By Boot Girl Myra
It’s amazing how an innocent little animated show I was watching with my daughter completely changed my mood from happy to somber. It is a good sort of somber, the kind that made me stop and take accounts. Maybe it will do the same for you too…..
“So long guys, we’re heading out.”
“Wait, what? You’re going AWOL?”
“We’ve done our duty, Andy’s grown up, let’s face it when the trash bags come out, the Army men are the first to go.”
That dialogue between the other toys and the Army men in Toy Story 3 struck me hard. Their exchange sums up something that’s been occurring a lot more often in conversations lately. A growing number of people are asking; with troops coming home from Iraq, what’s the point of the Boot Campaign? As if to say that since our “official” role in Iraq is over, we no longer need to support our military. Two things disturb me about this thinking.
First, there are 1.4 million active duty military working daily in 150 countries (including operations still going on in Afghanistan) and stateside. Our military provides humanitarian aid in the name of all Americans (that’s you and me) to starving people in places like Somalia and Sudan. When disaster hits our own nation like the deadly tornadoes last year in Alabama and a Tsunami of millennial proportions last April in Japan, US forces were there to offer a cup of cold water and food to a crushed and shocked nation. If I could thank every service member feeding a starving child or family member displaced by disaster, I would.
And I do……….with my boots.
Second, it’s never been about war; it is about appreciating the people who choose to serve our country and protect our rights including the right to demonstrate. That is something Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, Chinese, Burmese and many other countries don’t have as an inalienable right. As a matter of fact this week Iran cracked down on the population’s social media activity, locking down certain sites linked to the western world for fear of it causing an uprising. These governments don’t allow for free speech, rather, they imprison anyone who dare object.
I wear my boots for these, the ones who continue to protect my freedom so I can say what I want, live how I want, pray to whom I want, and so much more. Boot Campaign has always been about thanking those who are the protectors of our independence.
As we settle into another year of liberty, 47,266 American men and women (as of December 15th, 2011) are wounded from operations since 2002. If we pull out of supporting them now, who will provide them assistance? In my mind there will never be a day when boots are not necessary. As long as we remain the land of the free and home of the brave, there will be people to thank, with boots ON!