Move America Forward, the nation's largest pro-troop organization once again is underway with a pro-troop, cross-country caravan, this time ending at Ground Zero in New York where a rally will kick off the next phase, Christmas in Iraq.
This is the third cross-country caravan this year for MAF. The first was in March when the group joined 30,000 patriots at the Gathering of Eagles in Washington, D.C., where we stood vigil against pro-communist, pro-terrorist forces who had threatened to deface the Vietnam Veterans Memorial during anti-troop demonstrations.
MAF staged another caravan in September when they again gathered in D.C., to show support for the troops and Gen. David Petraeus who was reporting to Congress on that status of military operations in Iraq. The anti-war crowd who always claims that they support the troops, but not the Commander-in-Chief, sneaked in to D.C. a week ahead of that rally and defaced the Vietnam Memorial overnight on Sept. 7, apparently as revenge for being thwarted in March.
I just love hearing from the so-called "peace" movement how they really, really, really do support the military, while they are doing everything in their power to dismantle our armed forces and destroy morale. I gave up listening to and reading their bleatings long ago, and make my judgments based on what I see them do, rather than believing what they say.
For instance, Fox News Sunday had another tedious interview this week with Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat who never stops yammering about cutting funding for operations in Iraq and quitting our efforts there. He once again gave lip service to supporting the troops, while trying to cut their legs out from under them just as they are emerging victorious in Iraq. How typical of him, and what a great opportunity to show what troop support is really all about on MAF's part.
Regarding actions speaking louder than words, as part of its caravan, Move America Forward is holding pro-troop events in 40 cities to salute the men and women of the our military who are stationed far from their homes and families during the holidays. Many are in engaged in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and you can bet they will be appreciative of any support they get from the home front.
It is difficult to be away from home during any holiday. I remember a feeling of emptiness and simply not belonging back when I was in the Marines. Thanksgivings and Christmases became just another day, despite the efforts at all levels of the chain of command, and in all locales, to bring a touch of home to the troops.
I remember getting packages from my church and from family members that certainly eased the heartache a bit, but nonetheless, it still isn't home. MAF is doing for real what all the gas bag politicians just talk about. But you can bet that when MAF chairwoman Melanie Morgan and other MAF members get on the airplane bound for Iraq, she won't be accompanied by a contingent of Democratic Senators and Congressmen who "support the troops but not the war."
Along the caravan route MAF also intends to collect more than 100,000 Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday greeting cards, that will be delivered to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. MAF also is inviting schools along their route to participate, in addition to community groups and anyone else who wants to contribute to the troops.
The caravan itinerary can be viewed on the MAF website at www.moveamericaforward.org/
It wouldn't hurt to look up the city nearest you and make plans to attend the rallies or at least get people together to collect cards for the troops. MAF asks that on the outside envelope you be sure to write either: "Christmas Card for Our Troops" or "Hanukkah Card for Our Troops" or "Holiday Card for Our Troops."
One highlight of the caravan will be in Lincoln Center in D.C. on Dec 14th, at 8:00 PM where a special holiday tribute to the troops featuring holiday and patriotic songs will be performed.
MAF organizers will be asking the crowd to show appreciation for our wounded warriors from Walter Reed Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital who will be honored guests at the tribute. Check the MAF website for updated information on tickets for this event.
I'll close today with one little item that I have repeated several times since I started writing this column, but which bears repeating now and again. The United States of America has a population of more than 300 million not counting illegal aliens.
But less than 3 million, which translates to less than one percent, of that population is serving in the military, either active, reserve or National Guard. Yet we place all the responsibility for keeping our country safe and strong so the rest of us can enjoy these holidays, on the shoulders of this one percent, many of whom will be in less than enjoyable surroundings.
Considering that so many will be so far from home, and so many will be facing hostilities, don't you think you can take a few minutes to think of them, ask MAF to take them a card from you, and your family and friends? That one small gesture will not go unappreciated, and never be forgotten.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007