Support the troops…bring them home now

I got an email from Veterans for Peace today. I’m still on their mailing list, but I haven’t paid my dues. I think that they are a good outfit. All of the members are United States Military veterans who spend time working for peace. I liked the graphic at the top of this post and so I’ve included it. I mentioned yesterday that I wrote a letter to the local paper about the need to really support the troops and bring them home. I love it when the apologists for this atrocity say that we in the peace movement are undermining the troops. How many yellow ribbons do you see on cars? How many yellow ribbons do you see on trees? How many folks really are making a real effort to really support the troops? I know that Plainfoolish has a father serving and that she is trying to help the troops. I think that is great. How many of the “supporters” are only paying lip service?

I challenge the supporters of this war to do something tangible for the troops. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. St. James said, “Faith without works is dead.” To those who think we ought to escalate our involvement in Iraq, I challenge you to volunteer for military service yourself. If you’re too old to serve then volunteer in a hospital or a day care. Send money to guardsmen and reservists so that they can pay their bills. Volunteer to serve elsewhere and better yet, if you can legally go to Iraq and help out that would be great. Put your own butt in harm’s way. Walk point with the soldiers and sailors who face death and or dismemberment everyday. To the supporters of stay the course I say, its put up or shut up time. No more empty slogans.

I watched Senator Hagel today respond to our callous Vice President who insinuated that Americans had lost their stomach for war. I love it when a man who managed 9 deferments from military service during Vietnam insinuates that those of us who did serve have lost our stomach.

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support troops, veterans, peace

3 Replies to “Support the troops…bring them home now”

  1. Lost our stomach? Is this supposed to be like on the gradeschool playground when the bully asks if the victim is too “chicken” to do something really stupid? I would remind the vice president that he and his boss have specifically designed this war to fall on as few Americans as possible – no tax hikes, no draft, no victory gardening (there was plenty of food in WWII – the primary purpose of rationing and the rest of it was to build national unity), nothing.

    Even with the actual burden falling squarely on families like mine, with soldiers and guardsmen still serving, I find that others who aren’t sharing my burden so directly, are also asking for that burden to be lifted. And that is amazing. I don’t find it amazing that I, who have a direct stake in the matter, want this war to end.

    I want the vice president to look me in the eye and tell me why my father should be abused so that Halliburton will be enriched. I want his daughter to tell me why she supports this war but hasn’t enlisted.

    When I write letters to my dad, I do my best to be brave, even as I worry about him. I write about how much we’re all praying for him, and I write about the first snow here, and the way the tulip shoots look, coming up through the snow. I don’t tell him that I’ve had to turn off my radio, because the word “surge” now makes my stomach tie itself in knots. I don’t tell him that my granny and my aunt and I each ended up crying in the last week, that my granny worries over him dreadfully, that my mom seems to be trying to bury herself in work… All I say to him is that we miss him and love him and hope that he will be okay.

    Mr. Vice President, don’t you *dare* tell me that I’m not brave enough. One of my letters is braver than you’ve ever had to be.

  2. I’ve always thought the “support the troops” thing was rhetorical sleight-of-hand to try to get us to forget that we have options.

  3. I obviously interpret supporting the troops differently. For me, it’s about the actual folks that are being sent to fight in my name. Now, they didn’t ask to be sent, and I sure didn’t ask to send them, but I also know that they’re being asked to carry on in truly sickening circumstances.

    Originally, at least in my dad’s unit, those yellow magnets were being sold as a fundraiser for the family support group. Now, they’re just profit for Wal-Mart or wherever, made for like 5 cents by some kid in China. And that makes me mad. I want to know how all the folks profiting off this war are “supporting the troops”.

    And I sure as heck want to know why, when we supposedly need so many more troops, the folks pushing for this war aren’t enlisting.

    I support our troops. I send books, food, artwork, music, movies, art supplies, model airplanes, and letters into Iraq. I pray over every stitch of the blanket I am making now, and the ones I’ve promised my dad I will make for those returning wounded. Yes, and that’s why I will be in downtown DC tomorrow, asking for peacemaking to begin. Because I do support our troops.

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