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Friday, December 02, 2005
Hat tip: Bookworm ( If you have the time please read the interesting and thought provoking comments associated with "I SUPPORT THE TROOPS" : News Snipet 'Blog: I SUPPORT THE TROOPS Being a firm believer that one should put their money where their mouth is--(To do otherwise is hypocrisy and posturing) I have borrowed from some friend's blogs on ways that one can support the troops. (Saying you support the troops is not supporting them either!) Here are some ways: -Wear a camouflage wristband -Put a yellow ribbon on your car -Donate to an organization such as Soldiers Angels -Adopt a soldier (many Christmas organizations that can help you here) -Enlist in the Service and provide support (If you disagree with the Iraq war you could request an MOS that would be support for those on the front) -Make a care package or many care packages and speak to a local recruiter about how to get them to servicemen -Volunteer at a local VA or VFW post. -Host a welcome home party or parade for returning soldiers My friend Overflow speaks with actions not words. Would like to hear your ideas and stories.
posted by Jack Mercer @ 12/02/2005 09:47:00 PM  
  • At 12/03/2005 01:53:00 AM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    More ideas:

    1. Vote against politicians who slash veterans' benefits even while sending them to war.

    2. Suppoert sites like Veterans Against the War or Vietnam Veterans Against the War or Iraw Veterans Against the War.

    3. Ask yourself - what is the purpose of our military? National defense? Or Global conquest?

  • At 12/03/2005 12:31:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Shea, I answered this in part in the previous post. Since our service is a voluntary one, they are not there for any other reason than choice. To say otherwise is to insult both their intelligence and integrity.

    Supporting political organizations is not particularly supporting the troops--it does nothing for them. As I said in the previous post, the purpose of a soldier is to carry out the will of those who command them. This has nothing to do with political ideology.

    Thats the reason people need to start being honest with themselves.


  • At 12/03/2005 03:44:00 PM, Blogger English Professor said…

    Eek, I need to clarify--those are questions I asked my students, not necessarily methods I advocate. Soldiers Angels, yes. Wristbands and yellow ribbons, no. My point was to get my students to realize how vacuous it is to simply assert "I support the troops" if all that means to them is that they bought a wristband at the local dollar store.

    I also find it interesting, although it's politically incorrect to bring it up, how many of them are wholly behind the war effort . . . as long as somebody else is fighting it. The irony escapes them that they chose to attend an expensive university instead of joining the military action that they ostensibly support. I don't want to be hard on them (and I'm not), but I do want to gently move them beyond simply repeating slogans, or acting as if everyone has had the same opportunities and choices that they have.

  • At 12/03/2005 04:33:00 PM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    Jack, you say service is voluntary. Well, joining may be voluntary, but leaving is not. You might join to defend your country, but if you are deployed to a campaign that you are opposed to, you have to participate. Otherwise, it's off to prison for you!

  • At 12/03/2005 06:29:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Shea, I didn't think that they had done that since World War II. Aren't those who leave the service just dishonorably discharged?

    EP, I thought they were good ideas! You did with your class exactly what we should be doing with anyone who utters empty slogans. We live in a nation that is high on emotion but shallow in thought. I am thankful we have a FEW left in academia who may actually be making a difference!


  • At 12/04/2005 12:07:00 AM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    Jack, it happened to someone in my own family! He went into the Air Force and was promised that they would train him to do a certain type of aircraft maintenance. Later, they reneged and told him they were not going to fulfill that promise. He said they signed a contract, and if they were not going to fulfill it then he wanted to leave. Their response? "Tough shit. If you don't like it you can spend he next four years in Leavenworth!" He had to get a reservist officer of our acquaintance to wrangle a hardship discharge for him (by lying). That's the military. You can't just walk away - you are committed, and if you want to leave you have to jump through hoops, to say the least. And then there is the "backdoor draft", calling up reservists, and also reservists who were told they would only have to serve a certain amount of time and then are told they can't leave. AWOL and desertion still exist, too. It's not just a club where everybody dresses the same.

  • At 12/04/2005 01:05:00 PM, Blogger Bookworm said…

    Shea's story about an explicit breach of contract is disturbing. However, a lot of people join the Army to get the benefits and then renege when the going gets tough. In that regard, I'll just say what Thomas Paine said:

    "These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it Now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorius the triumph."

    Soldiers that are lied to during recruiting have one gripe. Soldiers who join for a job and training, and then leave when the going gets tough by pretending they never thought an Army would really fight, are another issue altogether.

  • At 12/04/2005 07:22:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    See both of your points, BW and Shea. I think that this could be avoided if there was a little more honesty in recruiting. I have always thought that if I was a recruiter for the armed services I would tell those interested "the purpose of the military is to break things and kill people" (forgot the name of the soldier that said this).


  • At 12/05/2005 09:50:00 AM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    I agree that everyone who joins the service should do so with the knowledge that they can be called to fight at any time. If they don't accept that, they definitely shouldn't be joining up! I believe this relative of mine would have fought if called to do so.

    By the way, a joke from a stand-up comic: "My generation's war was Grenada... lasted the entire weekend!"

  • At 12/05/2005 10:01:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Oh for the days of Granada and Operation DS I.



  • At 12/06/2005 05:36:00 PM, Blogger mokawanis said…

    I agree with those who say sticking a yellow ribbon on a car or buying a camoflauge wristband isn't really supporting anyone because they don't have direct impact on the people supposedly being supported. I think those kinds of actions are largely symbolic gestures that produce little or nothing in the way of concrete results.
    When my brother-in-law was serving in Iraq he told me what he and his friends really wanted were things they could actually use - movies, books, candy, video games, etc. And, perhaps most importantly, letters and email from home. These are things most of us could supply with just a little time and effort.
    I've been opposed to the war in Iraq since before it began, but I've taken the time, on several occassions, to box up some goodies and mail them to Iraq. My point is, and I think my actions back it up, is that one can be absolutley against the war but in support of our troops.

  • At 12/07/2005 05:41:00 PM, Blogger overflow said…

    Wanna know what I just found?

    I hear there are soldiers in need of penpals...or a honey to come home to.

    I haven't looked that deeply into it, but if I can matchmake a lady to a military man, I will (I was raised by one and I turned out fairly decent).

    It also has firemen and policemen so hey, support people who risk their lives.

  • At 12/08/2005 05:40:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    You're very decent, O!


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