays, etc.
Just a thought…there are lots of ways to honor them and help them too.
Hey, if your readers are looking for a soldier to sponsor and send letters or care packages to, they can go to http://www.anysoldier.com
You can pick a random soldier, or even request a soldier serving in the Army, or Navy, or Marines…
I sponsored a soldier through this website who is in the Army, stationed in Afghanistan. It felt really good sending non-perishable treats… Some of the soldiers are lucky enough to have internet access, so you could tell them where to find your blog to learn more about you. My soldiers actually posted a comment on my guestbook, which was totally unnecessary and unexpected (since they have more important things to do, I’m sure) but certainly made me beam from ear to ear!!
Thank you vets from the present and the past.
You have made incredible sacrifices for our country and I appreciate it.
I agree. 100%.
You’ve been tagged! Check out my blog for the rules. 🙂
Very nice post!~
and I read today that more and more vets are becoming homeless. We need to help take care of our troops!
Amen to it all.
I agree, it’s so hard to know what to say but I am so thankful that we have the men and women willing to step up. Happy V Day!
i wondered about that e-mail, thanks for exposing the truth. It’s a lovely sentiment, but why wouldn’t the person research it first. Ack.
great ideas, all. thanks!
Appreciate the comments, I was worried I would offend with this post today which was definitely not the intent. Thanks again, you all are the best!
And keep the ideas coming!
It’s not only about supporting our current military either, it’s also about remembering those that didn’t come home from all the conflicts. I’ve been to the American War Cemetery at the beach in France and various war cemeteries and memorials in France, Egypt and the UK (There’s an American section at Brookwood in the UK) and it’s staggering. The burials all over the world are a testament that these wars shouldn’t be happening, but our governments never learn.
Great post Amy. I just wish our UK soldiers had the support of care packages that you guys have.
I’ve been thinking of sending some cookies, but they’re perishable. So I’ll have to rethink it.
thank you aimee for this thoughtful post. i felt the same way today but couldn’t put my frustration into words so eloquently…
There is nothing hypocritical about hating the war and supporting our soldiers. TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.
I love some of the ideas and can’t wait to talk with my kids about them. We talk about “soldier guys” often because my son is obsessed. I’ve taught him to respect men and women in uniform, and I can’t wait to see how excited he’ll be to get a chance to support our troops.
That’s a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing. I have never felt one bit conflicted over supporting the soldiers and vehemently opposing the war. Nor should anyone else.
So that’s why the mail didn’t come today.
Yes, I am that out of it.
What is with the US Veteran’s Day? Because we have Remembrance Day off as a stat holiday, but because the husband’s company is owned by Americans he had to to go into work.
Back on topic: I don’t see any contradiction in criticizing the war but supporting soldiers. Most of their families want them home and are critical of Bush and co.
If you want to send email greetings to a US soldier you can try this site
Very good points Karen! I just wanted to try to do something for th people who were alive and suffering.
What a nice thing to do, Aimee. And I agree with whoever said they’re tired of being reminded to support the troops whenever they express anti-war sentiment. The two are not indefinitely intertwined! In fact, I’d question a pro-war person’s commitment to supporting the troops if they encourage their slaughter.
I covered a Vet ceremony with an oral history group of teens and I felt like the men had read my many letters to the editor about this elective war. But I also suspect some of them don’t agree with it either. I was very touched and choking up and then one guy got up and gave a speech on how Saddam aided terrorists and I wanted to get up and shout.
Colleen, it GALLS me that people still believe that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11.