Free Markets, Free People
A bleg if you will. Dale’s hit the program, but I wanted to make a real appeal to support a charity (a registered 501 (c) (3) charity) that is blog-grown. It came out of the effort of two guys associated with Blackfive, Blake Power (who writes there as Laughing Wolf) and Bob Miller.
Both wanted to do something for the wounded. Bob used to go to on weekends and host cookouts for the wounded at Walter Reed. Just something to lift their spirits and give them a little taste of home. A chance to show them that we all care about them.
Blake held an event at Landstuhl hospital in Germany on his way back from an embed in Iraq. Again the same intention … to give our wounded a lift in spirit as well as mind. To help them recover and to say, in a very small way, “thank you for your sacrifice”.
They found out each was doing this in different places and decided to join the effort. From that grew Cooking with the Troops.
I’ve been to one of their events. In fact the video you’ll see was mostly shot by me – and unfortunately you can tell (by the way, the young man in the serving line with the lime green t-shirt is my grandson Rhane). The event was held a Brooke Army Medical Center’s Wounded Warrior Support Center. We roasted 4 whole pigs and served over 300. It was fabulous and awe inspiring to say the least.
I talked with one of the directors there who was so thankful for the event provided by CwtT. As he and I were standing there surveying the crowd of wounded enjoying the meal, he said “you know, not one of these young people ever thought that at this point in their life they’d already be trying to develop Plan B”.
It struck me like a ton of bricks. He’s right. Their sacrifice meant that previous hopes and dreams were now either not attainable or put on hold indefinitely. As you might imagine some adjust, adapt and overcome. Others need more time to cope. Breaks like what CwtT provides helps that process.
So if you can, please give. The vid explains it about as well as it can be explained. If you have a couple of bucks please hit the donate button on the left there. Trust me – its for a very worthy cause. If you’re a little short, hey been there done that. When you have it drop a couple of bucks on them. We’re running this online fundraiser through Thanksgiving.
And for those of you that do donate – thank you. It’s a great way to celebrate Veteran’s day.
Cooking With the Troops is a 501(c)(3) charity that supports U.S. and Allied troops, their families, and caregivers worldwide. We’re helping them by taking part in their national sponsorship drive, which begins today. Among other things, I produced this video for them:
In brief, CWTT has four major programs to help our troops and their families.
Food Events provide a culinary change of pace — particularly for the wounded, injured, and ill — to help morale, and remind those taking part that their service and sacrifice is appreciated. Educational components are added where possible to add to the effectiveness of the events.
Culinary Career Transition helps those interested in culinary careers — particularly those that have to leave service because of their injuries — explore options and find the right career choice as well as the best investment of their educational benefits to reach that goal.
Homefront Support focuses on teaching how to do good food fast rather than fast food via fun events that cover food safety basics, cooking basics, nutrition, and more.
Frontline Support works to get the best possible culinary and nutritional care packages to the troops, and to make it possible for those at home to learn about life and nutrition at the front even as ways are found to do Food Events as close to the front as possible.
To do this, they need your help. Please click on the sponsorship banner on the sidebar to go to their donation page. Or simply click here.
I wrote this in 2006, and it is as true today as then. Our combat troops are the best the world has ever seen – but without those who support them so well they wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective as they are.
Anyone who doubts all veteran’s are heroes need read no further. But for the vast majority of you who do, I’d like to take a little different slant in my tribute than you might read elsewhere. Most of the time when you read tributes to vets, they’re filled with the stories of those who’ve suffered in combat and we see pictures showing the battle-weary combat vets which pointedly make the argument about the sacrifices our veterans have made and continue to make.
But not all sacrifices are made on the field of battle. While infantry, armor and artillery are the combat arms – the tip of the spear – they, better than anyone, know how important the team that makes up the rest of the spear are to their success on the battlefield.
Those F-16s don’t show up on target at the right time unless that gal flying the boom of a KC10 tanker at 30,000 feet at 2am doesn’t do her job. That sabot round from an M1A1 fired at a threatening T72 isn’t there unless the truck driver hauling ammo day in and day out gets that ammo where it needs to be when it needs to be there.
Veterans are the guys like the cook who gets up every morning at 3:30 am and begins to prepare breakfast for his soldiers. The young man below deck on an aircraft carrier who makes sure the F/A 18 he’s responsible for maintaining is in perfect shape and ready to fly. The nurse who holds a dying soldier’s hand as he takes his last breath, wipes away the tears, straightens her uniform and heads out to do it again.
He’s the youngster in the fuel soaked coveralls who hasn’t slept in 2 days gassing up another Bradley from his fuel tanker. The company clerk who makes sure all of the promotion orders are correct and in on time, or the instructor in basic training who ensures those he trains get his full attention and who puts his all into helping them learn important lessons that will save their lives. He’s the recruiter who’d rather be where the action is, but does what is necessary to make sure he gets the best and brightest available for his branch of service. Or the MP at the gate who shows up every day, does her job to the very best of her ability and never complains.
Most vets have never seen combat in the sense we think of it. But every single solitary one of them has contributed in vital ways to the success of our combat efforts. Without those who support the combat troops, success would impossible. Without the wrench turners, truck drivers, fuel handlers, cooks, clerks and all those like them, the greatest military the world has ever seen is an “also ran.”
It doesn’t matter what a vet did during his or her service, it matters that he or she chose to serve and do whatever vital job they were assigned to the best of their ability. It isn’t about medals, it isn’t about glory, it isn’t about what job they did. It is about the fact that when their country called, they stood up and answered. They are all, every one of them, heroes.
To all the vets out there – Happy Veteran’s Day.
And thank you for your service.