Saturday, May 15, 2010

Armed Forces Day

Today, as you may or may not know, is Armed Forces Day.  I know because Florida State Parks honor Armed Forces Day with free admission for everyone (except in particular parks that do not even offer free admission with a Florida State Parks pass-I don't get it either).

Armed Forces Day  is actually observed in many different countries, albeit often on different days.  It is specifically intended to honor current, active military personnel, not veterans -except in that a veteran may also have been reactivated, especially now-  & not military dead.   With the exception of the Florida State Parks & a few other events, mostly within the military itself,  Armed Forces Day does not get much press, despite all of the "Support Our Troops" rhetoric.  I can only speak for life in this country since the end of the Vietnam War, but I have lived in three different regions, two of them much more militarily inclined than I am & it still looks like "out of sight, out of mind" to me.

Soooo, in the interest of supporting troops that are still above ground & still fighting for us, I thought I would list a few organizations that support the troops every damn day:

American Red Cross:  we have started to think of the ARC as an emergency relief organization, but they are also the go to emergency relief organization for military families.

Quilts of Valor:  this group makes quilts for wounded personnel, which makes most people think "veteran" but the drop dead truth is wounded personnel are recovering & returning to active duty.

Books for Soldiers:  pretty self explanatory, this one.  You will often see collection boxes at the local library or used book stores.  The application process is a bit involved (the application needs to be notarized) but not all that tricky really.  Just a little FYI-if there are no mailbox stores near you (The UPS Store or Mailboxes Etc. or whatever), in the olden days, many pharmacists were also notaries & in small towns like ours, often still are.  Even if a notary knows who you are, they need to record what form of ID you presented, so remember to bring your drivers license or some such.

There are slews of local programs, too.  Not round here, but in other parts of the country there are foster-pet groups that take the dogs & cats of deployed soldiers.  No doubt there are national programs that I do not know about, so feel free to include a link in the comments.

& maybe think about celebrating Armed Forces Day without flags & parades (because let's face it- they mostly won't happen anyway) & instead reach out one person to one person & do one small thing.

1 comment:

  1. hear hear!! thanks mb for posting this!

    i spent my day quilting, working on a QOV and then went to the armed forces day military ball, hosted by the navy. unfortunately, it's the last military ball for us with my husband as an active duty sailor...we'll see what comes next.

    books for soldiers is a fantastic group. i've sent out several packages and need to box up the next set of books.