The above video is a song from Marine Mike Corrado called "My Watch". The words are beautiful and the music poignant. Enjoy the song and the pictures of life in Iraq for the soldiers.
So, I've been absent from posting any FFT's over the past couple of months. For those of you who do not know what an FFT is – it is a Friday Field Trip. A post where I send you places that are interesting, funny, thoughtful or that I think y'all might enjoy. I have hosted a couple FFT's on my site before though.
Well, today I am sending you to some places where you can show your support for our brave men and women in uniform. Over this extended, 3-day weekend take a moment to show your support and your thanks for the sacrifices these men and women are making in order to do something they believe in – give freedom to others and protect our own.
As many of you know, I am extremely pro-military. I always have been, but that is even moreso now that I have a loved one in Iraq. Dan is doing much better, so I thank all of you who have prayed for him and for the other soldiers who were injured in the near drowning accident last week. I also appreciate your continued prayers for SSgt. Hansen's family after his death on Sunday. For those of you who might live in the Nebraska area, there is a memorial parade in Jeff's honor to not only show support and honor to him in the magnitude of his ultimate sacrifice but to also be there to support his family.
I have learned that the Patriot Guard Riders will be there as well to provide support along the way in both Cairo, NE and Minden, NE. Jeff's father contacted them and requested their presence. They perform a very valuable service at these military funerals so any support you show them is wonderful!
The information for the parades and visitations are as follows as taken from the Kearny newspaper:
The village of Cairo is encouraging residents to line its streets to honor Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Hansen of the Nebraska National Guard during a procession at 2 p.m. Sunday. Visitation will be at Christ Lutheran Church in Cairo from 3 to 6 p.m. that afternoon.
Hansen, 31, was injured in Iraq on Aug. 21 along with three other Guardsmen when the Humvee they were riding in turned over, fell into a canal and trapped them inside. He died of his injuries last Sunday.
Hansen joined the National Guard in 2000 and served in Bosnia for six months in 2002 and 2003. He worked as an officer in the Kearney Police Department from 2001 to 2002 and had been employed as a federal police officer at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Grand Island since 2004.
Hansen's body will be moved to Minden for additional visitation from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. Monday. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Minden.
If any of you can be there to show your support for his family, it would be greatly appreciated and welcome. A concern of theirs is that protesters might be there so the more people who show up in support, obviously, the better.
Ok, so here are the FFT's for today:
"America Supports You," a nationwide program launched by the Department of Defense, recognizes citizens' support for our military men and women and communicates that support to members of our Armed Forces at home and abroad. They have a TON of information on their site including many organizations you can get involved in to support our men and women in uniform.
You can learn how to get involved and show your support by clicking HERE.
When I went to pick Dan up in Dallas on his leave, the USO was there at the airport, supporting the family members and loved ones who had come to pick their soldiers up as well as show support to the soldiers as they came out of the doors into the terminal. Many of the soldiers were flying elsewhere and didn't have anyone at the airport to welcome them home. It was loud and boisterous and patriotic and just WONDERFUL! I strongly urge you to get in contact with your local USO and see about becoming a regular part of the airport welcoming group in your area. Not all areas have it, but for those areas that do, it is worthwhile and uplifting for all involved. They also have free parking for those who participate, regardless of how long you are there at the airport. Some information about the USO...
The USO reaches out through:
USO celebrity entertainment tours bring volunteer celebrities to entertain, lift morale, and express the gratitude and support of the American people.
For 65 years, the USO's mission has remained the same. The USO will support U.S. troops and their families wherever they serve. Across the United States and around the world, the American military knows that the USO is there for them. By supporting the USO, Americans show their appreciation and express their gratitude to the men and women who defend us.
To learn more about the USO and how you can get involved locally click HERE.
Soldier's Angels was founded by Patti Patton-Bader, mother of Sgt. Brandon Varn, who has recently returned from a year's deployment to Iraq. Soldiers' Angels is an all volunteer run organization, incorporated in the state of Nevada. Soldiers' Angels started in June of 2003. The Soldiers' Angels mission is to provide aide and comfort to any of the armed forces and their families.
More importantly, the slogan describes the motivation behind Soldiers' Angels. By working together and sharing a common vision of service, the volunteers of Soldiers' Angels send care to deployed soldier's and their loved ones at home.
To date they have accomplished to send thousands of care packages to deployed soldiers, helped the wounded at most military hospitals and aided military families in need.
From its very inception, the focus of Soldiers' Angels has been:
Helping to bring home healthy soldiers.
To find out more about this worthy cause, please click HERE.
Jacob's Light Foundation's Mission is to send our military overseas necessities and comforts from home. They focus on military without family or support from home. They want to give them the support they need and to be a lifeline from America. I found out about this one from the Glenn Beck program on CNN. I can not stand CNN – I call them the Communist News Network b/c of their liberal anti-American, anti-administration reporting and antics, however, they DO have Glenn Beck who is just one heck of a great conservative media personality and I try and never miss his nightly broadcast.
Dorine Kenney sent packages to her son in Iraq and soon she started sending supplies to soldiers in his platoon that never received mail. Her efforts were a huge hit and the soldiers really enjoyed getting a piece of home while they were there overseas. Her son sadly was killed in Iraq in 2003 after the transport he was on was hit by an IED. After Jacob's death, it would have been easy for Dorine to stop sending packages and try to move past losing her son and somehow go on. Dorine Kenney did just the opposite. To date she's sent over 61,000 pounds of supplies to soldiers. Honoring her son, her efforts have been named the Jacob's Light Foundation.
Right now, what is really needed over there are blood coagulants and that is currently NOT provided for the soldiers over there right now and it is lifesaving treatment for them. An amendment to the defense authorization bill has been placed on the floor of the Senate in order to provide more money for this necessary need. To date, Jacob's Light Foundation has been able to send about 650 units of blood coagulant over there. In order to provide more of this until the military gets the money to provide it they need donations and if anybody wants to help then with donations, they can send it to:
Jacob's Light Foundation
116 Nadia Court
Port Jefferson, New York 11777
If you would like to know more about Jacob's Light Foundation, please click HERE.
I have this one already linked on my sidebar, but this is another worthy cause for those military men and women who get no mail and so I am highlighting them here on this FFT.
Any Soldier Inc. started as a simple family effort to help their son, Army Sergeant Brian Horn. They knew his unit, the 173rd Airborne Brigade was living under very rough conditions, and they were sending Brian care packages as often as they could.
Brian started the idea of Any Soldier to help care for his soldiers. He agreed to distribute packages, that came to him with "Attn: Any Soldier" in the address, to the soldiers who were not getting mail. Any Soldier Inc. started in August 2003 to help the soldiers in one Army unit, thus their name. However, due to overwhelming requests, on 1 January 2004 the Any Soldier effort was expanded to include any member, of any of the Armed Services, in harms way. As of this date they have 2,529 soldiers they have supported!! Soldiers can be signed up to receive these care packages and there is a place on the Any Soldier.com website that will allow them to do so.
If you would like to help donate to this worthy cause to send care packages to ANY military man or woman in all of the 5 branches of the military who are not receiving any mail you can click HERE.
Copier giant XEROX has gotten in on the act too! This one takes only a couple minutes to do. I've done it before and it's easy, quick and it does make a difference!
The mission of Let's Say Thanks is to provide a way for individuals across the country to recognize U.S. troops stationed overseas. By submitting a message through this site you have the opportunity to send a free personalized postcard greeting to deployed servicemen and women.
The postcards, depicting patriotic scenes and hometown images, were selected from a pool of entries from children across the country.
All you have to do is click on your favorite design and either select the message that best expresses your sentiment or draft a personal note. The postcards are then printed on the Xerox iGen3® Digital Production Press and mailed in care packages by military support organization Give2TheTroops®.
Xerox is committed to helping people across the nation express their gratitude to our troops overseas. The launch of this program is aimed at reminding them how much Americans appreciate their service.
To participate in this FREE program to send cards to soldiers that are serving in foreign countries please click HERE.
Since December 2002, GIVE2THETROOPS has supported HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of deployed U.S. troops with loving care packages and letters from all over the nation. This was made possible only with the help of tens of thousands of generous and patriotic friends in the U.S. and abroad. This is the least we can do to show our troops how much we care about them. Our troops need to know that we support and appreciate the sacrifices they make for us, our families, and our future. This is about giving back to those who give all.
GIVE2THETROOPS Mission Statement: To support the physical, moral, and spiritual health of America's armed forces in combat zones around the world through the letters and packages prepared and shipped by caring volunteers.
GIVE2THETROOPS is a NONPARTISAN, NON-POLITICAL, PATRIOTIC organization aimed at supporting U.S. deployed and wounded troops in harm's way. We are managed by patriotic volunteers who ensure that deployed U.S. military members in all branches of service are supported with letters and care packages.
To find out more and support GIVE2THETROOPS please click HERE.
A BIG thanks to my friend Michael Manning for alerting me to this organization...
The music icon Cher is a HUGE supporter of Operation Helmet. Cher has teamed up with Dr. Bob Meaders, founder and president of Operation-Helmet.org, and she has put 6 figures of her own money in and testified before a Congress subcommittee. Basically, our troops have Vietnam era helmet that can deflect a bullet. But with the new helmet webbing and center pad insert, a blast need not mean brain injury. Cher visited an Army Hospital unannounced one night, and while she opposes the war in Iraq, she is 100% for our troops. She was asked by a soldier for her autograph on his cast. She said "Sure, what's your name?" The soldier had to look at his name badge. He suffered a severe concussion from a roadside bomb and that's when Cher got involved and is a very outspoken supporter of this program.
OPERATION HELMET is a nonpartisan, charitable grassroots effort that provides helmet upgrade kits free of charge to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those ordered to deploy in the near future. These helmet upgrade kits consist of shock-absorbing pads and a new strap system. Operation Helmet depends on tax-deductible donations. For $75-$100, depending on the manufacturer, added safety and comfort can be provided for a trooper. But donations of any amount are welcome. The donation can be designated for a specific branch of the military, a particular unit or an individual trooper. 100% of donations go toward helmet kits. There are no administrative costs deducted and the Operation’s books are available for inspection by anyone who wants to see them. To date, Operation Helmet has sent upgrade kits to over 24,000 troops.
These helmet upgrades do three primary things:
The life you save might save another!
They currently have a 3,717 (and growing) backlog for these kits so you can see just how very necessary these kits are.
For more information and to help support this much needed cause please click HERE
If you would like to add other links to organizations that support our men and women in uniform that you know of, please leave your suggestion in the comments and I will add them to this post. I will be turning this post into a page of it's own once it goes into the archives that others can find easily so your links will be easily accessable to others.