"When all think alike, no one is thinking very much." ~ Walter Lippmann
Support the Troops Right Here!
Exclusive to STR
Do you really support the troops? "Of course I do," you are telling yourself right now. Americans may or may not support the war, but one thing almost all of us agree on is that we support the young men and women who are selflessly serving the United States of America as members of the Armed Forces. "That's a fact," you are telling yourself with patriotic pride. It's not just lip service. "I would spare no expense to provide our troops with everything they need."
But how do you know this for sure? A cynic might claim that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by saying that you support the troops. Saying that you support the troops makes you look good and scores points with your boss or your girlfriend or your neighbors or whatever. It even makes you feel good about yourself if you don't think about it too deeply. But saying you support the troops costs you nothing--no money, no effort, no tangible goods, and almost no time. When you say you support the troops, the one you are likely supporting is yourself. You don't much know or concern yourself about whether saying you support the troops truly helps them, does nothing for them, or might even harm them. A cynic might say all of the above, but I'm not saying that. In fact, my purpose here is to give you all a chance to prove your integrity in supporting the troops.
Sadly, the United States Government agrees with the cynics. The United States Government thinks that you just might be a hypocrite. As a matter of fact, the United States Government acts as if it believes that a large percentage of those who say they support the troops are nothing but hypocrites. The government does not trust that you truly support the troops. Instead of asking for voluntary contributions to support the troops, the United States Government demands, under the threat of imprisonment, that you pay taxes to support the troops. The United States Government fears that if it had to rely on voluntary contributions to support the troops, people might not feel the need to support so many troops on so many far-flung missions. People might realize that they could feel safe enough on a lot less money. When you think about it, doesn't it seem like an insult that the United States Government feels this way?
Fortunately for all of us true troop supporters, there is a way to distinguish ourselves from the hypocrites. The United States Government miscalculated the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. $350 billion is not enough. The troops still do not have enough money. On September 25th, 2006 , General Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army's Chief of Staff, told Congress that the Army was short almost $25 billion. If there is a bright side to any of this, the miscalculation gives all of us the opportunity to demonstrate our true support for the troops by making a voluntary contribution.
As a physician, I am best suited to supporting the troops by caring for their health and well-being. An ex-soldier and Desert Storm veteran myself, I have written several articles describing how troops might best stay healthy. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), major depression, or generalized anxiety affects 15 to 17 percent of the troops returning from Iraq. Budgetary concerns, however, have caused the Veterans Administration to review and cut back on PTSD claims in an effort to save money. As a result, some soldiers returning from Iraq with PTSD are not being treated appropriately. I want to help put an end to this injustice right now.
With your voluntary contributions, I intend to care for veterans with PTSD. Besides being a physician, I am also an avid fisherman. The Veterans Administration states that coping methods for those with PTSD include talking with their doctor and spending time in nature. With your contribution, I will purchase the necessary boats, fishing equipment, and other items required to take our returning troops on relaxing fishing trips at no cost to them. With enough of your contributions, I will even purchase a permanent fishing camp intended for free use by troops with PTSD. I call this initiative "The Troop Fund," and its motto is simply, "Money for Troops."
This is the chance to prove to the United States Government and especially to yourself that you truly support the troops. How much should you give? Perhaps a better question is, how much do you truly care? Giving ten percent of one's annual income is a time honored tradition among those who truly believe in a cause. But perhaps you cannot afford to give ten percent of your annual income. Perhaps you are worse off than the troops risking their lives while living in tents in the desert of Iraq, or those returning from Iraq with debilitating disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. In that case, simply give what you can. Let your conscience be your guide. When you do, you will know in your heart that you truly support the troops. You are no hypocrite.
You can rest assured that none of your contribution will be wasted. Unlike your tax dollars that go to companies such as Halliburton that fraudulently overcharge and profiteer while claiming to support the troops, your voluntary contribution to The Troop Fund will be strictly accounted for. The Troop fund will post all contributions and expenses on the public The Troop Fund website.
As a sign of appreciation that you can show off to all of your friends, all donors of $100 or more will receive a free 'I donated: Money for Troops' bumper sticker, and their contribution will be listed on 'The Troop Fund' website.
We all know how much those who don't really care will volunteer to give. Don't allow yourself to be confused with them. Give generously and give now, and pass this article on to everyone you know. Support The Troop Fund: Money for Troops