When You Don’t Know What To Do To Help…

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Last weekend, I was having dinner with my good friends, Jim and Alice Hoette. They told me of their recent activity in helping out our deployed service men and women from afar. I asked for more information…and I’m glad I did.

Alice wrote this week with links to:

www.anysoldier.com

and

www.adoptaplatoon.org

She also sent the names of four soldiers who are stationned overseas, three in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. Each had a small bit about what the soldiers need, where they are from, a little about their mission(unless, like in the case of one soldier in Afghanistan, that info is classified) and when they’re scheduled to return home.

As I read through these, I felt small. Military men and women are placed in spots around the world where no one vacations-hell, places people wouldn’t go to if you paid them. But our military personell do it. I don’t. And don’t want to. You probably don’t, either.

The military won’t accept the service of overweight blind guys like me-so maybe I can do something to help out the brothers and sisters fighting the fight for us. I hope you will, too. Check the links above. I especially enjoyed looking over anysoldier.com because of the professional way the creator set it up. There, on the home page, the web surfer is asked to not do anything until they look over the entire site. It’s the hope of the founders of anysoldier.com that people be educated and comfortable with their decision to help.

When Alice sent the profiles of these servicemen, there were two things that stuck out:

1. A platoon of soldiers in Iraq who, as of late November, had not received any care packages from home. Did they just arrive? Do they have families back home? Do they already have all their needs met? It doesn’t freaking matter-they deserve more than we Americans back home could ever give.

2. Alice had to do a little extra legwork and go through an interview to find out about another soldier who needs our help. This gentleman is stationed in Afghanistan and lives in tents. His laundry must be done by hand, so he requested small bottles of detergent-and black clothes. Black gloves, stocking hats, sweatshirts, socks-everything black. Do you even want to imagine what life is like for someone who must, by necessity, wear all black? I don’t.

Instead of running around stupidly through Wal-Mart trying to buy something useless for someone who probably doesn’t need it, why not take a little time to help out the people who give us the ability to run around Wal-Mart like idiots?

It’s the least we can do.

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