Cross posted at Vet Voice and Daily Kos
Last night, I received a call from my brother and I was instantly transported to a call from my sister on 9/11. Living in Hawaii at the time, I was not yet awake to have knowledge of the most horrific sight I have witnessed in all of my 42 years. That day, it took me eight hours to get in touch with my brother, who was to have been working in the Pentagon on a contract. I can not ever remember being more frightened in my life. My entire family worked in Federal or Local government buildings at the time and the lines to all of them were jammed. Waking up to another call, yet on the other side of the emotional spectrum, was surprising. I can honestly say, I never thought I would see this in my life time.
Most of my life I have lived as a military dependant and now, sharing my home with a combat disabled Veteran and former Gitmo guard, I have never more acutely aware of how much I love my home and its comforts. The love of my life lost much of his hearing, his ability to sleep at night and friends he worked along side. Outside of being an operator myself, I believe I am supremely aware of the sacrifices made by service members as well as the greatest asset we have; I am so grateful for our intellegence community and special ops groups. THIS is how you get something done. This is the best of the best and it is great to see when it works. I also am thankful that our Commander in Chief was willing to commit to the decision and its execution.
Too often Americans go through our lives, focused so narrowly that we do not do enough. I know I am not one of those. I work to feed and clothe the homeless, to help facilitate elections and educate the populations. I have given up days of my own to ensure fair and accessable elections, I write letters to members of government, corporations, and organizations. I say the things that other people are frightened of. One day I hope that in some small way, I inspire others to do the same. As impatient as I can be, I am not going to sit around waiting for that to happen. In the spirit of some peoples new found patriotism today, I ask you to do something, anything, to make your country a better place. If everyone would pitch in, even just an hour a week, we could restore our country to its former glory. This cannot happen without all of us. Stop relying on someone else to fix our economy/community/government. Do something. NOW.
Need a suggestion? Too easy:
Volunteer--Teens can get busy right now. Go to Do Something and sign up today!
GOTV--No matter your political party, you can help get people to the polls on Election Day. Just one day to volunteer is not a lot to ask. Contact your local Party office or Candidate of choice and tell them you want to participate in the GOTV events in your area.
Register to Vote--If you aren’t registered to vote, please do so now. As a grown up that lives in this country, there is really not an excuse for not being responsible enough to exercise your civic duty. If you still don’t, then please don’t complain. You sign away your rights to complain about any politicians when you decide not to elect responsible representation.
Give money--Not everyone has millions to give to charity, however did you know that 40 meals can be provided by a food bank on approximately a $10 donation? Each pay day, I find the extra $5 or $10 to give, even when times are so tight for us. There are many charities that could do so much even with such small amounts, find one in your area.
Teach--Change the world. You could be the teacher that inspires a child that cures a disease, develops cheap renewable energy or engineer’s world peace. It could happen.
Write a letter or Make a call--What is an issue that is important to you? It takes less than 20 minutes for most organizations to make a call or write a letter of support/complaint/request to legislators that can be influenced by their constituents. Many causes will have letters that auto-populate so that you don’t even have to write the text which takes less than 5 minutes. While it may seem trivial, even in 2011, this is how things get done. Don’t believe me? Ask the folks in Wisconsin who are slowly getting recall petitions filed against many of their state politicians. This started one signature at a time and now it’s in the thousands. Each one makes a difference. You can make a difference.
You already do stuff? You got this covered, you are on top of this? Consider sharing then with people that don’t. Information and education. We can change the world this way, I believe it!