10 May 2006

How to show some military appreciation

Today I was invited by a friend of mine to sit through a military appreciation month luncheon that was being hosted by the local rotary club in the town that I am living in right now. It was an alright affair and I was on my best behavior. At the end the key note speaker asked what we could do to better appreciate those members of the local population who choose to go into harms way and they mentioned that instead of flying ribbions or magnetic signs that one should give to those charitable organizations that try to give a back to the military members.

I left that luncheon, thinking about that last statement and then took a step back to think of some of the organiztations that try to provide the best for the military. Here are few that if you have a chance and a spare check or two you could consider writing to or talking your company into dontating too.

The USO. They are a special group in my heart. Though Bob Hope and his holiday specials are almost what we think of the USO. They do a whole lot more. In nearly every major International Airports in the USA and those that are close military installations, they offer a little hideaway for those military members and thier dependants to rest for a little bit outside of usual hussle and bussle of the airport grind. It is a place were you can put your feet up, grab a quick bite to eat, make a phone call home or to your next duty station, catch some TV. For a few airports that I have been through such as Sea-Tac in Seattle and Philadelphia International they use to even offer some bunks, showers and a wake up call for those that are catching red eyes out bound or back into the US. That was a godsend the few times that I had to personally play catch up with the ship and after traveling all day felt like dog dirt. A few other things that the USO do is for overseas billets they offer tours, culture understandings, rec rooms, librarys, and a chance to try and experience just that little bit of home while deployed overseas.

The various relief societys; Navy-Marine Corps Relief, US Air Force Aid Society; Army Emergancy Relief ; and finally US Coast Guard Mutal Assistanace. These are all independent agencies that offer wonderful services for the military member and thier families. I know that NMCR provides emergancy cash to try and fly someone home for emergancy leave. They provide free credit counseling or will help direct them to credit counseling. Provide classes to new spouses of military members on how to handle deployments and access to support groups. These are wonderful groups that are only recongized when they need money or when they rise up to do the impossible. Yet they are constantly trying to do the impossible, every day.

Those are the ones that I think of right away that have minium overheard and every dollar or hour that you donate to those groups goes to help those in uniform right away. Just something to think about.

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