Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Yellow Ribbons

I'm getting a little annoyed every time I see a car on the 405 with a yellow "Support Our Troops" ribbon/magnet/bumper sticker plastered for all to see. This seems like a feel-good-but-do-nothing gesture. Besides, how would our troops overseas even know who you are, let alone what car you're driving, and whether or not there is some sticker on it.

It seems that a more meaningful gesture would be to make a donation to one of several very worthy charities. Soldiers' Angels is a fine organization (they sell those ribbons, by the way. Heh). I first became aware of them through the Hugh Hewitt radio show. The Wounded Warrior Project is another organization doing good work (hat tip: Tony Snow). Please check them out. You can also send prepaid calling cards to:

Medical Family Assistance Center
Walter Reed Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20307-5001

Injured soldiers and marines recuperating at Walter Reed need calling cards in order to make long distance phone calls to their families and friends. You can get good deals on prepaid calling cards at your local Costco or Sam's Club.

I don't intend to turn this blog into some advocacy site for the cause du jour. And I know my timing sucks in this post-holiday, post-tsunami lull. I only mention making a donation because it struck me this weekend that the level of violence during Iraq's elections was remarkably low versus terrorist promises of "blood washed streets." The reason the number of successful attacks were small was because of our superb military, and the fact that they executed an effective plan to safeguard voters.

This got me to thinking that elections here are also pretty tame in terms of violence, and again, we have our military to thank (though slightly less directly compared to Iraq). The same kids defending freedom in Iraq are responsible for our collective safety, and the freedom we so often take for granted. They are also in Asia helping with tsunami relief efforts.

So give 'til it hurts. Then give some more.

UPDATE: M3C reader 'Ken' pointed out this morning that if everyone truly supports our troops, then there should be no need to validate those feelings by broadcasting it. Good point.

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