Support troops at home and abroad

Kristin Marthaler

Kristin Marthaler

Last year, there was a Collegian article that talkied about standing behind our soldiers as just being a fad. That idea had been on my mind long before that article was written.

During the first two years of the war, you could walk down a street and see yellow ribbons everywhere. Signs said, “Support our troops.” If a home didn’t have a ribbon or sign, people thought, “How inconsiderate.”

But now, four years after the war has started, the ribbons and signs have dwindled. The support no longer exists at every home. Now, when you look down a street and see a ribbon or sign, you think of how weird it looks. If in a whole row of homes only one home has a yellow ribbon on the tree, that home is the exception.

Why aren’t we supporting our troops now? Why is it that when a son, daughter, friend, neighbor, boyfriend or wife comes home, we just see them as being gone on a vacation or extended stay? These troops are war vets. War vets! Those two words remind me of my grandfather and his generation. Who ever thought that this would be in our generation? Well, it is. Although it may be scary, it’s a part of our life. And it seems like no one is backing the soldiers anymore. They receive medals, Purple Hearts, lose limbs and a lot even die.

I’m not saying that I support the war or don’t support the war. I am merely wondering where all our support for troops has gone. Kids as young as 18 are going overseas and being forced to become adults. Generations of men and women are holding each other in their arms as they die. Where is the support for those troops who come back?

A yellow ribbon is so little and minor, but makes such a large statement in the world. A piece of ribbon one foot long can make you a bystander or part of the action. Don’t tie the ribbon up because someone yelled at you or wrote a letter that made you think. Do it because a soldier fights for your right to read this newspaper, to go to the polls and to vote and drive home on these safe streets to your family without the fear of a mortar attack.

I don’t want this to be a “donate to the troops” lecture. I just want people to understand how lost some of the troops feel when they come back. We supported the first group of troops who went over to fight, and now they feel like they are alone over there.

I thought wearing a yellow ribbon on my car showed I cared enough. But it didn’t. They needed to hear from me that I’m glad they are back, that I understand why they had to go overseas and that they are heroes to me.

Does your soldier know you still support him/her?

#1.884254:340998890.jpg:Marthaler, Kristin.jpg:Kristin Marthaler, Beyond the Babble: