Monday, December 17, 2007

Thanking the troops

It is my opinion that we can not thank our military members enough, especially this time of the year, when many of them are separated from their families. It doesn't matter if you support the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan or not, the troops deserve a thank you for putting their lives on the line for your right to support or oppose the war. They are doing this voluntarily--as there is no draft--and are doing it because they believe it is their call to duty. Military life is no picnic, war or no war--to serve means to give up many rights that so many of us take for granted.
This time of the year, many of us would like to thank our troops overseas by sending them a positive message appropriate to the Christmas and Channukah season. Due to the possibility of threatening or derogatory messages, the Post Office cannot deliver messages addressed "to any soldier," but there are many ways that have made it possible to express your thanks. Poor Grrl Zone has posted one way, putting up this link where one can sign in and have Seasonal greetings and thanks sent to our military troops. Exploration of many of the links on the sidebar of Lift That Torch, Ring That Bell (this blog) may also be useful in finding links to similar "Thank the Troops" sites.
Another interesting "Thank the Troops" initiative has been begun by The Gratitude Campaign, originating in Seattle, Washington, where ignorant politicians would not only have their constituents believe that all NASCAR fans are "toothless trailer trash," who are unwelcome in their city, but that everybody is against the Iraq mission and the troops should be treated as second class citizens at the best. Initiating a unique visual method of expressing gratitude, the originator of the movement explains how he came up with the idea:

For the past several years as I've been traveling around the country, I've been approaching soldiers in the airports and thanking them for serving for us. On several occasions I have noticed that it felt a little awkward for both of us. There are several reasons, some of which I am even just now learning as I produce this film and talk to more soldiers. But they have always appreciated being thanked, and I have always felt better having expressed my gratitude.

I started to think that it would be nice if civilians had a gesture or sign that they could use to say "thank you" quickly and easily without even having to approach. I did some research and found the sign that we are now using.


This is an idea that should catch on, and hopefully will become a major movement.
As a former military member myself, I can tell you how much gratitude is appreciated by those who are fighting for the cause of freedom. Aside from the devotion to duty, gratitude is the most important gift to receive from those for whom they are fighting.

1 comment:

SS said...

My brother-in-law is home from Iraq on a short leave. I was happy to hear that the commercial flight he was on, which carried a number of other military personnel coming home from Iraq, announced that they were letting all the servicemen take whatever seats they wanted, regardless of any preassigned seating. This was a nice change of pace from some of the other stories I've heard about how servicemen are treated.