Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Class Act Files: Home Front Heros

Home Front Hero Katie Sparks
A squad of Cheerleaders in North Medford, Oregon were unable to raise quite enough money to travel to Miami's Orange Bowl. Instead, they have chosen to do something with the funds that they were able to generate by making a difference in the War Effort by helping to raise the morale of our troops.

According to the
Jackson County Mail Tribune, these girls (and their supporters) took the $2500 that they did raise and bought a variety of "comfort" items such as beef-jerky, toiletries, candy, music, and magazines. They then put these things into 120 separate boxes, wrapped them, and sent the boxes to individual soldiers in Iraq.

There were many fun activities that the students could have spent that money on, especially during this holiday Christmas Season. But instead of spending the money for the prom, or on a party, or for new sports equipment, these students chose to be Heros.

What these young people did is reminiscent of the Home Front support that civilians used to do during times of war. From the Civil War, through World Wars I and II, the citizenry was mobilized to "do their part" in supporting those that were in uniform.

Cities, towns, and entire counties would have "drives" to collect money with which to buy "comfort items" that could be sent to the troops. Many times communities would compete to see which could raise the largest amounts of cash. The morale of our fighting people was boosted by knowing that the folks back on the Home Front were doing what they could to support them while they were defending our freedom.

The questions that we must ask ourselves regarding the current war are these: "Why aren't more groups doing this sort of thing to help provide comfort to our service people? Where are the various civic and business groups?" And why aren't our most influential leaders in the private and public sectors spearheading the effort?

In this holiday Christmas Season, our troops and their families need to feel that their efforts are appreciated from the folks back home.

We are aware that there have been similar efforts from a few other groups. What we lament is the fact that citizens from all over the United States are not doing enough to support the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines that are over there on behalf of all of us.

For whatever reason, the administration has chosen to not involve the American people in a National effort to support the troops and their families.

We think that is a mistake of the first magnitude.

The Cheerleading Squad of North Medford High School have set us all an example of the kind of thing that needs to be done in order to help our armed forces win the War On Terror.

Update: (12/10) The Commissar has an excellent list of items that are recommended for those that are interested in assembling their own care packages to send to our military.