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IndependanceDay2011WebJuly 1, 2011-Guest Commentary for reprint and circulation When we all go out and celebrate our liberty this Independence Day, let's each take note that it's the troops who gained that liberty for us in the American Revolution and it's the troops who protect it for us today. It's the troops, not the politicians, and not the courts, who then secured and today protect, your freedom.
Independence Day is a celebration of America's first military victory -- an independence gained for all of us by George Washington's army assembled from amongst us, and we have ever since enjoyed the beneficial results of their actions. Independence Day is not merely a party day in which we enter into some temporary mental euphoria of "feeling free." It is a recognition of the hard work, self-reliance, self-determination, blood, sweat, and tears of the troops that it takes to gain and maintain a societal condition of many individual personal freedoms. It recognizes a freedom gained and protected by individuals stepping up for their fellows against the dark forces. It recognizes a freedom to not be told by a government what you'll do for a living, when and what you will work at, whether you're permitted to travel or not based on their evaluations, how much money will or will not be doled out to you, what you will be permitted or not permitted to do, whether or not you can engage in a particular business, and hundreds of other small everyday choices and decisions. And just like George Washington and the Continental Army, our deployed neighbors even today leave their families at home and go around the world to many different places to look out for our liberties, livelihoods, and businesses. And no matter where the troops are ordered to go, good Americans always stick up for the folks who stick up for them. What, then, should we do for him, for her? Why, we can simply step up for them the way they have stepped up for all of us. We can show them what we are made of. We can show them we're with them. That we are willing to stand with them who stand for us. It's the simplest moral equation in the world. They Support Us - Let's Support Them!® The first step to properly celebrating the Fourth of July is to do something practical for the troops who make it possible. There's a war on. And each of us can answer this call to excellence in the way we best can. Everyone should step up and make the troops as proud of us as we are of them. Show them that we are worthy of their actions, -- that we are worth protecting. Individuals you can donate to troop support charities, and send care packages to deployed troops round the world. They can help with family needs and the funding of special summer camps for military kids here at home. Individual citizens are doing remarkable things for them all across this country. There are hundreds of groups sending care packages and raising money for military families here at home. But most major retail stores and manufacturers are doing nothing and need to start doing a great deal. After all, their prosperity is a direct result of the domestic tranquility secured by the troops Retailers and manufacturers can do a great deal, because they are in a unique structural position to aggregate major financial support, given the volume of people daily coming through their doors to shop. Gosh knows they wrap themselves in every other cause to make a sale and look like they are doing good. For the Fourth of July retailers in America ought to be doing more than just decking themselves out in American colors to make a few extra bucks -- wrapping themselves in the flag so to speak. For the Fourth of July every retailer, large corporation, and manufacturer across America ought to be prodigiously using the holiday to raise as much money and product as they can for the many troop support charities which do good things for America's troops and their families. Yet as it stands, most military charities and troop support groups can tell you retailers do little or nothing. Perhaps it is because they are scared. For example, one large grocery store chain in Florida hides from doing anything for the troops out of the fear that a few of its customers might not be able to separate the troops from the war. So what this boils down to is that in exchange for a customer's son or daughter risking their life to protect this retailer and its owners and employees and their families, this retailer is scared of losing a buck or two. Good American customers need to assist their retailers in thinking clearly and showing that accessing 99% of their customers will benefit them to far greater degree than being afraid of the 1% of whiners who will always be amongst us. Therefore, to fulfill the first step of properly celebrating the Fourth of July, each good American doing business with any retailer during the Fourth of July holiday, should look around and see if the store is engaged in any type of commercial co-venture or fundraiser collecting donations for the troops. Are there $1 donation slips at the cash register? Are there products donating a percentage? If not, politely ask for the manager and ask why not, given that the Fourth of July is about the troops who are protecting their business prosperity and independence. Tell them that you had expected there would be, just like for all the other causes. So this Fourth of July take a quiet oath to begin standing up for those who are standing up for you. They're risking life and limb. You're risking a polite discussion. On balance it's not really much of a risk as it? The simple asking of a question. The simple exercise of the freedom of expression they are said to protect. The troops and their families at home have tremendous needs. And you can enter into a quiet moral covenant with them to simply politely ask the manager of each grocery store and department store in which you shop, "are you doing something this holiday season to raise money for the troops and their families?" The second step to properly celebrating the Fourth of July is to keep this house in order if we're asking them to protect it. It is really quite simple. If we are going to ask our neighbors to deploy as troops and risk themselves to protect us, then we ought to keep the place in order. This place is a mess. It's as though they are being asked to protect a stricken party ship. And while they are nobly doing so they are likely wondering if we are going to let it sink or going to get it in proper order and back underway. Each person, and each business, has an absolute fundamental moral obligation to do their part in keeping our national house in order in exchange for what we ask the troops to do for us every day. It is the troops, not the politicians or courts, that secure and protect our way of life, at far greater risk. Therefore, in respect of what George Washington and his troops did for us under great duress many years ago, and in respect for what the troops do for us around the globe today, let's each celebrate the 4th of July this year by undertaking to do our part in getting get our national house in proper order and reinvigorating our National Family which we have asked them protect. They do not protect it so that we can squander it. Let's get focused again and make ourselves more worthy of the burden we ask our neighbors bear for us. Let's start behaving like real men and real women. Who can make serious decisions and do serious things. Let's show them we are worthy. Let's take the domestic freedom they preserve for us and make something yet grander of this National American Family. America is unique in the world. Nothing else is organized like it. Nothing else has its history of setting people free within and without. Nothing else produces and projects such goodness. Cherished, nourished, protected, and properly operated, all things are possible for her citizens and for the world. Other countries are drawn to her example, improving the world and us. If her goodness is polished to shine like silver, America cannot help but enjoy a bright and happy future. So have a great Independence Day, go have some fun, and may God bless our amazing troops and their families who have made it possible! Martin C. Boire Chairman, SupportOurTroops® July 1, 2011 Permission is granted to reprint and redistribute in whole or part, in print or electronically, with proper attribution to SupportOurTroops.Org.
FloydGrave4May 30, 2011- Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May and is often a weekend of sales, beach trips, and cookouts. Memorial Day marks the beginning of the Summer season. At least, that what it has devolved into. From 1775 to present there have been 1,343,812 American military members killed in wars. Of these, 848,163 were killed in combat. Roughly speaking, that's over 15 military members for every day since the American Revolution began at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. But, what about these men and women who gave their lives so the freedoms we enjoy could endure? Have we forgotten them? How can we show that we honor the sacrifice they made on our behalf? On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag only flies at half-staff for the first half of the day, and then is raised to full height from noon to sundown. This unique custom honors the war dead for the morning, and living veterans for the rest of the day. At 3:00PM on Memorial Day the nation stops for a moment of remembrance. So please, fly your flag and make the moment of remembrance a part of your plans in honor of those who gave everything they had to give to make our freedom possible. ~~Charlie Price, a vet Of late many of us are vastly ignorant of the greatest contribution to Americans and the world which comes not from those who entertain or purport to lead us, but comes from the everyday man and woman, offers up their life in defense of America's goodness and others. We at home have a moral duty to get and keep our national house in order while our neighbors, at our request, are off protecting it. A headstone above is my uncle Floyd's.  Our family would be vastly different if he were with us.  America and the world are vastly different because he isn't. May God bless them all. ~~ Martin Boire, a civilian
200px-3_5_battalion_insigniaHelmand Province, Afghanistan, March 15, 2011 -  "Dear Members of Support Our Troops, On behalf of 3d Battalion, 5th Marines -the Darkhorse- I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and personal efforts to support my Marines and Sailors on our recent deployment to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. To begin with, please accept my apologies for this all-too impersonal letter, but with on-going combat operations and the sheer volume of support from patriots like you, I cannot hope to write a personal note for the thousands of packages we have received from all over America.

BagramUSO-5-8-2011Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, May 2011:  "Hey Boy Scouts!  just wanted to let you know that a few of your care packages made it to the Pat Tillman Memorial USO and Bob Graham Afghanistan.  Thank you very much for your thoughtfulness.  Our troops really appreciate your support."  Sincerely  C. Ganley.

150px-77th_Infantry_Division.patchIraq, May 18, 2011:  "Hello Patriots! I am the HHC Commander of the 77th Sustainment Brigade. Our unit is currently deployed to Iraq. We have around 300 Soldiers currently deployed. The Soldiers in the Liberty Unit are from all over the United States, but are primarily from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The 77th is a logistics unit charged with a very important role in the responsible drawdown in Iraq. The Soldiers are great Americans! We thank you for all that you have done for us in the past and look forward to your support over the remainder of the deployment. I would like to personally thank you for supporting my Soldiers as well as all of the other Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines deployed around the world. Your support and appreciation makes a world of difference during deployments. The Soldiers of the 77th thank you!" Sincerely, Captain Wesley -----, HHC Commander, 77th Sustainment Brigade. Editor's Note: Care goods sent to us and marked for the 77th will be forwarded  specifically to this brigade.
thankyoucardThanks to Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and civilians across America, veterans are finding flavorful thank-yous in the waiting areas and medical treatment rooms in VA facilities across America.