Any solider

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I don't know if I've made this clear before now, but I'm sure it's not a surprise: I'm against the war in Iraq. I marched against it before it started (and just after), I've written countless letters against it, I'm against it. I think it's a bad idea. I don't think we ever should have invaded. I think it's bad, bad, bad.

That being said, I have a little tradition I started for myself several Thanksgivings ago that I thought I'd share. The first year, I took up a collection at my workplace to do it, since then I've been doing it on a smaller scale on my own. I go over to anysoldier.com and pick out a couple of wish lists, head over to Target to shop, and send a couple of care packages to folks serving abroad. Particularly to women serving abroad.

So why, since I am against the war, do I do that?

Well, to begin with, I don't think that the young men and women who are suffering on the ground have much say in the policy that put them there. Less say than I have in it, probably, due to their lower age and lower socioeconomics. It's not their fault they are there.

Secondly, I empathize with them, for a kind of strange reason. When I was the age some of them are, I was in my first year of college, and I was so, so homesick. I was in a safe, nice place, which I had chosen, which was only a couple hundred miles from home, and I was miserable. And I seriously cannot comprehend how much worse that it would have been to been in a dangerous situation, with few amenities, in a foreign country, where you had the risk of having to kill or be killed. It's beyond my capacity for creative thought. So I feel personally responsible for doing a little something to try to alleviate the homesickness these kids (and they are kids) must feel. For me, nothing helped more than a package from home, and I think it must be the same for them. And I feel especially for the women, whose lists so often ask for things like deodorant and tampons, as they are in a place that has to be alienating to them on a whole other level (both in terms of the military and in terms of the country).

Finally, I believe in being the change you want to see in the world. The change I want to see is for our government not to ever feel that it's the right thing to do to send kids to kill and die a million miles away for spurious reasons. But that's not something I have much capacity to change right now. What I do have the capacity to change, albeit in a very small way, is how horrible it is for those kids. And I want to do that.

Be forewarned that the website is sort of sickeningly ra-ra USA and doesn't mesh with many (if any) of the political views you or I may hold. To me, that doesn't matter. I can look past that, for a minute, and try to just be kind. I think that maybe if more people could try to do that, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Also, if you decide to send a soldier a care package this Thanksgiving (or some other time), please include a letter. From what I've read/heard, personal letters are reallly appreciated.

1 Comments

Uh oh. I am going to become addicted to this site and the hopping it leads to.

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