I've been mulling over my previous blog entry, "Thank You for your Service," & felt like it was missing something.
As someone who has smelt a whole lot of BS in my day (& dealt my fair share), words mean very little to me. Yes, some peoples words are their bond. While others whether they had every intention of doing what they said but simply are not in a position to deliver or never had any intention of doing so in the first place w/ is quite irrelevant. Whatever was promised never materialized.
I've found what a person does speaks louder than what they actually say.
You want to thank a serviceman (from here on out they'll be referred to as a GI..."serviceman" sounds so sterile), mow their lawn.
You want to thank a GI? Give the non-deployed spouse some free time by watching their kid(s) while their spouse is deployed.
You want to thank a GI? Buy them groceries. It should be a national embarrassment that over $31 million worth of food stamps were spent in US military commissaries (as reported by the Military News).
You want to thank a GI? Donate your books to any of the book drive organizations that specifically cater to the military. Operation Paperback is a good one.
You want to thank a GI? Volunteer your time at your nearest VA hospital. If they're anything like the one in Albany, NY, they can ALWAYS use the help.
You want to thank a GI? Hire a returning vet. Nor does it hurt the company usually gets some sort of tax break.
You want to thank a GI? Send them a CARE package. Operation Troop Aid is an organization that does something like that.
You want to thank a GI? Donate the old, crappy cell phone that you don't use anymore. Cell Phones for Soldiers is an organization whose mission is to provide deployed and returning troops cost-free methods to communicate with family while serving in the United States military.
You want to thank a GI? Donate or volunteer to Operation Shower. Their mission is to provide baby showers for military families to ease the burden of deployment.
You want to thank a GI and a photographer? Join the Yellow Ribbon Photographers network. They provide pictures of loved ones for those who are deployed.
You want to thank a GI? Take a look at Operation Holiday Stockings. If you knit, you can make your own stockings. Or if you'd prefer, you can donate money to help w/ the shipping costs as well as paying for the treats that will go inside those stockings.
You want to thank a GI? Write them a hard copy letter. I can personally vouch that getting "snail mail" is still the highlight of their day. It reminds them they're not forgotten.
So there you have it. If you want to thank a GI, get off your butt & do something about it.
In other news...
This is Charissa.
She wanted to do a set partially to give something to her Afghanistan-deployed Marine husband but also partially to make a statement of sorts. As a veteran myself, I may have left the Corps but the Corps never completely leaves me. So how could I refuse such a request? =)
Feel free to comment on any part of this if you so desire.