When it was all said and done, just over $600,000 was raised in Move America Forward's second annual Troopathon. That amount is sufficient to send tens of thousands of packages to American troops serving overseas.
One-sixth of the total came from one donation - Rush Limbaugh - who truly puts his money where his mouth is.
Right behind Limbaugh's incredibly generous donation was a contribution of more than $53,370 raised by the Blogger competition. The winner of the competition was a 12-member coalition of nationally known blogs called The Hot Air Steamers captained by Ed Morrisey of the Hot Air blog, which raised $24,704.36.
Right behind them, was the Greyhawks, a 5-member team of Connecticut bloggers, captained by yours truly, which raised $17,146.06! The Greyhawks included Jim Bancroft's Rescue Attempt; Judy Aron's Consent of the Governed; James Brislin's Carpet City Chronicle; Jim Vicevich's Radio Vice Online; and my Winter's Soldier Story. Not bad for five kids from Connecticut who came together on very short notice to work together in a common cause.
This might have been a competition, but what we really were competing for was an opportunity to help our troops overseas. As I pointed out in a previous column, the way the media is not covering events in Iraq and Afghanistan you would think all our troops had come home long ago.
We have won in Iraq, a point that some national commentators on the Troopathon were afraid to address head on. However, I am one of those people, who having fought far more times in my life than I would have preferred, knows when a fight has been won. I don't need an official proclamation from someone in an office armchair back in the states to tell me what should be obvious to any casual observer.
We have achieved victory in Iraq even if some are afraid to say so, and even if the media refuses to acknowledge this phenomenal achievement by our troops. But many troops are still there and it will be some time yet before the bulk of them are reassigned.
And unfortunately, we must now go back and reapply a military solution to Afghanistan. Can you remember just a year or so ago when so many know-it-all national commentators were saying there was no military solution in Iraq?
Yes there was. It is called security.
Security is necessary to allow room for growth and development on social and governmental issues. We thought we had it in Afghanistan, and we probably did, but we turned administration of the Afghanistan front over to an international coalition for maintenance.
Now we have 7,000 more Marines and tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen going back to reestablish order there. Pretty much tells you about the value of a One World Order doesn't it?
Although I was the team captain for the Greyhawks, we really have to thank conservative talk radio show host Jim Vicevich, who broadcasts on WTIC-1080 AM weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon, for being the prime fund-raiser for our team. When I asked Jim to join the competition he came out full bore, and gave overwhelming energy and passion to the effort.
Jim was even interviewing retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North Wednesday about North's new book, and before it was over they were talking about the Troopathon! Great interview techniques there.
On Thursday Jim interviewed Move America Forward staffer Deborah Lee, the mother of the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq, and it was a heartfelt, emotional interview that put a very human face on the concept of sending "care" packages to our troops.
For our efforts Move America Forward has offered that all the Greyhawk bloggers will receive: Recognition on Troopathon.org and MoveAmericaForward.org websites; Blogs will be featured in Move America Forward post-Troopathon blogging and e-mails; Blogs will be featured in an insert in all of the packages that are shipped to the troops; Visual acknowledgment in closing credits.
I am sure my team members are appreciative of having their efforts acknowledged on the national scene. But remember, this wasn't about us, this was about the troops.
Even when they aren't being shot at, they are living in often brutal conditions, thousands of miles away from home and family. I can tell you from personal experience in Vietnam that getting a package from home that shows you are not forgotten is a major event in the lives of those who are fighting for us.
So thank you to all my teammates, thank you especially to Jim Vicevich and WTIC 1080 AM for giving us so much exposure, and most of all thank you to every one who took the time to contribute to such a worthwhile cause.
Saturday, June 27, 2009