Thursday, November 17, 2005

Supporting the Troops

Generally speaking, when I get emails that have been forwarded a hundred times, I used to delete them. Now, if it’s fun and/or appropriate, I’ll forward it with my signature ad, doing a little bit of viral marketing.

The problem I have with most of these forwarded messages is that they’re usually bogus, or based on flawed or faulty information. I rely pretty heavily on snopes.com to help me sort out the truth from fiction.

But recently I received one about the soldiers in Iraq, a suggestion that we all wear red on fridays, to show our support for them. Here’s the text of that email:


“RED FRIDAYS

Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason?

Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority". We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers.

We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops.

Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that..

Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red. By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers.

If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is...We need your support and your prayers. Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear something red every Friday.

I sent this out to everyone on my email list. Will you?

WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE, ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE.

THEIR BLOOD RUNS RED-WEAR RED!

MOST OF ALL - GOD BLESS”




There’s nothing bogus here, nothing trying to scam me into buying Viagra substitutes or transferring money from a Nigerian bank account. I’m not going to get money from AOL or Microsoft for every person I forward it to. In fact, if I were to wear red this Friday, I won’t get a dime for it from anyone.

I used to be cynical about it all, too, until I read the blog of a good friend. She’s trying to manage raising a family (also with a special needs child) while her husband is stationed in Iraq. I have enough troubles trying to be a parent to my kids without thinking of doing it alone for a year or so, wondering if my spouse were ever going to come home.

Anyway, in her blog, she mentions that it’s important to know what “Supporting the Troops” means and doesn’t mean. I liked the things she said. It changed my paradigm regarding the whole ordeal. Here’s my list of what it means and doesn’t mean:

“Supporting the Troops” means respecting that they’re willing to fulfill the agreements they made when they joined our armed forces. Even if that means giving up their life.

It doesn’t mean that I have to support the politicians that decided to send them there. It also doesn’t mean that I have to support the politicians that don’t want them there. I can be Republican, Democrat, independent, red, blue, green, and even orange with pink polka-dots, and I can still support the troops.

It means that I should send one or two of them a letter or email. I’ll bet that everyone reading this knows at least that many who are there.

It especially means that I should help support their families while they are gone. I can stop by and see what help they need. I can shovel the snow off their driveway while I’m doing my own. I can see if they need extra babysitting.

I can be sad when I hear that bad things happen there. It’s a war, to be sure, and bad things are bound to happen, but I can allow myself to feel that along with them.

I can be happy when good things happen. When I hear about schools being built and successful elections, I can celebrate here in America as well.

Whether or not Americans as a people agree with THE WAR is something to be sorted out at Election Day. But in the meantime, let’s celebrate that people are still willing to stand up for what they believe in.

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