Tuesday, March 08, 2005

American Goodwill

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but I’m just now getting around to doing it. There are a lot of good people back home in the States, and some of them actually read this blog. Their heart’s are good and their desire to help soldiers, as well as the children of Iraq, is apparent in the emails that I receive. Being a soldier myself, I’m obviously interested in helping fellow soldiers in any way that I can. I also have a desire to help out the children of Iraq as much, if not more, than my fellow soldiers. You don’t have to be over here to understand that there is something inherently good about these children. When you see their faces, talk with them, and witness firsthand the conditions in which some of them live, you can’t help but be interested in their well being. The general kindness manifest in the people of America seems to go unnoticed in the world at large, but I can promise you that it doesn’t go unnoticed with the children of Iraq and the soldiers over here fighting for their future.

I must apologize for not addressing an issue that I’ve been wrestling with for weeks. There are many of you that have expressed an interest in sending me toys, pens, and other things that I can pass on to the children. There is one person in particular, Angel, who has been a regular reader since I started this blog. I don’t know her personally, but her name seems to be synonymous with her character. On more than one occasion she and her family have offered to send me things so that my buddies and I can give them to the kids. Her son, who seems to have inherited the good-hearted attributes of his mother, has personally collected toys for the children as well. She has also offered to send me, and guys in my platoon, things that we may need for personal use. There are others of you as well, and my not mentioning you by name is in no way meant to convey that I am ungrateful.

This kindness offered by you all has me torn between wanting to accept your kindness and wanting to retain my privacy. For numerous reasons I’ve chosen to remain anonymous and therefore am hesitant to give out my personal address. I hope that you will forgive me. What you can do, and what I sincerely hope you will do, is send these items to programs like Adopt-A-Platoon. There are also programs out there designed to specifically help the children of Iraq. My hope is that you will take the time to contribute to one of these as well. I personally have more than enough things to get me through the year. I will probably run out of room to store the many boxes sent to me by family members and friends. But there are guys in my platoon and throughout the army who don’t receive much mail or boxes. Someone in our platoon is signing us up for Adopt-A-Platoon, so we can get some boxes to the guys not receiving any. Instead of sending me things, I encourage you to send them to this program.

Some of you have also suggested that I set up a wish list or tip jar on my blog. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s just not something I want to do. The freedom to write whatever I want is reward enough. There is an Amazon search box over to the right of the page. If you ever shop on Amazon, you can always stop through here on your way there. By entering Amazon through the search box, I receive a small commission from anything you purchase. This commission is in the form of a gift certificate that I can use to buy books, dvds, and maybe a new computer. If your going to buy something from them anyway, you might as well come through here first.

My conscience can live with that, but I’m starting to wonder if I’m now partially employed by Mr. Bezos. Oh well, he seems like a nice guy, and I’ve enjoyed shopping on there the past few years. Maybe I should try to get sponsored by them. I could adorn my equipment with the Amazon logo, providing them with priceless exposure all over Iraq. They could establish their presence here first, increasing their market share in the Middle East. Ebay and the others would be left behind. Now that I think about it, I like Ebay too. Sponsor me Meg, and I will display your logo prominently on my helmet. Iraqis are more internet savvy than you may think. Yahoo, I have a place on the back of my vest that has plenty of room for your logo. I’ve been using your email service for years and can’t imagine using another. What about Google? I’m using blogger right now. You boys might be gazillionaires thanks to your recent IPO, but what about your Middle Eastern market. All of you could help foster the growth of capitalism in this young democracy, and I could be your first billboard. With all those logos I might start to resemble a NASCAR driver. That might bother a few people at the DOD, not to mention some of the officers around here. Rest easy Mr. Rumsfeld, the only logos I want to wear are the 3rd I.D. patch and Old Glory.

14 Comments:

Blogger Papa Ray said...

Hey,

Right on, fire for effect.
Enough is enough, and you know the limits.

Americans are the most generous, well intentioned people in the world, but as you have experienced, also go overboard, really too easily.

One example, in 69, we recieved (just in our unit) about 300 lbs of Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I understand that it was even more in the larger units.

All from some kid saying he missed eating Chocolate Chip Cookies, and the media hyping it up.

I never even liked them, I faint dead away now if I even smell one.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The kids here in America are great too - not just the adults. I have my sons (14 & 17) read alot of the blogs so they have a BETTER understanding of what is going on instead of just reading the papers & watching the news.

When they read on another blog about the little girl with the teddy bear sitting in the middle of the road my 14 yr old took up a beanie baby donation from his friends. Didn't even have to do it at school. Between his friends and their friends and so on, within a week they had over 100.

We went to anysoldier.com and looked under "new contacts" and then searched for soldiers/marines/etc specifically requesting toys for the children.

Sent them out over this past weekend (along with some snacks and goodies for the soldiers) so hopefully they will arrive shortly.

This was not my doing - my son did this on his own, made him feel helpful and opened his eyes in ways that I never could. Thanks to all the bloggers for getting the next generation involved.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Agnieszka said...

Anysoldier.com has a lot of new contacts every day.
I mail packages to troops as well as support their humanitarian efforts.
If there are soldiers in your group that are not receiving any mail, tell them to go to that site and sign on. They will start receiving packages in 2 weeks or sometimes faster. It all depends on your location...
Stay safe.

8:09 PM  
Blogger John said...

You mentioned your 3rd ID patch. Is that as in the Third infantry Division out of Hinesville GA? I used to live in that area right between Hinesville and Glennville.

Lovely area, wonderful people. Never cared much for the fire ants though.

All my love and support go out to the 3rdID, and all the troops in general.

Thanks for the info about helping out. I'll get right on it.

Also, I'll put your word out on my blogs, wisgrove98.blogspot.com and cubbycorner.blogspot.com. I only reach like 4 people a day, but every little bit counts.

Don't buy into what some people back home are saying. Almost everyone here loves and respects you guys and what you are accomplishing. Way to go!

God bless you and stay safe.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Mxxxxxx said...

I have been following your blog for about a month. Interesting... my boyfriend is in 3rd ID and deployed toward the end of January. It is interesting to hear what you say... then hear other details directly from him. I admire your spirit and enthusiasm for your job, our country and the children of Iraq. God Bless.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to AnySoldier.com they have over 2,000 soldier contacts listed on their site. They were recently featured on CNN. You (or your contact) can request things for the kids and things for your fellow soldiers who are not getting mail. I have sent toys, candy, school supplies and medicines for the children in Iraq and Afganistan. What ever the contact wanted I sent. When your contact is overwhelmed you can post that too. God Bless you all.

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your blog frequently and appreciate the time and effort you take in sharing your experiences with us. Thank you.

Another very fine organization for soldier support is HomefrontHugs. (www.homefronthugs.com) It is the only organization that I am aware of that also adopts the soldier's family if requested. They have the approval of the Dept of Defense so are a legitimate group.

Sue

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your blog frequently and appreciate the time and effort you take in sharing your experiences with us. Thank you.

Another very fine organization for soldier support is HomefrontHugs. (www.homefronthugs.com) It is the only organization that I am aware of that also adopts the soldier's family if requested. They have the approval of the Dept of Defense so are a legitimate group.

Sue

10:27 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

3rd ID? Hey, I'm from Georgia, Too! (Loganville, LOL). When the war first started, the soldier adoptaplatoon gave me was with the 3/3... worried to pieces about him all through the "shock'n'awe" days..so relieved when he came home! never heard from him, heard of "the return" through the powers that be at AAP, LOL... anyway, I'm rambling, LOL. Thanks for your service!!! You are in our prayers!
Kat in GA

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howdy again from La Grange, GA!
Again I will thank you for your service- what amazes and impresses me the most is your devotion for the children of Iraq! I understand and respect your wish to remain anonymous even though we would have sent you a care package in a flash. Take care, stay safe, and Godspeed!!

3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howdy again from La Grange, GA!
Again I will thank you for your service- what amazes and impresses me the most is your devotion for the children of Iraq! I understand and respect your wish to remain anonymous even though we would have sent you a care package in a flash. Take care, stay safe, and Godspeed!!

3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howdy again from La Grange, GA!
Again I will thank you for your service- what amazes and impresses me the most is your devotion for the children of Iraq! I understand and respect your wish to remain anonymous even though we would have sent you a care package in a flash. Take care, stay safe, and Godspeed!!

3:46 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Michael,

That's a good name. Both my husband and son happen to carry that name.

Michael, you are the epitome of "America's Best and Brightest". You truly represent all that is good about our country and especially our young men and women.

Providing that young boy in the previous post the pack of gum reminds me of what our fathers or grandfathers did during WWII.

The heart of Americans have always had and will always have a tendor spot in their hearts for the children.

You express it so well when you talk about the young children and how Americans are there to help make their future better.

Your an honorable young man doing a difficult job. During those tough times, please remember you have a whole country behind you who are thankful that men (and women) stand at the door when the wolf growls.

Warmest,
Cheryl

11:47 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

As a staff member at Books for Soldiers, I know firsthand how hard it is to rein in our volunteers-- so many Americans want to show their appreciation and to help, and when they find out they can send things to the troops through one of the soldier support organizations, they do it in typical American fashion, where more is better! LOL

We do try to educate our volunteers that it's the thought that counts-- to hold back on the quantity because storage space is at a premium for many of our troops. But when they hear this message straight from a soldier's mouth-- or the soldier's blog, in this case!-- that's when the lesson is really learned. I'll be pointing our blog-reading volunteers your way to read this post. :-)

Books for Soldiers accepts requests from individual soldiers through the front page of our website for books, entertainment and small personal items, so if there are soldiers that fall through the cracks at mail call, please let them know. We'll be happy to help.

--Julie
Site Moderator
www.booksforsoldiers.com

10:21 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home