Thanks to everybody who wrote such kind emails and comments during a tough day yesterday.
And many more thanks to those who are considering sending letters or care packages through Any Soldier. I honestly did not anticipate that, yet hundreds of you are clicking through to the site which means quite a lot to me. If only I had mentioned it sooner!
For those who have questions about this very worthy organization, I urge you to visit their site and read as much as you can. But, on top of that, I'll go ahead and add some things I've learned...
First of all, it is not necessary to spend $300 like I did. I was buying for four people, and went overboard because I was able to and wanted to. Anything you send is appreciated, and spending a fortune is not required. Even if you can afford to send nothing at all, you can still write a letter because all it costs you is a stamp. It has been said over and over again that the most requested items from soldiers are letters. Not everybody overseas gets much mail. Knowing that somebody... even a stranger... cares enough to write does more for their morale than you can imagine (hand-written letters show that you put the time in to care, and seem more personal than laser-printed letters or photocopies).
When it comes to what to say to a serviceman or servicewoman, it's always best to remember who you are writing to... somebody living in very dangerous conditions, far from home, who is missing their family and friends. It's also important to remember why you are writing... to offer encouragement and support. With that in mind, you can just put aside your personal opinions about the war being all f#@%ed up. Nobody knows this better than they do, and they don't need to be told that. Instead, try and realize that most of the people serving are doing the best they can to make a better, safer life for native Iraqis or Afghanis whose lives have been torn apart by war. This is what keeps them going through these very confusing times, and acknowledging that is a good place to start. Tell them what's happening back home. Tell them they are appreciated. Let them know you care.
When I send care packages, I usually don't have time to write, so I enclose simple notecards (with Lil' Dave dressed in Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine attire as appropriate)...
It's nothing extravagant, just a little note to say that I'm thinking of them, caring about them, and wishing them well along with sending a box of stuff. Hopefully it's enough to give a soldier a smile.
I always include my email address, just in case a soldier wants to write back and say "thanks" or even request something special they need. But it is critical to remember one thing... not all soldiers are able to write back!! They say this over and over on the Any Soldier site, yet I still visit forums and read about people complaining because they never got a thank-you note. This kind of thing drives me nuts, because these people have no clue as to what they are talking about. Just because you don't hear back doesn't mean your thoughts and gifts are unappreciated. It's nice when it happens, but I never expect it.
If you are interested in helping out, I've put further information in an extended entry. Otherwise, I will be traveling for the next 10 days, so entries may be posted late depending on whether I have internet or not...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
I accidentally landed on the televised Presidential Address while channel surfing this evening. I tend to avoid stuff like this in a desperate attempt to save what little sanity I have left in a world gone mad, but he was on all the channels, so what could I do?
As my brain was melting, there was only one thought I could keep in my head.
Just one thought that my mind clung to as I watched President Bush attempt to give his speech...
What is Steve Jobs waiting for?
STEVE JOBS FOR PRESIDENT!
BRING JOBS TO AMERICANS IN 2008!
TAKE BACK AMERICA WITH STEVE!!
President Steve would be super awesome! He got Apple back on track, President Steve could totally get America back on track too! We need President Steve!
I wonder if we would get to sync the presidential inauguration to watch on our iPhones?
Did you feel it?
Did you feel it?
If you were anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, you undoubtedly felt the presence of Elizabeth Hurley in Seattle yesterday, signing autographs at Nordstroms to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately, I had a project deadline to meet, so driving over to Seattle so I could stand in line with a bunch of ladies in the cosmetics department and profess my undying love for all things Elizabeth Hurley was not in the cards.
Perhaps it's for the best. Keeping the fantasy alive and all that.
And then there's reality...
I've said before that blogging is not very difficult for me. Whenever I have free time during the day, I just grab my MacBook and type something out. I don't really think about it, and just blog whatever is on my mind. The average entry comes together in about 10 minutes (or a little longer if I have photos to work with or cartoons to draw).
But today was completely different.
Because this morning I read about President Bush's veto of the bipartisan bill to help provide healthcare to children that are from families making too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but too little money to afford insurance.
And then lost my mind.
This is my fifth attempt to put down my thoughts on the matter. The four other times I've tried throughout the day, I just end up typing "FUCK!" every other word and WRITING EVERYTHING IN ALL-CAPS. I'm beyond shock. I'm beyond anger. I can't even feign indifference. George Bush with all his money has never had to worry about how he's going to care for a sick child, and now it's fairly obvious that he doesn't give a fuck about people who do. This was a bill endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans. This was a bill supported by 72% of Americans. This was a bill that would cost relatively little compared to our $13 trillion dollar economy (and is positively paltry when compared to the cost of the war in Iraq). This was a bill that would provide desperately-needed health care coverage to over 9 million children (CHILDREN!!). This was a chance for George Bush to put his personal politics aside and do something for the good of the people he represents... something that a majority of these people are supporting.
But our president apparently doesn't give a fuck. He doesn't give a fuck about parents who can't afford insurance for their kids. He doesn't give a fuck about what Americans want. He doesn't give a fuck the well-being of children. And he certainly doesn't even give a fuck about his fellow Republicans who will be running for office next term, because stuff like this is what will push fence-sitters to vote Democrat.
He just doesn't give a fuck.
President Bush says his reason for killing the bill is because he's trying to halt the federalization of health care... "I don't want the federal government making decisions for doctors and customers." Which just goes to show that on top of not giving a fuck, he's completely clueless as well. Did he even READ the bill before he vetoed it? This program has NOTHING TO DO WITH FEDERALIZING HEALTH CARE!! The program would provide funds for STATE government to enroll children in PRIVATE health insurance plans. Perhaps he actually did read it, he just didn't understand it? I can't decide if that would make me feel better or worse.
I could go on and on. I could unleash my profound disappointment in our president. I could rage about how insane it is that the wealthiest nation on earth can't provide health care for all of its citizens. I could go crazy over how insurance lobbies are dictating policy to our elected officials. I could... but I won't. I don't want to discuss it anymore. I don't want to think about it anymore. I don't want to deal with it anymore. I just don't want to accept that our country is run by somebody so lacking in decency and compassion.
Or maybe it's because I don't give a fuck either.