The below is a an email I got from JM in Minnesota

(JM) My question–which you may get from many others so my apologies if it
is terribly redundant–is, what is the most effective thing(s) we back
here can do to support the efforts of our military over there–wherever
they may be?

Sir-
Upfront the very most important thing you can do for any service member is let them know you support them, regardless of any decisions made by politicians.  You see we believe in what we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan because we are the ones fighting the enemy face to face and seeing the good things coming from our hard work i.e. schools being built, the enemy loosing and the Iraqi Army growing stronger.

When I was deployed, one of the biggest concerns was hearing from Marines in our home town was that the base didn’t have any noticeable signs that we were at war. If there wasn’t evidence that we were at war at our own home town then we knew there wasn’t any signs of it in small towns across the USA.

I would ask that you defend us while we are gone. Be the one who interrupts an elevator conversation about how things are screwed up in Iraq and educate them on how things are really being done and who is doing them. If the person making the debate hasn’t been to Iraq, then they have little ground to complain.

Along with your moral support, your material support can be simple things. Basic hygiene gear and envelopes and needed gear as advertised on AnyMarine.com. Your service members are given state of the art cold weather and life saving gear. We don’t need mom and dads sending kevlar to billy in Iraq, trust me, he has enough.

While deployed, young Marines and service members from all branches are taking the fight to the enemy. They are courageous and strong regardless of age. Some of the biggest heroes in Iraq are those 18 year old Marines. It is easy when you have been gone for a year to Iraq to think about home. You think about so many other things that makes home so far away. So I ask that you simply support our heroes because the last thing we want is for them to complete a job well done and have someone shun them for their duty they volunteered to complete. 

Semper Fidelis
Maj Pain

Comments

  1. “Be the one who interrupts an elevator conversation about how things are screwed up in Iraq and educate them on how things are really being done and who is doing them.”
    When I try to tell someone about progress being made — which I learn from military contacts, not from the media — I am told that it is lies, that people who fight (especially Marines) are “brainwashed” to believe that anything good is coming out of Iraq. The truth is, so many people have their minds made up. They were against going to Iraq in the first place, and they refuse to believe any positive stories. All they want to hear about is Abu Ghraib and Haditha. All they want to talk about is oil, Halliburton and the “evil regime” that is the Bush Administration.
    I think that there are some Americans who do not want us to be successful in Iraq because they didn’t approve of going there in the first place. And they’re going to do their best to see to it that we fail, all so that they can sit there smugly and say, “I told you so!”
    What else can I do? My words fall on deaf ears and I’m given the sort of looks that people give to a retarded child. I’m “brainwashed” by Fox News and military propaganda in these people’s minds, so I really don’t know how to engage these people anymore. I’ve all but given up trying to talk to these people, and to cope I just write letters of support and send packages.

  2. Sheila-
    Keep attacking. If you give up then the only voice heard will be theirs and they are wrong. You are a spokes person for those deployed who will never hear that conversation n the elevator. If people want to discredit the voice from those doing the work on the ground, then they have bigger issues and they need to look in the mirror and define brainwashed. Its a free country and one can choose to disagree with what the want to. However with you there speaking up you are saying to them that you believe in the troops and that says a lot!

  3. Very well said Sheila and I hear you. I get the same reactions. I also tell them to “pray for our troops”. They never shoot me down on that. Keep sending the letters & packages of support. Our troops need to know we love them and we are thinking of them. Let’s not forget our wounded heroes-keep sending them cards & letters too.

  4. The Major is right Sheila. I totally understand your feelings and your position.
    The left has only one tactic in the final analysis. The big lie.
    The media is their mouthpiece. They scream the big lie early and often. They are afraid of the truth. They cannot let it get out.
    You do not know how much you disturb them when you stand on your own two feet … the gracious and lovely weaker sex even, and speak the truth.
    They will not be convinced. To do that will be a public and worse… private admission that they are wrong.
    However you will reinforce the others who stand around and watch. Those may agree with you, but lack your courage to say so.
    Observers notice how one brave woman stands her ground. She speaks from her heart. They notice how rude and annoying that the loud mouth who feels compelled to shout you down looks and acts. And in that moment …. in that attempt to intimidate you .. a woman …to be still …. you win. You win by not being intimidated.
    You win in the eyes of those around you. You win in your heart because you know .. no matter how tired it makes you. No matter how frustrated you get by that person’s refusal to listen to truth. No matter how weak you feel.
    You are strong.
    Bravery doesn’t only happen on the battlefield. It happens everyday, anywhere.
    Bravery doesn’t mean you are not scared. It means you go anyway.
    Bravery doesn’t mean you are not tired, confused, at wit’s end. It means you continue to march no matter what.
    Do not let anyone shut you up. Be gracious, be well reasoned, be tenacious
    Be yourself.
    Many have suffered, many have died for your right to do just that.
    You and so many who write here, do so much more that you give yourselves credit for. You are the ones for whom there are no celebrations or parades. You are everyday Americans. You are heros none the less.
    Semper Fi Sheila

  5. OOOH RAAAH FOR YOU SHEILA,JUST A FEW LETTERS A DAY DOES WONDERS FOR MORALE.
    LIKE I TELL PEOPLE…. STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS OR FEEL FREE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM…

  6. It seems to be especially rough going since the elections. I was attcked on a blog by some liberals who called me white trash, inbred, moronic, meth addict and other vile things. According to them, that’s the kind of people who support the President and troops. And I’ve also heard that Iraq is screwed up and the soldiers aren’t allowed to tell the truth. I always suggest people read some milblogs to find out what is going on and I try to stay calm. At family gatherings where a prayer is said, I ask that God bless our troops be included. I feel like a small drop in the bucket, but I’m trying!

  7. THANK YOU MAJOR, THIS IS A SERIOUS EVENING EVENT FOR ME,GLAD TO HAVE SOME COMPANY .BUT THE SMOKING LAMP IS LIT AFTER THE SALUTE.

  8. Shelia, whatever you do, do not give up. I remember four or five years ago when things were just getting hot, and I regularly got lots of hot disagreements. Slowly over time, I am the one at my work people ask about what is going on. One doc sits at coffee every Tuesday morning and asks question after question. When I am doing a big shipment now many add in their contributions. One lady spend an extended lunch shopping and brought me 6 bags or so of small stuff “for the troops”. One asks me every day situations he can particularly pray about. It just takes standing up and being consistent. Wars are won battle by battle, so fight battle by battle. Jim B has some very good advise. Women have a special role here. Some will hear you who would shut me out. And, remember when you are a bit overwhelmed, there are lots of us out there on your side, and the whole Corps is there behind you. I do an email prayer letter for some of our guys who serve and now several at work have asked to be on the list. Confess my ace in the whole is not available to every one – we have a retired Master Guns where I work (85 or 86), and I just ask if they know what he has done, and often tell his stories. One department responded recently with an honor brick in the new Marine Corps museum for him. You should have seen that celebration when we presented him the cert to him. OOH RAH! A lot of people did not know we had a winner of the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and several Purple Hearts in our midst. The whole thing actually made Master Guns eye’s sweat – did not think that would ever happen. You may find out you have a warrior’s mom or dad there. Carry on, sister in the fight.
    Semper Fi,

  9. I dont remember the source but there’s a quote that bears heavily on today’s situation:
    “Treason doth never prosper, why? for if it does, none dare call it treason”
    This is where we are now. Treason – siding with those who support the goals of the enemy – has become trendy. So trendy that no one will call it what it is for fear of being treated harshly themselves.
    If you do not stand up and take your place “on the line” and confront this where ever, how ever and by whom ever, then you are laying down for it.
    Honor is binary, it is either on or off, no maybe and no sorta and no kinda and no sometimes.
    Everyone at some point asks “why are we so weak? Why cant we fight back?”. Well, if you are not out there getting loud and refusing to lay down for those that have allowed themselves to become tools for the success of the enemy, then just look in the mirror.

  10. “Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”
    – Sir John Harrington, 1561-1612

  11. I’m happy to say that I have yet to have to defend our troops when I talk to folks here in town! Whenever I am out and about and the subject comes up, whether I stop for a bite to eat, or I am out shopping (especially if I’m getting items that are obviously for the troops), people always express gratitude and appreciation for all that our troops are doing and sacrificing. A couple of people have said they don’t agree with Bush, but that they know and appreciate what the boots on the ground are doing. I’m sure there are people around who have very negative things to say, but I haven’t run into them. Either that, or they just don’t speak up.

  12. Best plea I’ve seen is in B5’s X-mas poem:
    “His eye welled a tear that held no regret
    ‘Just tell us you love us, and never forget
    To fight for our rights back home while we’re gone,
    To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
    ‘For when we come hom, either standing or dead,
    To know you remember, we fought and we bled
    Is payment enough, and with that we will trust
    That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.'”

  13. Sheila,
    If you need a little “reinforcement” to keep on supporting via interrupting those engaged in “uneducated” conversation just take a trip to the Atlanta airport on any given Saturday and Sunday. On those days the airport is often filled with our service men and women coming or going for R&R, etc. Just ask them (respectfully of course) how they feel about what they are doing. How they feel about the support they are getting from home. How they feel about what the MSM is saying. BELIEVE me Sheila, you won’t need any other reason to, in Maj P’s words, keep attacking! BELIEVE me!
    If I had a nickle for every time a grown man has walked away from me because he didn’t want to hear the truth/the facts, I’d be able to support Marty’s site for days! If I had a nickle for every grown woman who’s mouth fell wide open when I related stories I have heard directly from our deployed, I’d be able to help Marty out for several more days. If I had a nickle for some of the members of my own family who leave the room when I start talking about our military I’d be able to help even more. And we have 2 family members DEPLOYED right now – one to Anbar Province. Ignorance is bliss for sure!
    Out men and women in uniform don’t have the luxury of “giving up” and neither should we. They are doing their job – the hard job. It is left to US to do OUR job here by supporting them in any and EVERY way possible. SPEAK UP! DON’T GIVE UP! Together we ARE making a huge difference. Believe me we are!

  14. SHEILA,LETA IS RIGHT ,WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.MORALE IS IMPORTANT TO OUR TROOPS.WHEN I START RUNNING LOW ON CASH AT THE END OF THE MONTH I JUST SEND OUT MORE LETTERS,JUST AS GOOD AS A ROLEX WATCH FOR THOSE PEOPLE.THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM HOME,EVEN IF THEY DONT KNOW YOU.I GOT ONE MORE PAC GOING OUT IN THE A.M. ONE MARINE ASKED FOR SOME SARDINES,CAN DO , I’M SENDING HIM A CASE,AND A BUNCH OF CRACKERS.
    CHOW DOWN MARINES.
    I RECENTLY STOPPED GOING TO MY LOCAL V.F.W.,THEY DONT GET THE PICTURE. THEY ARE AGAINST THE WAR,AGAINST OUR PREZ BUT WILL CALL OUR LOCAL PAPER UP TO TAKE PICTURES AND DO A WRITE UP ON HOW MUCH THEY ARE DOING FOR OR TROOPS. LIKE LOOKING THROUGH A PANE OF GLASS,YOU CAN SEE RIGHT THROUGH IT. PHONY SO CALLED VETS.
    ONLY EIGHT THAT I KNOW OF ARE ACTUALL COMBAT VETS.SO NOW ITS OFF TO A NEW V.F.W. AND SEE WHAT THEY ARE ABOUT

  15. Wow, Sheila – you described rather succintly my own experiences.
    I continue to do as you – send packages to those deployed so I can, in my own anonymous way, show our armed forces how damned grateful I am for what they do.
    I, too, have felt completely beat up by those who chant the media-inspired mantra. And, I admit, there has been a time (or two) when I’ve walked away because it was clear that my response would cause some pretty serious bodily injury to not only myself but those around me. I refuse to adopt the personna of Cindy Sheehan.
    But most times, I don’t give a rat’s ass who hears me or disagrees with me. I will stand up for our armed forces, in a respectful manner, befitting of the honor they deserve.
    Keep on keepin’ on. I will, and you will, too. As will others. When we compare our frustration and discomfort to those in the field, we ain’t got nuttin’ to complain about.

  16. SHEILA AND LETA,
    A FEW WEEKS BACK I BROUGHT 11 PACS INTO OUR TINY POST OFFICE.I HAD ALL THE CUSTOMS FORMS FILLED OUT AND WAS FIRST IN LINE,WELL THIS CLERK WAS SO SLOW I TOLD HIM TO TAKE CARE OF SOME THIS LINE THAT WAS BUILDING UP BEHIND ME.HE SAID HE COULDN’T DO THAT BECAUSE MY ACCOUNT WAS IN THE COMPUTER AND HE HAD TO FINISH ALL THE PACS, MEAN WHILE THE LINE IS OUT THE DOOR. I FINALLY GOT THE PACS OUT AND LEFT ,AND BUSTING THREW THE LINE I HEARD SOME OLD BAG SAY ITS ABOUT TIME, I TURNED AROUND AND TOLD HER LADY MY TROOPS ARE MORE IMPORTANT TO ME THAN YOUR PHONE BILL.

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