Friday, August 26, 2005

The Quiet Majority

Maybe Santayana was misquoted. Maybe what he meant to say is those who remember history are condemned to repeat it. And repeat it, and repeat it. [snip]

Today, because of the Internet, no one has to seethe in silence, as wired activists in both parties proved in 2004's high-tech election, and now. But it may be that the current infatuation with anti-Bush, anti-Iraq sentiment is again missing a political current flowing beneath the surface of the news, just as the media missed the silent majority 40 years ago and the values voters in the 2004 election.

As I was saying in Making Something from Nothing:

What I notice about "public support eroding" is more like public support being "absent" as in, not much to see so their busy microwaving their budget gourmet meals and wondering how they're going to afford the gas to go to work tomorrow.

That media. They sure do have their finger on the pulse of America.

But we, the supporters of the military and the believers in the right of freedom and democracy for all are here.

I would call this faction the Quiet Majority. These people are organized and they are pro-active. But they pass beneath our politics unnoticed because they're about something deeper than TV face-time. There is a large number of groups that have organized in the past three years solely to support the American troops in Iraq.

We're only "quiet" because we don't spend our days in front of the White House or the president's home in Crawford waving poorly made signs with bizarre accusations. The military mom's in our group support their sons and daughters quietly, only seeking recognition for the projects they do and the men and women they support, not for their own benefit.

We didn't need an article in the Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal to tell us who and what these support groups and charities are because we donate to them, volunteer for them and support them as best as we can every day.

• Bill Robie recently drove three hours from Atlanta to Camp Lejeune, N.C., to help Jim Hake's Spirit of America--which has nearly 14,000 supporters--load school supplies bound for Iraq. "Groups like SoA, Home for Our Troops, Operation Homefront, Fisher House and others don't get much attention," he wrote me a few days ago, "yet they represent the true character of our nation."

• John Folsom is a Marine Reserve colonel from Nebraska, now in Iraq. Two years ago he "passed the hat" among colleagues and raised money to create Wounded Warriors, which supports military hospitals by buying laptops for bedridden soldiers, TVs and overhead projectors for medical staff. His support base is small. "It's almost like a family," he told me.

Soldiers' Angels was started in 2003 by Patti Patton-Bader, the mother of a sergeant in Iraq then. It now has 45,000 members. Its executive director, Don MacKay, says: "Our members come from across the political spectrum. But there is one opinion they all share: Our soldiers deserve every ounce of support we can muster."

We do what others have done in every war, whenever our soldiers are deployed, regardless of reason or politics because we know that our men and women in uniform are the ones that have and always will stand between us and those that would take away our freedom and destroy the American dream.

We support our troops in every aspect, including the mission because it is the successful completion of the mission that sees our men and women home and our security intact. Nothing less so we can give nothing less.

We remember our history. That history reminds us that we let our men and women down when we didn't support them in the past; men and women who still have the physical and mental scars from the mistakes of a nation. Not the mistakes of going to war or how it's prosecuted, but because we let others define that war and define our men and women as something that they weren't.

We're not going to let that happen again.

The message boards some of these groups maintain make clear that troops are aware, in detail, of antiwar activity. Again, this isn't Vietnam. They have news access. If the Democratic left does levitate another antiwar movement, it won't be the unanswered opposition of the Vietnam years. The counter-opposition will draw numbers from these pro-troop groups. They, too, are Internet-linked. They are better informed than most people, they are committed, and they are articulate. And they have stories to tell.

We have stories to tell. Like the stories of members of our community on the internet who have been to Iraq or Afghanistan and are currently serving or recently returned.

Such as Capt. Charles Zeigenfuss injured by an IED. He knows why he served, why he was in Iraq and what that service means. Now Captain Zeigenfuss has partnered with Soldier's Angels to support Project Valour IT to get wounded soldiers who have lost the use of one or more hands, temporarily or permanent, obtain voice operated software and laptops while they are recuperating in the hospital. Captain Z had injured his hands and found it difficult to type. He kept a blog and wanted to be able to keep in contact with his men and unit still in Iraq. Being able to talk to his brothers in arms helped relieve the stress of not being there with them, standing in the fight. Something many soldiers have expressed during their recovery period.

A fellow blogger worked on getting Captain Z this important software. Once he started using it, an idea came to be. An idea that every soldier should be able to access a computer to stay in contact with their brothers in arms, with their loved ones that may not be able to stay with them while they go through months of painful rehabilitation, allow them to handle their financial affairs (banking, bills, mortgages, car payments, etc) as many civilians do every day, and allow them to manage education opportunities and search for jobs.

Just like civilians. But sometimes they don't have the ability to use all their fingers or their hands or arms.

That's where Project Valour IT comes in. Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops is meant to bring the convenience of current technology to our troops so that they can concentrate on recovering and not wondering if their bills are being paid or if their unit is doing fine without them.

There are great things about this project that you might not be aware of. Every cent collected goes towards buying laptops and software. Nothing goes to administrative costs. And, the project is a totally blog inspired and managed project. So, if you're reading this, you'll see a list on the side bar of all the blogs that our supporting this project, listed under "Soldier's Angels, Project Valour IT".

We endorse this project because we know the charity and we know the soldiers who need this. They aren't just bloggers, although Mili-Bloggers have been the best source of real information from the war front. They represent a wide swath of our military recovering from diffrent injuries.

Thus, I recommend this program and ask that you join the quiet majority. Support our troops and...

Other posts on Project Valour IT:

Captain's Quarters
Pink Flamingo Bar and Grill
Castle Arrggh!
Black Five
Dean Esmey
Homefront Six


Caltechgirl said...

great post!

FbL said...

What a beautiful and articulate post, Kat! I think it's among the best I've seen. You are awesome, dear Kat!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Kat - thanks!



John of Argghhh! said...

Oh, Looky! Spam! Mmmm mmmm good!

Great catch and better post, Kat!

Kat said...

Yeah...spam. Soon to be deleted.

JarheadDad said...



Tom said...

Rock on, Kat.

And you're ever so right about not having to "seethe in silence" anymore. Whatever would we do without the Internet?

More to the point, how many lies did Dan Rather and his cohorts pass off on us before we had the Internet to check his accuracy?

But yes, it's all the small things by millions of Americans that make this country great. Whether it's mailing packages to the troops, or counter-protesting the Code Pink whackos in front of Walter Reed (like I did last night), it all adds up.