Stu News and Photos

My name is Stu and I am here to share what I can.

I was reminded this morning, by my cuz who sent me a link, of the idea/act of supporting our troops overseas. This caused me to remember an email I sent to friends and family, almost two years ago. I dug it up and feature it here. Thanks for reading:

Date: Fri, 01 Oct 2004 13:55:57 -0700
Subject: Support Our Troops


The following is written out of a few different emotions. If you're not up for a heavy thing, feel free to toss it. But if you've got a few minutes, feel free to read my note. It's not overly indulgent, but it is a little...

For a few weeks now I've been walking as a way to get exercise. Every day I walk through the neighborhood, wandering up one block and down another. Today I decided to go left instead of right and found myself on a new block. There I found a house with a flagpole and attached to the flagpole was a brass plaque that read: "In Loving Memory of Brian Wood, Born 12-23-83, Died 4-12-2004, KIA Tikrit, Iraq"...

So of course I paused... And then I walked on, thinking to myself, "This damn war!"... I thought, he was just a kid, and gee whiz, his family lived right near my family. Heck, it could have been our family that lost someone... Especially someone so young...

So I walked home, thinking that I would fire off an angry email, telling everyone to vote for Kerry, to get President Bush out of office, as though that would stanch the flow of blood. But at this point, will it make a difference? Will Kerry get us out of Iraq any faster than Bush? Does Bush even want to get us out of the war? Or is this like Nixon prolonging Vietnam?

While these thoughts swirled in my head, I started to do a little research on Brian Wood. And I found that his brother was posting to a few bulletin boards, talking about Brian and also quoting from an email that Brian had sent to his uncle the day before Brian's death. I found Brian's perspective to be one that I had not heard before, so allow me to quote it here for you:

"Hey Mike, Sorry about getting this off kinda late, been pretty hectic around here recently. Not quite sure what you're hearing from the news, I don't get a whole lot of time to follow it. For the most I feel that the Iraqi people actually appreciate us being here. The attacks that are happening are basically a result of unemployment, and a few terrorists (or whatever you want to call them) paying people off to do the attacks. From what I've heard from the locals around my sector they are pretty much just trying to do what they can to improve their quality of life. But when so many people are out of jobs, they will pretty much do anything they can to make ends meet to provide for themselves and their families. There are many issues that need to be resolved as far as rebuilding their country. And though the people want as many issues resolved as quickly as possible, they can't be resolved that way in an efficient manner. There are already many Iraqi police and ICDC which are basically the guys we are going after, and they use the support of the coalition forces as a cover, so the rest of the people won't be able to fight back. So it may be a long road ahead, but for the large majority of the Iraqi people, they want us here, and they want us to help them rebuild. That always makes me feel good about being here, actually making a difference in these people's lives and giving them opportunities they've never had. It always amazes me how people don't think we should be here. I don't think they really understand what life is like here and how these people were treated. But I suppose most people will never understand that. Well, it's great to hear you're enjoying your new house. I might have to take a trip up there once my time is up. I'll send ya e-mails when I can. Brian"

So this got me thinking... How do we get out of Iraq? What will Peace look like? And how many more kids are going to die before we get them home?

And this thinking led me to my final thought, "What can I do to support the kids who are there now? How can I support the troops?"... This thought led me to a website run by the defense department, where they posted the following:

    "Thank you for thinking of our troops! Thousands of Americans are asking what they can do to show their support for servicemembers, especially those serving overseas in this time of war. Below are Web sites for several organizations that are sponsoring programs for members of the Armed Forces overseas. While it would be inappropriate for the Department to endorse any specifically, servicemembers do value and appreciate such expressions of support:

    The American Red Cross is launching Treasures for Troops, an exciting year round program that offers a way for Americans to brighten the day for deployed men and women in uniform serving overseas. You can provide troops with a gift from home with a $20 donation to the American Red Cross Treasures for the Troops program. Details at:

    Operation Hero Miles: In September 2003, the Pentagon started giving soldiers stationed in Iraq two-week leave periods in the largest R & R program since the Vietnam War; the soldiers can fly to Germany or Baltimore Washington International Airport for free, but they are responsible for the cost of flights to their final destination. Returning soldiers often have to purchase high-priced, last-minute airline tickets so they can spend time with their family. You can help American troops travel home to spend quality time with their loved ones. For more information, please see:

    Contribute to "Gifts from the Homefront" Certificates from the Army Air Force Exchange System (AAFES). These allow you to send a gift certificate to a loved one, family member or friend associated with the military. These certificates are redeemable by authorized patrons of the PX/BX and are redeemable at all locations around the world including deployed areas. For more information, please see:

    Donate to"Operation USO Care Package" at

    The Gift of Groceries program at helps meet the family needs of our Guard and Reserve troops fighting the war on terrorism.

    Donate a calling card to help keep servicemembers in touch with their
    families at Operation Uplink at

    Send a greeting via e-mail through Operation Dear Abby at or

    Sign a virtual thank you card at the Defend America Web site at

    The "Stars and Stripes" newspaper includes a daily ""Messages of Support" section giving family and friends of deployed service members a chance to pass along greetings, announcements, and words of encouragement. Such messages (LIMITED TO 50 WORDS OR LESS) will be printed on a first-come, first-run basis. Messages may be sent to:

    Make a donation to one of the military relief societies:

    Army Emergency Relief at

    Navy/Marine Relief Society at

    Air For Aid Society at

    Coast Guard Mutual Assistance at

    Special Operations Warrior Foundation at

    Support the American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services at

    Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors at

    National Military Family Association at

    Purchase a Patriot Bond at

    Volunteer at a VA Hospital to honor veterans who bore the lamp of
    freedom in past conflicts.

    Reach out to military families in your community, especially those with
    a loved one overseas.

    Please do not flood the military mail system with letters, cards, and gifts. Due to security concerns and transportation constraints, the Department cannot accept items to be mailed to "Any Servicemember." Some people have tried to avoid this prohibition by sending large numbers of packages to an individual servicemember's address, which however well intentioned, clogs the mail and causes unneccessary delays.

    The support and generosity of the American people has touched the lives
    of the more than 300,000 service members deployed overseas."

So thanks for reading this. I know that I normally don't send out such missives, but this damn war...




Mr. Fabulous said...

I agree with you about this damn war. I don't see an end in sight.

Stu said...

Not seeing an end in sight is normal, as you are not in control. None of us regular folks can see an end in sight. What is sad about this is that our leader, the one guy who is in control, can't see an end in sight. And not because he is dumb. It's because as long as he doesn't visualize an end, the more money he makes for his friends. And President Bush is all about the bling-bling.

Dr. Cissa Fireheart said...

Thanks for those links...some of those programs don't only support the troops-- They also help support the families of the soldiers, sailors and airmen who are at home and trying to cope with war time as well.

I am not going to give my opinion of the war, because no matter what, the military and ther families have to do it.....but thanks for the helps a lot to know the American People actually care a little about the military and thier sacrifices....even if it's a select few who do care....

Stu said...

May G-d watch over your husband, and bring him home safe.