If you Google "support the troops" it returns 15,900,000 hits. Some are from the US Military, or known pro-military groups like the USO or American Legion.
Many however are like this:
Show your support for our Troops every day by wearing one! The cost of each wristband is $3.00 plus $.50 for postage. We also have child-size wristbands for $2.50 plus $.50 for postage. All of the proceeds go to sending packages to our Troops for the holidays.
Lovely. But what's the the catch? A very small caveat at the bottom reads:
Operation Support our Troops is registered under the Charitable Solicitations Program of the State of Washington but it is not a non-profit corporation so all donations are gifts from the heart.
In other words, buy my stuff so I can make money off the suffering of the troops.
Others offer to directly send gifts, cards, prayers, often with vague assurances that most of the money donated will go toward actual help.
But why, you might ask, are we being asked to help pay for things like medical care, armor, and help for wounded soldiers' families? Here's a quote from the official US Military support site:
Because America Supports You is a Department of Defense program we cannot accept outside donations. Instead, we encourage you to contact one of the many homefront groups to find out how you can contribute to their efforts. These fantastic organizations are making a real difference. They send care packages and letters to our service members, provide direct assistance for military families and support the wounded – just to name a few.
How's that again? You need us to support stuff for the troops that maybe, just maybe, ought to be their due from the US government? Nah, not likely. From the Assoc. Press:
A soldier facing his second tour of duty in Iraq said in a jailhouse interview Monday that he was at a hospital seeking mental help when he was arrested in the middle of the night for allegedly being absent without leave.
Spc. Justin Faulkner insists his superior officers at Fort Campbell knew about his mental problems but refused to provide adequate treatment.
On Thursday, Faulkner checked into a Lexington VA hospital, where doctors told him they wanted to keep him until Monday for observation. Police showed up at the hospital shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday to take him to jail.
Read the whole article, it's quite sad. It's really no different from being a political prisoner, except it's our own government that quite literally owns your ass.
h/t to the Mom.