Friday, June 09, 2006

The Word From Iraq

Jason called this morning. I had sent him a package full of cookies and snacks. It turns out he is addicted to wasabi peas and he told me that when driving patrol at night, wasabi peas are great for staying awake. He had also indicated that Bravo Co. wouldn't mind a coffee grinder. So after I talked to him I went and bought a coffee grinder, two pounds of fair trade whole bean coffee, two packages of Walker shortbread cookies, and a giant bag of wasabi peas. (My local trendy upscale health food store has them in bulk.) I shipped them off this afternoon.

When I went to the gym, I parked behind a car with a yellow 'support the troops' sticker. I thought to myself that I should hand that person an Adopt a Marine box and see how willing they were to support the troops. It turned out to be a woman I see often. She was a science teacher and now has a little business selling science education supplies and when I walked in she said, 'I want to get some of those boxes from you.' Since I often believe, uncharitably, that a lot of people think that by sticking one of those yellow ribbons on their car they have done their bit (which is neither fair not true in all cases) I was surprised. She took the five boxes I had in the car because she said people at her church would fill them. She promised me that when I got back from traveling, she would undoubtably want more.

I don't know why those yellow 'Support the Troops' stickers irritate me so much. I associate them with people who support the war but they don't have to be. I don't support the war and I'm adopting out recon marines. It is important to have ones prejudices revealed, even if it is usually discomforting.

I'm off to New Mexico for a week in Taos. Then a week in Madison, Wisconsin, teaching at Writing By The Lake. Then two weeks in Seattle--one week teaching at Clarion West and one week where Bob will come out and meet me. We were originally going to vacation, but with his new job, he'll be bringing a laptop and doing some work. I'll also have a laptop and probably also be doing some work for a freelance gig. I figure the work will feel really different when we do it in a coffee shop in Seattle, where the coffee is supposed to be the best. But I am hoping we get away for a day to see whales, or islands, or Mt. St. Helens.


Anonymous Marjorie Farrell said...

Your comments on the stickers mirror our thoughts. Today while we were parked in our small village parking lot someone slapped one of those magnetic ribbons on our car. We didn't notice it until we were back home. It was disconcerting. We are wondering why? And who? And why, again.

Have a great time in Seattle. It is a beautiful city. We lived there for several years. Remember, if you want to visit Mt. St. Helen's, it is all the way across the state and it is a fairly big state.

Marjorie and Walt

June 10, 2006 8:24 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

There's a day trip to visit Mt. St. Helens, but I am beginning to have second throughts about a day on a bus.

Last night I saw a support the troops sticker on the back of a pick up truck. Underneath that were two more stickers--one said, 'Bush Lied/Soldiers Died' and the other was also anti-Bush.

But I realize why I associate those ribbon things with pro-Bush. It's all the rhetoric that criticizing the war is not supporting the troops.

June 10, 2006 9:06 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

I don't know why those yellow 'Support the Troops' stickers irritate me so much.

They irritate me too, and I'm not sure why. I'm in your camp--I feel that I support the troops doing the heavy lifting, at the same time that I detest this war. I will say that the ribbons evoke the same feelings that the flags that sprang up everywhere after 9/11 did. It felt as if many people just put the things up, or wore the lapel pins, or whatever, and figured that by so doing they'd done their bit for mankind for all eternity.

June 10, 2006 9:32 PM  
Blogger SquidgePa said...

Mt. Rainier is closer, has some awesome waterfalls and you can see Mt St. Helens from several spots. It's been many years since I was there but Rainier won't disappoint.
Congrats to Bob on the job and a huge YAHOO! on the clean scan.

June 11, 2006 12:17 AM  
Blogger Gregory Feeley said...

Two relevant facts:

1) Many people have stickers that say "Support Our Troops -- Bring Them Home."

2) As in the first Gulf War, lots of hawk's expressed their sentiment by declaring, "Support Our Troops."

It isn't irrational for one to suppose that a person who says simply "Support Our Troops" may not wish the U.S. occupation brought to an immediate end.

I strongly suspect that an opponent of the war who wished simply to express "support" for our troops (as opposed, by the way, to what sentiment -- that disdain toward American soldiers so widely held by anti-war activists in Dafydd's fevered imagination?) would avail himself of a sticker that expressed both sentiments.

June 11, 2006 4:34 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

I was just browsing the web and I found your blog on accident, but I'm very glad I did. I don't want to go into too much detail in a comment, but I would love to do some "adopt a marie" boxes. Do you think you could help me out with this? You can e-mail me at
Thank You.

June 20, 2006 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie Dray said...

I am uncharitable and biased against people with those stickers. And I'm not really sorry for it. Because those stickers are usually (not always) on the cars of people who voted for an administration which has done more to hurt these troops than any in recent history.

Even if they packed up a box and sent it to a marine, I'm not sure it counteracts the cuts in pay, benefits, and backdoor draft.

Last Christmas I sent some soldiers a box full of books and preserved banana bread. I will probably do it again this year. And the whole time I will be thinking uncharitable thoughts like, "Why the hell is this government wasting these kids' sacrifice like this?"

Which just goes to show you how much nicer a person you are than I am!

August 03, 2006 11:58 AM  

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