On the 4th of July we spend a lot of time honoring our fallen heroes. Don't get me wrong, I think this is great. What better way to celebrate our freedom than honoring those that help defend it?! But, why do we wait until they are gone to honor them? I know, I know there are parades and small ceremonies at events, but are they really honored at these? It seems to me like they are recognized, but we don't spend much time thinking about what they have given. What do YOU do to honor them?
There are several groups that do this every day. If you Google "support our troops" you will get over 27,000,000 hits. Not all of them are credible organizations - so beware. Wounded Warrior project is one of many that helps those who have been injured. I love what they do and how involved they are in every part of the soldiers lives when they come home.
Any soldier has volunteer Soldier "contacts" on the "Where To Send" page. They list what the folks they represent want and need. Click through the names and YOU select who YOU wish to support, then YOU send direct to them. They have a unique search capability so you can easily identify what the troops need, who you wish to support, etc.
Millions of times each year at hundreds of locations around the world, the USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families. A nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to support its activities. The USO is not part of the U.S. government, but is recognized by the Department of Defense, Congress and President of the United States, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the USO.
So, I ask again - what do you do?
When you see a soldier, how do you react? Do you say anything? Do you do anything? Do you pray for them immediately (not necessarily out loud with them, but at least quietly right then and there before you forget)? Do you, in any way support them at least once a month?
I am not a soldier - I have a strong military heritage, as does my husband. Hubby was a Marine and my son wants to be in the Air Force. Any time we see a soldier out to eat, we immediately pay for his meal. One time that meant that we didn't eat out (we waited until we got home - it was just jack in the box, it was ok :).
We live right by an Air Force base, so it is not uncommon to see soldiers in the stores, banks, and restaurants. I don't salute, I'm not a soldier, but I always like to be extra nice to them. I have no idea what they are going through today. I don't know if they just got back from another country. I always try to thank them. Nothing embarrassing, just respectful. It's the least I can do. I want to pay my respects now while these heroes walk among us, not at a memorial service.
What do you do?