This I Believe

Leslie - College Station, Texas
Entered on November 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Drive down the road or wander through a parking lot, how many vehicles have a yellow ribbon that says “Support our Troops?” For many, their support ends with the purchase of this magnetic ribbon. I earnestly believe “Support our Troops” should be more than just a slogan, it should become a goal in life.

A few years ago, I would have thought this symbol of support was enough. I was young and only knew a few soldiers, none of which were away in a war. Recently however, I have had a change of heart and my eyes have been opened wide. I am dating a soldier and have met and hung out with quite a few soldiers over the last few years and their problems/injustices have been revealed to me.

Let’s take a moment to think about the service our troops do for us. So many brave men and women put their lives in danger to protect and guarantee our freedoms. They rush to the front lines during wars to keep our lives here safe. There are thousands of men and women over seas away from their friends and families standing up for our morals, values, and safety. Unfortunately, too many of these men and women may not come home, leaving families behind to continue with life without them. I know that I would never be strong enough, mentally or physically to be a soldier, so I am grateful there are so many willing to stand up and protect me. Why not stand up and support those that are giving their time and unfortunately lives for us?

Not only do they step up and represent us in time of war, they also help us in times of need here in America. Before, during, and after major disasters our troops are present. They aid in the evacuation of people from areas in danger, perform rescue operations in the middle of storms and floods, and help survey the damage after a disaster. Our troops left their families to help clean up the debris left behind in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, and Ike just to name a few. Both the National Guard and Coast Guard helped run rescue operations just hour before and after the landfall of Hurricane Ike. Our troops also help our community during fundraising efforts.

How can we help prove our support for our troops here at home? There are actually several different easy ways to give back. One of the easiest ways to show support is to give them respect. My boyfriend came home from Iraq and has gotten a lot of attitude from so many people. People make a lot of smart remarks, acting as if soldiers are either completely out of it or are vicious animals. I can’t stress how important their jobs are and sacrifices they are making for us, why not give them the respect they deserve? I also became appalled at the number of people who ask personal questions such as “How many people did you kill?” Questions such as this are very personal and can bring back dark and depressing thoughts. None of our soldiers enjoy having to harm/kill others to win a war. Citizens can also show support by visiting soldiers in hospitals that are recovering from their injuries.

During WW II our troops were hailed as life savers as they stormed the beaches of Normandy, today our soldiers are criticized for the efforts they put forth in Iraq. Why the difference I wonder…some argue that the support level for our troops today can be compared to that during the Vietnam War. Whether you agree with the politics that sent us to war, I believe everyone should give back to our troops and actually SUPPORT our TROOPS!!