Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Supporting Our Troops

NPR had an interesting story this morning regarding public opinion of our troops. It's very brief and an interesting listen. They surveyed random people at an airport, asking them what "supporting the troops" means, even if they are not in favor of the war. The responses are varied, though no one says that they don't support them.

To be honest, I'm not really sure what my answer to that question would be. I mean, you could always go to websites like anysoldier.com or adopt-a-chaplain.org if you don't personally know any troops, but want to mail them your appreciation in the form of letters or packages (this is actually a great thing to do, if you're looking!) There are also tons of organizations you could donate to that help military families, families of the fallen, troops who have gotten injured, those who are currently deployed, those who have returned... the list goes on and on...

But, short of that, the question still remains: What does it mean to "support the troops"?

I pose that question, because I'm a very literal person. I don't like vague statements that don't really mean anything, so I just wonder what everyone means by that. So what about you? Regardless of your feelings on the war, do you feel like you "support the troops"? What does that mean to you?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the phrase only has meaning in the historical context of what it means to not support our troops (e.g. after Vietnam). When people appreciate the sacrifice and struggle of soldiers, and don't impute to them their ideas of the "unjustness" of the war, they are "supporting the troops."

Beyond that, there are inumerable ways to help and provide for the troops, but that's what I think the phrase itself means.

-MDN

Anonymous said...

"Supporting the troops" does not really mean anything. It is a way for celebrities and politicians to slam the war, but not make themselves look bad.

I agree with Matt...if people had treated those that served in Vietnam with respect instead of anger, "supporting the troops" would not be so common of a phrase now.

aj

fisherblog said...

You know, looking at it historically is a good way of seeing it in action. When Sara and I were talking about it, I made the comment that "supporting our troops" would look like - giving them the benefit of the doubt when news of "atrocities" committed by American soldiers come to light. The fact is, no civilian has been in the position that combat soldiers are in every day. With all the pressure of "staying alive" that is put on a soldier while serving in a combat zone, expecting them to constantly be thinking about whether or not an incident is about to become an international one with far-reaching ramifications is a bit hard.

I guess what I mean to say is that when you hear of a soldier doing what very well may be the wrong thing - give him or her the benefit of the doubt and let the UCMJ Legal System do what its supposed to...
investigate and pass judgment.

Kat said...

"Support our troops" is way more than just a trendy magnet to put on your car. It's sending letters and care packages to those who are deployed. It's encouraging (and doing practial things to help!) the families of those deployed soldiers. It's sending cards and much-needed clothing and other items to our Wounded hereos, thanks to Soldiers Angels or Operation Quiet Comfort. It's supporting - i.e., BEING THERE FOR, the families whose deployed loved one gave his or her life for our country. It's doing everything we can to raise awareness about our POW/MIAs out there... (Matt Maupin - captured 09 April, 2004 - not found yet... and countless others from Vietnam... and other wars, too), AND supporting - encouraging, helping, etc - their families as well.

And yes, ever so importantly... PRAY for our troops. And our leaders. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

A Support our Troops magnet is nice...God knows I have about 12 of them (ppl actually give them to me at christmas, lol)...but it's the DOING that makes the support...support.

my 2 cents.. plus some, lol :)

Kat said...

oh yeah... one more thing... it's remembering our VETERANS, as well... providing support, encouragement, and prayers for them too... especially as our heroes come home and so frequently, have another war to fight , possibly for the rest of their lives: PTSD.