04 December 2008

Remember A Service Member For The Holidays

There is a star that shines tonight
For all the world to see
So far away my lover is
Please bring him home to me

The holidays are a tough time for anyone to be away from home, let alone members of the U.S. armed forces who are scattered aound the globe this year. Not not only for family members worried about loved ones, but soldiers, marines and sailors themselves -- many of whom are in harm's way as I write these words.

For those of you who are not aware, I want to introduce you to an organization that performs miracles year 'round. But at this time of year, you too can become a miracle worker.

The organization is AnySoldier.com. This group matches the needs of service people with interested folks who want to donate general goods and goodies. In the old days, you used to be able to send a box of goodies or a letter, simply addressed to "Any Soldier" at a military hospital, or to the Pentagon. They would forward such items to military men and women who were in hospitals, rehab, or even in active duty, front-line posts. It was a way to send a little message of hope and love from home -- anonymously, sometimes -- to remind those protecting us that they matter . . . that they are remembered, particularly during the holidays.

In recent years, such good deeds have been spoiled by the likes of people who hate. They say they hate war (who doesn't), but they also hate the present administration, and often hate our military men and women. In recent years, they expressed this hate (if this doesn't prove that hate is a sickness, I don't know what does...) by sending letters or packages addressed to "Any Soldier." But the contents were not messages of hope or encouratement. They would send hate letters, call service people "baby killers," and fill boxes with things you just don't want to see. Imagine lying in a hospital, your body ravaged by injury inflicted while protecting your country, and you receive a box -- supposedly from a well wisher -- filled with excrement, with a note calling you a monster for wearing a uniform. Just imagine . . .

So policy was changed stating that all letters and packages must be directed to specific military personnel BY NAME. AnySoldier.com matches the needs of real soldiers with the interest of people who want to send things that are needed.

Please take the time to check out this important organization. Be a miracle worker yourself, and make a difference for someone who is giving their time selflessly to protect us all.

Near the top of this post, I have included the first few lyrics of a brand new song written and performed by Sheryl Crow. Just released on her first collection of Christmas music, she wrote it as a tribute to U.S. military personnel serving all around the globe. Her words and music are memorable. But it wasn't written for me. It was written for men and women who stand in harm's way every hour of every day of every year. Thanklessly.

Please think about what YOU can do to make a difference in the life of a soldier. It doesn't have to be only at the holidays -- it can be year 'round. But the holidays would be a great time to start. And more importnatly, itt doesn't have to be someone you know.

It can be Any Soldier . . .

Thank you.

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