Over here at Creme de la Mode, it’s easy for us to get lost in the whipped parfait that is fashion, beauty, cuisine, and the finer things in life. Yet, underneath that frosty fondant, there is a layer of unleaven whole grain sustenance. We swear.
Once the post-911 patriotism pills wore off, we realized that the best way to support the troops was not in fact to don a yellow ribbon, shop or go on a vacation (did anyone actually buy that line?) Instead of treating the war(s) as an abstraction, the most patriotic thing I can do in my daily life is to feel that we are at war. By this I mean, shutting off the darn electricity. Biking anywhere I can get to on two wheels, instead of driving. Becoming more informed as to WTF happened with shoddy intelligence and/or shitty leadership. Retiring the excess from my daily routine. Whether I want to admit it or not, those tax dollars they are ripping out of my measly paycheck are in fact paying for the planes to send those soldiers over there. It is our war.
Yet, there is still such a disconnect, unless you have someone you know who has been sent to Iraq or Afghanistan (which, thankfully and unthankfully, I do). Without that personal connection, it’s easy to see it as someone else’s kid, someone else’s brother.
I recently found a website that helps to bridge the gap between the the citizen and the soldier. Thanks to A Soldier’s Wish List, you can make a direct connection to those men and women 6000 miles from home in the 125 degree desert heat. The ones who would rather be hanging out at a summer barbeque. The ones who left their kids and husbands and wives behind. The ones who often put their politics aside to do a job that no one else wanted to do.
You can sponsor a soldier, which literally entails sending them stuff they can’t get in the desert, like AAA batteries, beef jerky, chapstick, sunscreen or Velveeta Cheese. You develop a direct relationship with them though emails and letters.
Remember when Sally Struthers told you that feeding an orphan would only cost you a cup of coffee a day? Sponsoring a soldier will only cost you some stamps and a bit of your excess, which you’ll hardly even miss, I promise. And I guarantee, they’ll appreciate it more than if you treated yourself to a shopping spree.