Why you should support ‘Operation Iraq-Afghanistan’

28 Oct

Moi doesn’t care how people feel about the various wars that are going on right now or the foreign policy. Men and women who serve in the armed forces of this country do not make foreign or diplomatic policy. They serve under the direction of the Commander In Chief and Congress. Many saw the military as a way for a steady paycheck and a way to improve their lives and the lives of their families. Since this country has gone to a voluntary military, many of those who now serve are men and women of color and low-income people of all colors.

First Focus is a bipartisan group who works to improve the well-being of children. According to the article, Our Military Families Under Fire by Bruce Lesley and Kate Sylvester which was posted at their site on November 22, 2010:

An entirely new category of children is in jeopardy – the 2 million children being raised in military families. As recently as a decade ago, child advocates could afford to ignore military children. After all, they are lucky enough to have at least one working parent; to live in decent housing; and to have health insurance.

But beyond these basics, experts remind us that many other factors can put children at risk for poor outcomes: experiencing family disruption; having a single parent; suffering from abuse or trauma; or having a parent who suffers from mental illness or substance use.

Sadly, these risk factors now apply to many military kids. Why? Because so many of their parents are young, near poor, and coping with serious stresses. Consider these facts:

More than one-third of first-time military parents are 21 or younger; most of their children are under age 5. And a growing number of military families – over 100,000 at last count – have two military parents or are headed by single parents.

Most of these young parents don’t make much money. Military pays starts at about $2,800 a month (including allowances for food and housing). In the families of junior service members that have only one working parent and more than one child, household incomes often fall below 200 percent of the federal poverty level – the benchmark that child advocates suggest puts families at risk.

Indeed, a significant portion of children attending Department of Defense schools qualify for receive free or reduced lunches and the most recent estimates about Earned Income Tax Credit indicated that 11.6% of military families were eligible to apply.

Finances are not the only stressors on military families. Multiple deployments mean that children face multiple separations from their parents. As Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a recent Veteran’s Day address, “If you took any 11-year-old or younger military child, it’s all they’ve known their whole lives.”

Research is just beginning to tell the story of what those family separations are costing military families.


Lesley and Sylvester link to additional research in their article:

The National Center for Children in Poverty

Military children are now classified as at risk for mental health problems along with children and youth in low-income households and those in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

The latest study on military children, published this month in the Journal Pediatrics, looked at more than a half million military children ages 3 to 8 whose parents were deployed. Researchers found that behavioral disorders, such as attention deficit disorder, increased 18%, and stress disorders, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) rose by 19% when parents were gone.

The separations take a toll on spouses too. Wives of soldiers sent to war suffer significantly higher rates of mental health issues than those whose husbands stayed home, according to a study on Army wives published earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Because the U.S. has gone to a volunteer military to shoulder the burden of defending this country, that task has, in many instances, gone to people of color, the poor, and the unemployed. One of the groups helping to support our men and women in the military is Operation Iraq-Afghanistan: The Spirit of Christmas.

Here is a bit of information about Operation Iraq-Afghanistan: The Spirit of Christmas:

Founded in 2003, Operation Iraq-Afghanistan: The Spirit of Christmas began as a grass roots organization in Kirkland, WA. It was built out of the desire to provide support for our troops and show appreciation for those who sacrifice so much to protect our country, our homes and our families. We are supported entirely through the donations of time, merchandise and dollars from companies, organizations and individuals across the United States.

The care packages we send bring comfort to our troops in the field and consist of personal care items and products specifically requested by them that are not typically provided by the military. In the weeks prior to Thanksgiving, hundreds of volunteers come together to work countless hours collecting and assembling thousands of care packages that are shipped overseas for delivery to troops on Christmas Day. These items include everything from specialty food and personal hygiene items to magazines and CDs.

You can contact Operation Iraq-Afghanistan: The Spirit of Christmas:

Operation Iraq-Afghanistan: The Spirit of Christmas
PO Box 646
Kirkland, WA 98083
Phone: (425) 885-0796


From time to time the organization will post a list of items needed. They also need volunteers to accomplish the mission. Please contact Operation Iraq-Afghanistan: The Spirit of Christmas if you can help in any way.

It really doesn’t matter what you feel about the foreign policy of this country. Either you are a stand-up guy and honor the commitment and sacrifice of our military men, women, and families or you are not. One way of standing-up for those sacrificing to keep us safe is to support Operation Iraq-Afghanistan: The Spirit of Christmas.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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