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!


17 tell me a story:

Jane 2/22/2007 3:20 AM  

This is just the post I was looking for! I have been looking to do something for our troops. I too am disgusted with this war. It angers me that mothers are collecting silly string, and helmets and vests to protect their children, and that soldiers are using cardboard and scraps to armor their vehicles. My husband was an officer in the Army in the 90's and he can not believe the change in leadership and how much has changed in values since he was trained. This is yet another shame for this nation to bear. Glad to get involved. I support our troops- and I am angry for the way they are being treated by our government.

Tink 2/22/2007 3:41 AM  

What an amazing list! Those are all great initiatives and there's something for everyone to support the troops. Whether you agree with foreign policy or not, they are there and they need support. In a Yahoo-list I'm part of there was an appeal for the pagan soldiers.
Thanks for visiting my picture TT. I hope TT won't discontinue, but you're on my list nevertheless!

Raggedy 2/22/2007 5:52 AM  

Great list.
Thursday Thirteen has come to an end.
I have enjoyed my visits here and consider us friends.
Thank you for sharing your thirteens with me.
The comments you left me filled me with glee.
It is hard to believe it is really true.
I am trying very hard to not be blue.
Happy TT'ing!
*^_^
(=':'=)
(")_ (")Š
Raggedy

Chickadee 2/22/2007 6:15 AM  

I'm like you...I don't agree with this war, or the way our administration is handling it, but I support our troops and their families...because they are caught in the middle of this crap.

I bookmarked this page and plan to visit the links when I have a little more time.

My 13 is up

L^2 2/22/2007 6:29 AM  

Great list... plenty of ways for everyone to show their support.
Thanks for visiting my final TT and sharing yours with me too.

Jamie 2/22/2007 6:43 AM  

This is a great TT, I'm proud of you for it. Jesse got his orders, Kris told me on Monday, I'm glad it isn't Iraq.

Lady G~ 2/22/2007 7:42 AM  

AWESOME list! I'll be checking them out. Many of my daughters friends are in the military and stationed in Iraq. So we send packages for them to share with their fellowmen.

I'm a supporter of our troops and of our President. Being that my parents fled their communist country, I know what their lives were like living in a dictatorship. They are thankful to be living in this country.

My dad and uncle were in the Army during the 60's. My Knight was in the Army during the 80's and my brother during the early 90's.
So I too am familiar with the military life.

If you get a chance,check Knight's blog:
http://moretoitthanthis.blogspot.com/

Once again, thanks for posting a great list. I'll be sharing it with others. :o)

Susan Helene Gottfried 2/22/2007 11:08 AM  

VERY important post, Joy Renee (is that what you go by?). Thanks.

I'm making Hamantashen for a soldier who's in Iraq right now. But I'll be looking into some of these other things. I really like Hire a Hero; that's up my alley.

And thanks SO MUCH for the kind words on my blog!!!! Yes, please do come back to West of Mars. Often. It's a fun place, a community place. Hope you'll join us there.

Susan 2/22/2007 11:26 AM  

Really really great TT - I'm completely against the war but people think that means you're against the troops and that is absolutely not the case... anyway thanks for these excellent suggestions and happy TT, tho it's our last - I'll be back to read you and I hope you visit my blog when you can too.

Candy Minx 2/22/2007 11:41 AM  

Very heartfelt and thoughtful post Joy...I think you managed to cover so many mixed feelself...and still, it is hard to justify so many wounded and dying of troops in a situation that is a quagmire. Very brave post of yours. Although it seems TT is ending, it's been great to "meet" you and I hope we still are able to visit each others blogs in the future. Ironically, my TT list today involves art work and ideas about food and the impermanence of life...like the pendulum swing of Thirsday Thirteen...hope you have time to drop by...

Cheers,
Candy

http://gnosticminx.blogspot.com/2007/02/hungry.html

Sara 2/22/2007 12:55 PM  

Exactly the kind of things I've been looking to do. Thanks

Gattina 2/22/2007 7:32 PM  

I and many others are seeing in this Iraq war only a personal reason for Bush to defend his family's oil business and he uses your soldiers in a meat grinder. I am European (Belgium) and I see that Americans lost a lot of their good reputation and are becoming the laughter of the rest of the world by putting it's nose in everybody's troubles to "save" them even against their will. The word freedom is interpretated in all senses and became an excuse.
But I am a mother and as such I am also angry and sad how your soldiers are treated. And so many die for just nothing and every day much more than you officially know.. Only soldiers dying on the battle field are counted, all the others who die later in hospital or during the transport by plane to England or Germany are not considered as "heros" and the family doesn't get any special pension like the once who died in the right place. (I met a nurse who worked in an English military hospital) The poor guys who escaped and could safe their lifes, are traumatized for the rest of their lifes and some of them badly need psychological help, but for that apparently no money is available.
Sometimes I read "the Sandbox" a blog where American soldiers write and tell the world the truth. It's very touching and I can understand that they think everybody has abandonned them.

Crystal 2/22/2007 9:43 PM  

Great list. As the wife of a disabled veteran (not from combat) I'd like to thank you for your support. :)

Happy (final) TT.

Unknown 2/23/2007 11:56 PM  

I hope everyone reads this! What a great post!

justjuls 2/24/2007 6:36 AM  

My brother has been on two tours to Iraq - Thank you for this great post - it means so much that we don't forget to support them - and you've given great ideas HOW to support them.
BTW - I posted my first Thursday Thirteen which is how I found you!
Please link to me - thanks!

Jenny McB 2/24/2007 7:48 AM  

I feel exactly the same way about the war and your 13 is an excellent list! I was against this war from the beginning and was told that I was unpatriotic, it sickens me to see the pain and suffering that is occurring in our country due to the need for an administration to bully the rest of the world for their beliefs.

Anonymous,  2/21/2009 11:15 AM  

Very nice tips. Thanks for sharing!
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