I’m sorry to say that, for me, “the troops” have always been somewhat abstract, not because I don’t respect and admire them, but because I really don’t know any troops. Living in my Marin bubble, where the military is anathema to the average person, you simply don’t have a large number of people entering the service, nor do you have a large number of military personnel wandering around the streets. When I do get the opportunity — usually at airports in other states — I always go up and thank the troops I see, but that’s the extent of my interactions with them. Otherwise, my military friends are people I’ve met through my blog. They have no faces; they just have wonderful voices.
Today, though, I learned that I can make a little dent in that abstraction, as can you, through an email program One Marine’s View is offering. Major Pain describes some Marines currently serving in Iraq:
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”.
One Marine’s View has now set up a special email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. What makes that email address special is this:
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.
I’m planning on sending my email right now. How about you?
By the way, Maj Pain suggests something more than the “thank you” I try to pass out in airports, and urges something more along the lines of a dinner conversation. I’m chatty. I think I can do that.