Monday, October 30, 2006
I would humbly like to enlist your support in this worthy cause. It is most desperately needed to combat the foul perfidy of a Numerically Superior and Wily Enemy who are already engaged in the most despicable strategems to defeat an doughty but disadvantaged opponent. It's true, we're already falling behind, but with your help the Davids of this world can still defeat the gross, grasping Goliaths of the Universe. Join with us! We are the team to beat! The Few! The Loud! The Marine Corps!
Marines, lovers of Marines, and those who wish they could be Marines (IOW, the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard), listen up! It's time to do what the Marine Corps does best: shake, rattle, roll and make some noise:
From October 30th until November 10th (a day rich with significance for many reasons, not the least of which is that on that day in 1775 the United States Marine Corps was founded by the Continental Congress) we here at VC will carry the battle colors for the Project Valour IT Marine Corps fundraising team, which for the cool kids on the block is the ONLY team you want to be on. Do NOT be fooled by snake oil salesmen who seduce you with sleazy slogans like "An Army of Fun"... or "Sailor's Wife...it's the toughest job in the Navy", or "My friends used to wonder/Why I joined the Air Force..." :D
All you need to know about why you want to be on the Marine team is here: this is what America is fighting for. We're just better-looking, durnitall!
What is Project Valour IT all about, you might ask?
It's simple: grateful Americans, providing laptops with voice-activated software for severely wounded troops. The story behind this project is a moving one:
Project Valour-IT began when Captain Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss was wounded by an IED while serving as commander of a tank company in Iraq in June 2005.
During his deployment he kept a blog. Captivating writing, insightful stories of his experiences, and his self-deprecating humor won him many loyal readers. After he was wounded, his wife continued his blog, keeping his readers informed of his condition.
As he began to recover, CPT Ziegenfuss wanted to return to writing his blog, but serious hand injuries hampered his typing. When a loyal and generous reader gave him a copy of the Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred software, other readers began to realize how important such software could be to CPT Ziegenfuss' fellow wounded soldiers and started cast about for a way to get it to them.
A fellow who writes under the pseudonym FbL contacted Captain Ziegenfuss and the two realized they shared a vision of creating libraries of laptops with voice-controlled software that could be brought to the bedsides of wounded soldiers whose injuries prevented them from operating a standard computer. FbL contacted Soldiers' Angels, who offered to help develop the project, and Project Valour-IT was born.
In sharing their thoughts, CPT Ziegenfuss and FbL found that memories of their respective fathers were a motivating factor in their work with the project. Both continue their association with this project in memory of the great men in their lives whose fine examples taught them lasting lessons of courage and generosity.
Fathers have a lasting impact on us. Mothers teach, nurture, and sustain us, but fathers are our first bridge to the outside world. They are the ones who challenge us, who take the training wheels off and show us how fast we can go, and what the rules of the road are. They don't let us rest on our laurels - they constantly prod us out of our comfort zone. They inspire us to reach deep down inside and find things we never knew we had in us: to compete with others instead of folding, to try just a bit harder, not to give up when the going gets tough. They encourage us when our confidence is flagging.
Like Capt. Ziegenfuss' father and Fbl's, my father in law served in Vietnam. And like them, he was exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the brown water Navy. And he was taken from us too young. We will never know whether that was what caused his death, and it does not matter. He would be the last one to want to blame the nation he served; that would be a betrayal of everything he lived for. He could so easily not have come back at all. But this year's Project Valour IT drive will wind up just before the anniversary of his passing.
And so the first of my donations to Project Valour IT was made in his memory. I miss him still, though it has been over fifteen years. He was a lovely man, and I hope he will forgive me for not supporting the Navy team. But his son is a Marine and that must be my first loyalty now. Over the next ten or so days I'll be giving you lots of reasons to support the Marine team, or more importantly, to support Project Valour IT.
If you're a blogger, you can sign up and join a team here. You will get button code so your readers can make a donation (see below) that will be credited to your team.
I am also making a blogroll for Marine team members, and will send you the code upon request (e- me if you want to display it! Some people have enough blogrolls on their sites so I don't want to burden those folks who don't want it, but this is another way to raise your 'status' in the ecosystem if you aspire to Flappy Mammary status or higher).
If you wish to donate, you can use the button below or the one in my sidebar, or send a check (with MARINES in all caps on it!) to:
1150 N Loop 1604 W, Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX 78248
Other ways to promote:
* Blog and email your friends about Valour-IT and the competition
* Tell your friends, family and neighbors about Valour-IT
* Challenge your co-workers or employer to match donations
* Consider involving clubs, churches, or charitable organizations you are involved with. Maybe your church would designate all or part of a Sunday collection. How about Scouts?
* Post flyers around your neighborhood
* If you have any contacts in the media (local or national newspapers, radio, TV, PLEASE spread the word! Point them to the Project Valour IT site, not VC, though!
And remember, though in the next few weeks we'll be having a lot of good-natured interservice rivalry fun in the interests of raising some money in a good cause, at the end of the day what really matters is not which team you support, but that you find it in your hearts to
support a worthwhile cause. Because our wounded vets have given more in the service of our country than most of us will ever be able to repay.
Project Valour IT offers a way for us to tell them we have not forgotten their sacrifices, and that is truly priceless. In many, many ways what we are trying to do is reconnect them to the world; remind them that they are NOT alone. That they still have something to contribute, that they are still a vital part of this nation, and that even though they may have lost parts of themselves that they can never recover, though they may temporarily be feeling hopeless, helpless, even alone, they aren't.
Someone remembers. Someone still cares. And when they get out of the hospital, America will find a way for them to rejoin the community and be useful again. For a wounded vet facing traumatic and painful injuries, that knowledge alone is beyond price.
Please dig deep. You cannot know the value of the hope your small contributions can bring to those who have already given so much on our behalf.
With love and gratitude,
Please visit the VC signup post to make a donation or sign up. I cannot make the code work on blogger.
Iraq and Iwo - First Marine Nominated for Medal of Valor
I couldn’t agree more!!! This is one way the American people will hear the truth.
See these reviews and the importance of symbolism in winning the war in Iraq and the GWOT [War of Information]:
Iraq and Iwo - First Marine Nominated for Medal of Valor
‘Flags of Our Fathers’ by Scott Malensek
The American people need to be reminded of the great sacrifices of our parents and grandparents. The MSM is failing to do this. Some argue the MSM has fallen into the enemy’s trap in the War of Information by carrying its propaganda to demoralize the Aemrican people. Why is there a surge of violence in Baghdad where the MSM’s cameras are focused before our November elections?
Why aren’t we hearing of the bravery of our men and women in harm’s way defending our freedom? Do you know the name of the first service person who was awarded the Medal of Valor in Operation Iraqi Freedom?
Andrew, you're right.
The picture *is* flipped right to left, because we're marching forward, and because I'm a woman and I don't *have* to be logical. I knew someone was going to ding me on that, but I didn't want to cut out the Marine and the point was to get a decent photo of the Marine battle streamers (and you have no idea how hard that is to do when you only have 10 minutes before starting work).
Mea culpa maxima!
NOW HIT THAT DONATION BUTTON! :D Somewhere there's a child who can't read, and if a wounded Marine gets a computer maybe he'll go on to be a teacher... and he'll have YOU to thank :p
You gentlemen will be *happy* to know that I flipped the (*&^% graphic last night :)
I just was too tired to come back over here and reload it. I will try to "fix" it today before I drive in to DC for a bunch of boring meetings.
Men. You all simply do not understand what is important in life...