Monday, October 29, 2007

Shirtless Fridays

Is a symbolic gesture that our deployed soldiers won't see really doing anything to have an impact on them feeling "supported"?

The Red Shirt Fridays campaign was targeted to support deployed troops. Most shirts read: "Red Shirt Fridays: Until they all come home"
It's an extension of my loathing for those little magnetic rainbows of ribbons (for every cause under the sun) you can stick 10" from your exhaust pipe... it doesn't translate to our soldiers. Sadly, they don't see the back ends of our cars any more than they see what color shirt I'm wearing today.

The Canadians got it right when they had a literal sea of people in red (which is a Nationalistic colour for them) during a political speech - which was televised/taped. They sent a strong message to their government, and their troops got to SEE it. That had impact.

I'm thrilled to see military support in many flavors... and so would our deployed troops... if they could see it.

So the question for me becomes: How do we get them to see/feel/know that they're supported and appreciated?

Paying $20 for a t-shirt is kind of like those $2 yellow rubber bracelets that were all the craze for Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG foundation and caught on as a meaningless middle school fashion statement.

Originally there was some small percentage of funds from the sale of braceletes/magnetic ribbons going to their respective cause. Right now the majority of people who benefit from from the magnetic ribbons are those people who make and market magnetic ribbons - and most of them are now "Made in China"! It's become a business like any other.

If the intent of Red Shirt Fridays is to support EACH OTHER as military parents here in the States then that's great and I'm all for it!! If the intent is to get Americans on a bandwagon to make a political statment, then how and where do you get enough Americans together to show their "Indivisibility" to have impact? Great thought, but how?

We're years (almost 6 *shudder*) into the war in Iraq and Red Shirt Fridays haven't caught on as a 'statement' yet. Could it be that people don't want to appear to support the WAR (I know I don't) and don't know how to support SOLDIERS? I think that's a valid hurdle in looking at functional "shows of support" for our troops.

Unless "Red Shirt Fridays" catch on en masse and we all send pictures, or as the Canadians did, wear them to a particularly high-profile, televised political event, it seems a 'feel good' measure that our kids/soldiers won't see or feel - esp. those who are deployed.

DO something in support of our troops?

YES, I agree. Let's all DO something that's more than 'invisibly symbolic'.
For starters... Let's Vote.

Til then I'm all for shirtless Fridays. At least it'll make the news!

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