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God bless our troops, bring them home

Fri, Jul 20th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

If the politicians who call for war were the soldiers headed for the trenches, there would be no war.

I'm not really sure where or when I read that thought-provoking statement, but I certainly feel it is quite valid. I hope what I have to say doesn't offend my readers, but I am very much against the war in Iraq. Before the first missiles were launched at Baghdad more than four years ago, I participated in an anti-war march. The sign I carried read, "Diplomacy, not Bloodshed."

If another march was organized, I would march again. The sign I would carry would read, "God bless our troops, bring them home today!"

I think more and more people in this country feel the way I do. They support our troops, but feel the bloodshed, the exorbitant amount of money expended (nearing one trillion dollars), and all the hatred the war has fostered is not only unnecessary, but will be a very black mark on the history of this country.

I received an email from Richard Berman, president of Manhattanville College in Purchase NY., who is the cofounder of the My Soldier Pen Pal program. Berman suggests civilians "can make a difference in the daily lives of veterans and soldiers by participating in the My Soldier program. It offers a variety of ways to show our soldiers we are grateful for what they do to protect our freedom and liberties." The My Soldier office has even put together a list to help you get started.

Top Ten List of ways to show patriotic support:

1. Go to www.mysoldier.com to register for the "My Soldier" program and adopt a deployed soldier who could use a pen-pal friend.

2. Encourage children/students to spend their summer vacation creating this meaningful, even educational, pen pal relationship.

3. Join the My Soldier Pen Pal program as a family. Family writing projects can create a bond for a common cause, which deepens familial ties.

4. Wear a My Soldier bracelet to show your support (mailed to you free via a SASE).

5. Enjoy a parade and support the marchers!

6. Call the My Soldier Office (914) 323-5172 to find out how you can get free My Soldier bracelets in bulk to use as summer picnic or parade giveaways.

7. Submit the name of an active soldier who would like to be adopted through the website link.

8. Adopt a soldier and earn a community service award! Manhattanville My Soldier now offers the opportunity for high school students to be recognized for their service and commitment.

9. Visit the soldier homepage at www.mysoldier.com and click on the Hats Off to Veterans to learn about how you can say thanks and show support to a hospitalized veteran.

10. Donate an item for the "Red White and Blue (RWB) Thank You." The My Soldier office is collecting items for care packages that will be sent or delivered to hospitalized veterans. A patriotic red white and blue theme is suggested. Items being collected (via mail the My Soldier Office, Manhattanville College, 2900 Purchase Street, Purchase, NY 10577) include:

* Tootsie Pops - cherry (red wrapper) & grape (blue wrapper), Twizzlers;

* Captain America, Superman (and other Super Hero) comic books;

* Playing cards & Yahtzee (dice game);

* Beach balls, Nerf footballs;

* Homemade cards with handwritten notes;

* Children's artwork.

Doing everything we can to support our troops and make their deployments to the Middle East as tolerable as possible is very important.

Letting them know we do appreciate the incredible sacrifices they are making and support their actions is even more important.

Convincing our current administration the decision to attack Iraq and impose our democratic way of life on a Muslim nation that has been embroiled in civil war for centuries was wrong and totally unacceptable is of paramount importance. We need to stop the war today before any more American lives are lost.

God bless our troops, bring them home today!

Charlie Warner lives in Canton. He is the News Editor of the Caledonia Argus.

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