Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #21 Support Our Troops

This post is inspired by the visit this past weekend from our nephew, who is stationed at an Air Force base in the San Francisco Bay area. I have another nephew who recently finished his training as an EMT in the Army and is awaiting orders at a base in Texas. Neither has been deployed to a combat zone yet. I am so proud of them both.

It is no secret that I do not support this administration's foreign policy nor its manifestations in the War on Terror--especially the Iraq war. I posted some serious rants about it in the first few months after debuting Joystory. News of the first nephew's intention to join the Air Force was one of the factors that caused me to tone down my rhetoric and slow the postings on the topic to a trickle. I self-censored because I feared word would get back to certain family members and cause them pain. I about had it sorted out when the second nephew headed for boot camp last summer.

In fact, I am not a stranger to the military family life-style. My husband was a Marine when we married in 78. He was never in a combat zone during his years of service but he was well-trained and well-equipped for it. He is aghast at the way this administration is supporting the troops with little but rhetoric, while stabbing them in the back with every budget proffered. Discussions with him over recent events in the news and much of the reading in my frantic race to finish books I will loose access to when our libraries shut down April 6th has caused a head of steam to build up behind my original convictions. Keeping silent is a betrayal of not only myself but my country and its troops.

I mean, please! Mice and roach infested accommodations for wounded vets in outpatient care? Homeless vets? Deployed soldiers' families in food lines? Contaminated food and water served to combat troops? Year-plus long waiting lists for help with PTSD? Alcoholism, suicide, divorce and domestic violence on the rise among both deployed and returning vets? Stop loss enslavement? Four tours with little recuperation in between? Cutting the VA budget? Lowering the standards for recruitment to allow felons and undereducated? Depletion and deterioration of equipment? Shortened training? Selling America to the foreign buyers of the bonds that support the deficit that is paying for the first war ever fought without raising taxes? All of this while certain corporations and their stockholders and CEOs are making OBSCENE profits?

Somewhere in my bookmarks and notes there is a link to go with each one of those questions. I typed them off the cuff and don't have time to hunt links down right now. Each one of these questions deserves a post of its own.and I hope to give each one their due over the coming months.

Meanwhile, I offer this list of links to organizations who have found creative ways to put their hands, feet and money where their mouth is..supporting our troops and their families during and after deployment to combat zones. No matter what your political leanings are, no matter how you feel about the war, you will find something here that you can give whole-hearted assent to. You won't find bumper stickers, magnets or T-shirts. At least not on the front pages. Hover the links for extra info. (When I came to post my commentor's links onto the front page, I discovered the hover messages for the links aren't working so I put them back in the body of the post.)

Thirteen Ways to Support Our Troops

1. Homes for our Troops. Building homes to accommodate the needs of wounded vets.

2. Sew Much Comfort. From quilts to prosthetic accomodating clothing, wield your needles to fill a soldier's need.

3.Take a Vet Fishing

4. Operation Top Knot Virtual baby showers for babies born to deployed military personel. I love love love this one. The baby pics are to swoon for.

5. Hire a Hero Soldiers coming home to no jobs and no housing is a blot on our nation's honor. If you are an employer, you can do something about it.

6. Adopt a Soldier's Pet Gaurdian Angels for Soldier's Pets (GASP)

7. AnySoldier letters, care packages and more

8. Soldier's Angels There are a plethora of projects represented on this site. Go explore.

9. Freedom Calls Video conference calls for deployed soldiers to attend significant events in their loved ones lives: births, deathbeds, graduations, etc.

10 American Legion Again, many projects represented here. A well established foundation with experience in this field.

11. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America They are not impressed by bumperstickers, t-shirts or magnets.

12. Veterans for America They demand we use the freedoms they fought for to ask tough questions. Cheerleading and rubberstamping is not their idea of patriotism or supporting the troops

13. VoteVets Vets of Iraq and Afghanistan willing to continue serving--in public office.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Jane 2. Tink 3. Raggedy 4. Chickadee 5. L^2 6. Jamie 7. Lady G~ 8. Susan Helene Gottfried 9. susan 10. Candy Minx 11. Sara 12. Gattina 13. Crystal 14. amy 15. jewlsntexas 16. JennyMcB

(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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