To encourage and fortify relationships between military service members, veterans, their families, their friends, and their Country; to nurture the path of communication for everyone, ensuring that no one is alone or left behind; and proving that we have not, are not, and will never forget the nobility of their sacrifices.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I think a simple tradition, like placing a Star in a window might help chip away at the apathy the majority of the American's feel towards the current Wars. (I say current Wars, because even though we are officially not supporting combat operations in Iraq, we still have men dying in Iraq.) Seeing the Blue and Gold stars in passing windows as one were to drive to the supermarket to get milk might help bring the Wars closer. It would also give the general public an opportunity to recognize and pay proper respect to the family members who serve.
Sunday, September 26th is Gold Star Mother's Day. Just as it is important to Thank those serving in the military, it is important to Thank their Mothers, ensuring their sacrifices for our great Nation do not go unnoticed.
From one Mother to another, Thank You for all you have endured for my freedom, and that of my families freedom.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Artwork may be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by snail mail to
Words For Warriors
P.O. Box 734
Janesville, CA. 96114
There is NO limit to the amount of entries one child can submit. The Deadline for artwork is Friday, November 5th, 2010. The winners will be announced on Veteran's Day, Thursday November 11, 2010.
Please include Child's name, Age, and Hometown along with Parent's name and contact information. There will be different age groups depending on the volume of artwork received, meaning multiple prizes. For you new readers, local businesses display postcards, giving their customers the opportunity to write words of support. Words For Warriors collects the postcards sending them downrange to Iraq and Afghanistan to our Warriors. This program was a huge success in our local Subway over the summer. I should note any artwork received through snail mail will be forwarded downrange for support.
If you don't believe in the power of simple words or children's artwork I encourage you to read here, here, here, and here to see what a few of the troops who have received letters and care packages from Words For Warriors had to say. Just so you all know, I have a wall that is ten feet high and eight feet wide covered in Thank You notes and pictures from warriors. They are grateful for what they receive. Many Veteran's I know keep the letters and artwork they receive while deployed for the rest of their lives. It means THAT much.
Here is one postcard from this summer with a special note of appreciation.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
The suicide rate among military personnel has risen, and continues to rise at an alarming rate. In recognition of the rising suicide rate the Army expanded National Suicide Prevention Week, September 12th through the 18th to National Suicide Prevention Month. The website for Department Of Defense Health System posted a variety of resources for Commanding Officers, Friends, Family, along with the Suicide Hotline for those who need immediate help.
The United States has been at War for 10 years, our longest War to date. This translates into multiple deployments, increasing stress. With large volumes of artillery and IED's being used in Iraq and Afghanistan Traumatic Brain Injuries and PTSD numbers are increasing. These are all major stress factors that can lead to suicide.
It is my personal opinion that military suicides due to the stress of War, should be considered a casualty of war. After all, it was the experiences and stress of War that pushed the individual to suicide. I look at it like this, if a person who dies due to an IED they are considered a casualty of war, whether they die on foreign soil or US soil. Why then wouldn't someone who is injured with Traumatic Brain Injury or PTSD also be considered a casualty of war? The lack of means to recognize, diagnose, or understand a condition doesn't make it any less a reality. (I would like to note, I am by no means condoning suicide.)
I believe personal stories are a much bigger learning tool than any book. When you have someone who experienced a time first hand they give a unique story tailored to their circumstances.
Recently I had one of the most wonderful ladies in my life die. She would have been 85 in October. Almost five years ago in November there were two weeks this wonderful lady stayed with me as we waited for the birth of my second child. During that time she shared stories with me of her childhood. Stories I will always cherish. Speaking with her friends and family I heard more stories, not just of her life, but of her husband's life, (a man I missed the privilege of meeting) and their life together. It was then I realized their "his-stories" and the lessons in them live on in us, the people they loved.
History is important. It is important to write it down so it may be shared with current and future generations with accuracy. Which is why I think the Veterans History Project is important.
The Veterans History Project has been funded by Congress to collect first hand stories, correspondence, and documentation about World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, The Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq. There is even a program for High School students to use the Veterans History Project as a Senior project before they graduate.
I think the Veterans History Project is important to us as a Nation. It can help inform the masses with first hand knowledge about what a our Veterans experienced. It can bring younger generations closer, helping to dissolve the disconnect between themselves and Veterans around them. It can be a living monument to those who came home, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It can help ensure that no one is forgotten.
To those family members who have their parents and grandparents war memorabilia and don't know what to do with it, look into this project.
To you Veteran's out there, I encourage you to look into this project so you may tell your "his-story" your way, instead of letting someone else tell it for you. Being a Veteran automatically makes you a part of history.
Tell your story.
To learn more about the Veterans History Project please click here.
If you are interested in this project and want help, contact me. I will gladly help anyone.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
As American's there are times we are guilty of believing the War On Terror, or September 11 only affected us. This of course is not the case. Other countries lost loved ones on September 11th, and they most certainly have lost son's and daughter's in the War On Terror. There are currently 45 Countries fighting in Afghanistan, not including the USA.
The Fallen of the United States of American can me honored here.
The following is a complete list of coalition casualties as of Aug. 31, 2010
Czech Republic 3
South Korea 2
New Zealand 1
For a total of 1,985 son's and daughter's who have left behind family who misses and loves them. Each and everyone deserves our respect no matter what country they were born in or fought for.
Monday, September 13, 2010
According to the DOD there are 81,864 POW/MIA's who need to be Remembered. Who have families waiting for closure of some sort. There are several ways to show our Countries Son's are NOT FORGOTTEN. You can fly a POW/MIA flag, wear a shirt like the one below found at Ranger UP.
If none of the above options work for you, at the very least you can wrap a black cloth around your upper arm in Remembrance. When someone asks why you're wearing a black arm band, tell them it is in Honor and Hope for those who have not made it home. NEVER FORGET.