Thursday, June 26, 2008

Supporting the Troops

If you're looking for a way to lend support to our deployed Marines, here's a quick, easy (and painless) way to do so. Major Pain (the pseudonym of a currently deployed Marine Major who writes a milblog documenting his experiences) has started a "Letters from Home" campaign. I've copied Major Pain's letter from his blog below. Think about taking a minute or two to draft an email and send it to Major Pain's Marines at Don't you think they deserve the minute or two it would take us to say thanks?

If you want to do something a little more, think about sending a care package through the or websites. They even have "ready made" care packages available, where all you have to do is order them through the website, or you can buy, package, and send your own care package to an address they'll provide you. You can also check out the Soldier's Angel organization at They have some wonderful programs, including adopting a soldier (or sometimes entire units), hero packs (care packages), blankets of hope (a program to hand make quilts and blankets for wounded service members or donate the cost of supplies for those who make them), angel bakers (making homemade treats), and project valour-IT (providing voice-activated laptops for wounded service members). These are all great programs providing wonderful support for our fantastic service men & women. Don't get caught up in the idea that "America's military is at war. The rest of America is at the mall." Please stay involved and show more support than putting a magnetic ribbon on the back of your car.

Enough of my tendency to lecture. Here's Major Pain's letter:

What would you say to a warrior deployed in Iraq? If you could chat with him? You might say "Thanks for protecting us", or "We support you", if you were somewhere in passing. But what if you were sitting down, sharing your feelings over dinner? Then what would you say to him? Think about it, because you now have that opportunity.

We have a large group of Marines currently located in a remote area of Iraq. Mail might arrive once a week if the fates are with them, and water is obtained from a well on site. These are your Marines, living on the edge of the empire, alone and determined to succeed. They don't live in Fallujah, they don't have a PX or a store. They operate with the bare bones and a can do attitude. Adapt and overcome are the pillars of their structure, while rebuilding in an insurgent filled area. Police stations are built and governed by Lt's, and life and death decisions are made by 20 something year olds.

They sleep in WWII era wooden huts and sleeping bags, as the constant blowing dirt finds its way into everything they own. They cherish the basic things most take for granted in the states. Operating flawlessly in the 100+ weather is not the exception, it's the expected. They are a tight group that redefines the phrase, "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy".

While deployed, I've heard about others who have asked you, our awesome supporters, to step up to the plate. You've been asked to help keep morale high and to show your men how much you appreciate them. And you have! Well, I'm asking again. Through our blog (OMV) "Letters From Home", you can send your warriors in Iraq an email to show them how much you care. You may have sent a letter in the past where one or two servicemen got to read it. This time, sending in an email will give OMV the right to publish it in any format, thereby allowing me to publicly post them all. This way many will benefit from your support, instead of just a couple. Please take just a few minutes to let your Marines know how proud you are of their outstanding service, and incredible spirit.
Your service members are making a difference regardless of the small amount of press showing their great achievements. YOU know they are doing great, make a difference yourself and email them your thoughts at !

One Team One Fight-Maj Pain

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