The spitter.

Boy, I am out of it. I never realized the Vietnam vet spitting story had been pretty much debunked. Although it doesn’t surprise me, as the whole narrative was a little too tidy for real life: Recently discharged Vietnam vet, in uniform, comes home not to a festive parade, but to a cold, sterile airport. While walking through the airport, not a hero, but just another shlub between planes, a contemptuous fellow traveler, usually a woman, spits on him. Baby-killer! Etc.

I don’t just say this because I’m not a spitter, myself. I know spitting on another person is a time-honored insult, but it never occurred to me to do it, ever. (I like the gypsy custom of spitting on a person’s shadow, though; that’s kind of chilling.) To spit well takes practice; otherwise you’re left with drool all over your chin. Women don’t do that spit-a-hocker thing men do. I’d think even Hanoi Jane Fonda would rather fling a verbal insult than saliva, and face it: Most people just wouldn’t do that.

As for male spitters, there isn’t a riper opportunity for a butt-whippin’ than a filthy civilian hippie expectorating on a uniformed soldier. Most people are smarter than to invite a butt-whippin’.

If you’re an urban-myth spotter, though, you look for the consistencies, or inconsistencies, that make a story too good to be true. Jack Shafer in Slate explains:

While Lembcke doesn’t prove that nobody ever expectorated on a serviceman–you can’t prove a negative, after all–he reduces the claim to an urban myth. In most urban myths, the details morph slightly from telling to telling, but at least one element survives unchanged. In the tale of the spitting protester, the signature element is the location: The protester almost always ambushes the serviceman at the airport–not in a park, or at a bar, or on Main Street.

(And yes, boys and girls, I’m aware Bob Greene swallowed this gob whole and got another tiresome book out of it.)

Anyway, it hardly matters now. The spitting story is now part of the landscape, contrary to the best efforts of Jack Shafer and Jerry Lembcke. And now we have a whole new generation of wounded vets coming home (or not coming home), and the spitting story is always the subtext of the new welcome-home movement: Never again! Support the troops! No problem. I support the troops. But when you press people on what that means, actually, you rarely get a straight answer other than: Don’t spit on them. Agreed. No spitting.

I know I have some military readers, so let me ask this question, something I’ve always wondered about: Those care packages that various groups are always fund-raising for, or collecting for, or sending out — are they worth it? I ask because they so often seem compiled for a troop of hardscrabble mercenaries, not soldiers in the most technologically advanced, well-trained and generously funded fighting force in world history. If I were putting together a soldier care package, I’d try to put myself in a soldier’s shoes and imagine what I’d miss most about home. I’d include… something like… DVDs and video games; meaty letters including photos of lovers/spouses/children; digital cameras; a pint of excellent bourbon in unlabeled, non-breakable flasks; Tabasco sauce for MREs; maybe some discreetly packaged porno. But the ones that I see people sending include things like baby wipes, toothpaste and Kool-Aid. I always think, can’t they get adequately supplied with toothpaste and baby wipes any other way? What kind of Army can’t get its troops adequate wiping supplies?

Probably the same one that can’t get decent body armor. Never mind.

One of my old neighbors, a Marine and Vietnam vet, said a bottle of Tabasco was as highly prized as a bottle of scotch whiskey. He carried his at all times, like his rifle: This is my hot sauce. There are many like it but this one is mine, and better stay mine, if my comrades know what’s good for them.

Day three at home with my poor sick bunny. I’m racing to get a story done so that if I’m felled next, my calendar will be clear. Downside of freelancing: No paid sick days.

One bit of bloggage: Have you driven a Ford lately? No? Well, you can still buy Bill Ford’s house. One error Autoblog makes: You can’t have a “view of Lake Huron” from Ann Arbor. You can have a view of the Huron River, however.

Remember the Michigan county treasurer who lost $200,000 in the Nigerian e-mail fraud? The story gets worse.

Posted at 11:17 am in Current events, Media, Same ol' same ol' |

36 responses to “The spitter.”

  1. Danny said on January 31, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Though we sent our share of toiletries and skin care and gatorade to the plattoon we were supporting (they actually asked for these things), we also sent two nice cordless power drills and books and magazines and dvds. Also cards and letters and cell phone cards. And I think that was about it.

    They sent us videos of daily life for them.

    When they came in back, we threw a party for them.

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  2. Dwight Brown said on January 31, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    I am far from being an expert, but I believe the current generation MREs come with a small bottle of Tabasco.

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  3. Danny said on January 31, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Nancy, can you give me a little clarification as to your point, because it seems debunked in the same article you link to?

    One of the people quoted in the story responds and says he was spit upon (granted people can fake other identities on the internet, but I wonder that Lembcke would allow the post to stand for 6 years if it was not from a valid email address). And there are other posters whom claim to be vets who had similar experiences.

    Then there is this recent story of the Iraq war vet. Joshua Sparling, who claims he was spit at, gestured to, yelled at, etc.,2933,248706,00.html

    So it seems that it does happen. But maybe that was not your point.

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  4. Connie said on January 31, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    My husband is a Viet Nam vet, drafted at 19. He tells a great story about not believing the story he heard when he got home claiming that men had been to the moon. Out in the boonies they got little news.

    He also talks about coming home. Most servicemen were flown to Oakland and were required to fly in uniform. He remembers the Oakland airport being full of protestors, and all had been advised to change into civilian clothes at the airport.

    As for military food: He always says his mother was the only person who figured out how to pack and ship Jiffy Pop without it breaking in transit. As for C-rations, cans of peaches and of Beans and Weenies were fought over, cans of ham and limas always were the last choice.

    And I have been seeing quite a bit of Sparling debunking across the web, so who knows.

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  5. nancy said on January 31, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    As Shafer points out, Lembcke’s not saying it never happened, but that when he tried to investigate it to the best of his ability, the stories fell apart. As for Sparling, I was struck by this passage:

    COLMES: Joshua, I understand that last spring you were demeaned at an airport and you were told you couldn’t board a plane. You got a hate letter at Walter Reed Army Hospital in 2005. Why do you think this always happens to you?

    SPARLING: To tell you the truth, Alan, I really couldn’t know. The people that have done these things, I don’t even know personally. So it couldn’t be of a personal nature in the first place. And maybe it’s because the peace rally is an obvious one. I went there, and that was the most angry peace march that I’ve ever witnessed. That’s for sure.

    And he wasn’t the only person to spit at me, either. There was others. But this fellow here actually was on the sidewalk with me, whereas all the other ones were about 10 yards away on the other side of the road. And they weren’t just spitting. They were throwing cigarette butts, flipping us off.

    I’m willing to believe these things happen in isolated incidents. I know people are very upset about the war. But just as a gut-check, I don’t know anyone — and that’s not to say they don’t exist — who blames soldiers personally for the policies of Donald Rumsfeld. If anything, the popular opinion on this war seems to depict the soldiers as the group most worthy of support. If it had happened once to Joshua Sparling, I’d believe him. But time after time? I’m skeptical.

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  6. brian stouder said on January 31, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    If it had happened once to Joshua Sparling, I’d believe him. But time after time? I’m skeptical.

    Skepticism is my first reaction, too.

    On the other hand –

    I don’t know anyone — and that’s not to say they don’t exist — who blames soldiers personally for the policies of Donald Rumsfeld. If anything, the popular opinion on this war seems to depict the soldiers as the group most worthy of support.

    If a particular soldier makes a habit of counter-protesting at these big splashy events, then she might well experience hostility specifically aimed at her (or him).

    But in that case, the soldier is not simply a traveller (in an airport, for example) that is being singled out for derision, but is instead actively engaging in the dispute/difference of opinion.

    this is the flip-side of the left-leaning Gold Star families (or 9/11 widows) – wherein polite people are simply precluded from disagreeing with a person’s opinion, simply because of the (fill in the blank) uniform/bereavement

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  7. LA mary said on January 31, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    I am active with one anti-war group, and I have to say that I have never, ever heard anything critical of the troops. Ever. The people who make decisions about the war, big time criticism, , but the troops are not the ones calling (badly) the shots.
    I was at a few anti war rallies in the VietNam era as well, and there was a different attitude then. I never heard of anyone spitting on soldiers. I think everyone my age knew people who were drafted and went to VietNam, and with the exception of one guy from my high school class, none of the people I knew wanted to go into the military. This would include members of my immediate family. There was definitely a negative feeling for gung ho types who were critical of the peace movement. No question about that. These were the guys who used words lke “gook” and brought home weird souvenirs. I remember seeing a friend’s older brother’s ear collection. I wouldn’t have spit on one, though. Those guys were not the norm.
    I had a teacher in college who was retired military, long time officer in Vietnam, Korea, the end of WW2. He taught poli sci, had just retired. In class one day he said he wanted me to come to his office after class, which I did, and the bastard jumped me. Full on ripped dress, breast grabbing, tongue down the throat…the whole thing. I resisted seriously and successfully and ran.
    He was a very respected officer. He was the advisor on the movie, “The Green Berets,” and John Wayne played a role based on him. He had a few nicknames, including “Splash,” for his preference for water landings when parachuting, and “Black Jack Kelly, the Baby Burner.” Him, I should have spit on.

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  8. nancy said on January 31, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Here’s another Joshua Sparling story, recounted by his father. It’s long, but here’s the gist: Joshua, leg amputated, tries to get on a plane at an airport (Washington). They arrive at the airline counter 40 minutes before the flight to find it closed, so they try to get through security, to get their boarding pass at the gate. Security won’t let them through — no boarding pass — and the guard is deaf to the father’s claims that this is a wounded soldier, please make an exception, etc.

    I’m with him so far. People in TSA jobs like this are told that rules are rules, that no exceptions means no exceptions for anyone. I have no problem believing that they couldn’t get through security. But then it goes a bit further:

    My son started to cry uncontrollably and told the guard to go to hell. Another lady spoke up and said, “That’s what you get for fighting in a war we have no business in.�? Madder and very emotional I asked, “Can’t you remember 9-11?�? She responded that was just our excuse to be in Iraq when we should not be there and we deserved whatever we got. That is when my son really lost it. Three WWII vets were coming off flights into DC, gave my son a hug, and stood up to the lady and security guard.

    I don’t know who this “lady” is — I assume she’s another TSA staffer — but at this point my b.s. detector goes on full wail. She insults a passenger, a young man “crying uncontrollably” in a wheelchair with an amputated leg, to his face? “That’s what you get?” Please. I mean: Please. It’s like a right-wing fantasia of what peaceniks are really like. (Whereas every time we drive past a peace march around here, the biggest thing we notice is that 90 percent of the people marching are eligible to carry AARP cards. Old ladies in tennis shoes, old men in Greek fisherman caps and ear hair.)

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  9. Christopher Clausen said on January 31, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Don’t send booze or porn. As a Marine (1977-81) I can tell you they don’t have time to enjoy either one. No, the military can’t keep up in personal hygene items, especially wipes. U.S. military buys in global-sized chunks of bulk and wipes dry out. Other perishables go also bad when left in warehouses between wars. And wipes are really handy in the field to clean your entire body. From the Marines and soldiers serving now I know calling cards and disposable cameras are also very welcome. Ask them to send you a photo and they will. Adopting a unit as a group can help this process as you then know exactly what they want/need and what they don’t.

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  10. Connie said on January 31, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    My guy went to the demonstration in South Bend a few weeks ago and told me it was at least half nuns.

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  11. LA mary said on January 31, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    The strongest anti war statements I’ve heard have been from soldiers who are serving there. During the interview with Bush on Monday on NPR, they forwarded questions from troops serving in Iraq. Bush was not answering them very well. The following day I heard a reporter ask one of the soldiers if he thought his question was answered, and he said no. He sounded very angry, and very disgusted.
    His question was, “If your new plan to send in more troops doesn’t work, what are you going to do?”

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  12. Jeff said on January 31, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    The Marine Recon Batt that we supply from here loves to get lip balm (see note above about the nature of govt purchasing and storage) and Cholula, which seems to be the new favorite from my day, when it was Tabasco. As noted, mini-bottles of Tabasco are in some MREs, but Cholula really has more taste along with the heat.

    And Skittles. They beg for Skittles.

    As for Cpl. Sparling, he seems to go out of his way to look for trouble. The fact that he finds it doesn’t mean it’s pervasive . . . and i support the whole shebang in Iraq, for my part, so i’m just saying that if you go raising the issue left and right, sooner than later attitude is gonna come right back up the center at you. I’m sure there are moonbats in the Move.on parades and the Freeper shoutfests, and i only have an issue with them if they come looking to create trouble in my face.

    But i never got spitting, either. OTOH, i never chewed ‘baccy, which apparently gives you a saliva bonus to work with.

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  13. Danny said on January 31, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Cholula is the bomb. Last year, for some reason, we were having problems finding the original flavored Cholula at our local stores. Now I just order it by the case from Cholulastore dot com. Saves the running around

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  14. nancy said on January 31, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    I give up. What’s Cholula?

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  15. Kirk said on January 31, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    a mighty tasty hot sauce

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  16. LA mary said on January 31, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Cholula is really good stuff. He’s right that it’s not all about heat. Good flavor, lots of heat, great on beans and rice.

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  17. Jeff said on January 31, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    Nancy —

    It’s the one with the wooden knob on top; orange and mustard color scheme and a lady on the label. As the Psalmist would say: “Taste and see!”

    Pax, Jeff

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  18. Dagmar said on January 31, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Porn is used by American soldiers as barter in Muslim countries. My son, an army Arabic linguist, traded with the middle-class and peasants alike for many local items/information his unit needed. It shouldn’t be sent unless requested. If requested they’ll tell you how to pack it so it gets through. Calling cards, candy, paperbacks, magazines (my guy loved Discover, Science News, National Geographic etc), good quality sun screen, band aids and other first aid supplies and just news and pictures from family/friends are appreciated.

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  19. alex said on January 31, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    I’ve become partial to Ass in Space, but it’s because of the fun label. Here in Podunk it still manages to get a rise out of visitors in my kitchen.

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  20. nancy said on January 31, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    Porn as currency — never thought of that. (Honestly, I was just thinking of Leg Show or Penthouse in a plain brown wrapper.) Soon all commerce, world-wide, will be in pornography and Marlboros.

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  21. Karen said on January 31, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    When my cousin was serving overseas we sent a box with home-made cookies, fancy MREs (from a local camping supply store), and a couple sleeves of chewing tobacco. To fill up the box we packed in a bunch of sports pages and sports magazines – and those were the most appreciated part of the package by the soldiers!

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  22. ashley said on January 31, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Cigars, y’all, cigars. Relaxing, AND currency.

    Just not the Habanos…those would get confiscated.

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  23. ellent said on January 31, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    From experience of living in the Middle East, the Victoria’s Secret catalogue qualifies as (soft) porn. I was there for a year and not one catalogue made it out of the Arab-staffed mailroom. Actually, no catalogue with any sort of women modeling underwear or bathing suits, no matter how tame, made it out of the mailroom. You could probably get the VS catalogue through the APO mail without hassle.

    Baby wipes, pop tarts, protein bars, gatorade and crystal light to mix w/bottled water.

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  24. joodyb said on January 31, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    so much for respect for women!

    LA Mary, i heard that question and bush’s response, which was no response at all. he rarely can answer a question. it took 10 minutes for my blood pressure to equalize. juan williams, wtf? interesting that bush will do interviews with npr now. and where exactly is karl rove these days?

    i want to know who’s gonna take care of the vets bush never talks about, the spouses of the braindamaged with no health care who will have to leave work so they can tend to their mates? VA benefits cut; brain injury research defunded. Nat’l Guard people who’ve been gone too long now have lost their jobs.
    this mess will live far outside and beyond Iraq.

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  25. Marcia said on January 31, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    I’m totally off-topic, but Nance, wow, Molly Ivins. I hppe you’re going to say something about her.

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  26. brian stouder said on January 31, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Not off topic at all, Marcia (if you ask me)

    “We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war,” Ivins wrote in the Jan. 11 column. “We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, ‘Stop it, now!'”

    Agree or disagree with the late Molly- she got the part about who the ‘deciders’ are exactly right

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  27. LA mary said on January 31, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    I just saw the news online about Molly Ivins. I worked for her when she was the bureau chief in Denver for the NYT. She used to borrow my clothes and give me a beer on the way out of her home office, a “roader.” She had this dog named Shit, but if she thought you were someone who would be offenced, she called her Sit. A Texas Shithound, she said. She warned me about my ex, saying I should never go out with men prettier than myself, and she was right. Through her I met some great people, got introduced to some good books. Got drunk a few times. Spoke to Ann Richards and Barbara Jordan and Calvin Trillin on the phone.
    She played the Texan part up like crazy, but she had been educated in Paris and New York. It’s a very sad day.

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  28. nancy said on January 31, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Once again, LA “celebrity brush with greatness” Mary throws down on everyone. We should set her up with her own blog: Celebrity Brush With Greatness, where she can talk about Leona Helmsley and Exene and Viggo and we can all look on in awe.

    (New readers: She also had to share a playground with the first Nobel Prize Sperm Bank offspring. A great story.)

    Actually, I will write something, but I probably won’t top that.

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  29. LA mary said on January 31, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    When I worked for Molly no one knew who she was. I had worked in the rocky mountain bureau for a couple of years for Grace Lichtenstein, and then Molly when Grace got called back to NY. All I knew then was that Abe Rosenthal didn’t particularly like her and he send nasty messages to the bureau. Abe wasn’t too crazy about Grace either, maybe because both were involved in the lawsuit the women at the Times had won.

    You know how I got the job at the Times when I was in college? The job the let me meet Andy Warhol and a Beatle and Billy Jean King? I was the only person who applied in the whole Mass Communications department. There was an index card on the bulletin board: Journalist needs office assistant and researcher.
    I applied immediately and I got the job and kept it for all four years. The cute girls and blowdried guys who were in that department at DU wanted to be the next Jessica Savitch or Geraldo Rivera. I wanted to write, I thought, so I got that job.
    More and more I realize what an amazing job it was for a college kid.

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  30. LA mary said on January 31, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    One more Molly comment. When I told her I was expecting my first baby, and I knew it was a boy, she said,”Do your part for the feminist movement and raise a son who will ask an ugly girl to dance.”

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  31. joodyb said on February 1, 2007 at 12:20 am

    Wow, Mary. That’s a great intern story.
    You are so lucky to have known her.

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  32. vince said on February 1, 2007 at 1:03 am

    I met Molly just once.
    “Acerbic” comes to mind. “Mean mouthed cuss” does too.
    She was Texas through and through.
    And boy was she funny.

    You can credit her with one popular phrase. Reportedly, she’s the first one to nickname George W “Shrub.”

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  33. Julie said on February 1, 2007 at 3:01 am

    There’s a great obituary for Molly in the Washington Post. See

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  34. Julie said on February 1, 2007 at 3:10 am

    Here’s a list of organizations that have info re sending things/giving money to military personnel and their families. The conversation re baby wipes made me think some people might be interested. Baby wipes do, indeed, tend to show up on lots of lists about what people would like.

    I can’t vouch for any of these organizations. I know that AnySoldier seems to work pretty well, and Fisher House is an organization that’s gotten a lot of publicity in the U.S. Seems they have done a lot of good for families of people who have been wounded. All organizations have web sites and more info there re what to send and where to send it.

    None of this should be taken as an endorsement of the policies that created these circumstances.


    1. Any Soldier
    Any Soldier Inc. helps soldiers in all branches of the military, both active duty and reservists, and has become one of the leading efforts in making sure the men and women who have been deployed are cared for, via letters and packages from “home.” features emails from different military personnel regarding the type of support needed in the field. The support could be in the form of a simple letter or package, or it could toiletries, clothing (e.g., socks and underwear), food (e.g., crackers, chips, candy, canned food), CDs, DVDs, or books, newspapers, and magazines.

    Donors address their letters and packages to the writer’s name, but also add the words “ATTN: Any Soldier” on the second line. The writer shares the mail with fellow servicemen and women. If there is “Any Soldier” who is not receiving a lot of mail from home, that soldier will be the first person to receive the letter.

    2. Books for Soldiers
    Books For Soldiers is a soldier support site that ships books, DVDs and supplies to deployed soldiers and soldiers in VA hospitals.

    3. Adopt a Platoon

    The AdoptaPlatoon Soldier Support EffortTM is a nonprofit 501C-3 organization managed nationwide by volunteer mothers to ensure that deployed United States Service members in all branches of the military are not forgotten by providing needed mail support.

    4. Soldiers’ Angels
    Soldiers’ Angels is dedicated to making sure no troop goes unloved. It was started by a mother whose son requested letters for fellow Soldiers while oversees. You adopt a Soldier, make personal visits, send needed items, or other needed things. The organization also provides support to families of military personnel who are oversees.

    5. Operation Helmet
    Operation Helmet provides helmet upgrade kits free of charge to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to those ordered to deploy in the near future. In addition to providing enhanced blast protection, the helmet upgrades are much more comfortable and stable than the ‘strap/sling’ suspensions that generally come with standard helmets.

    6. Operation Comfort
    Operation Comfort’s mission is to create a nationwide network of mental health providers and agencies to donate their services, free of charge, to family members who have a loved one serving in the Middle East.

    7. Homes for Our Troops
    Homes for Our Troops, Inc., is a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation that builds specially adapted homes for our disabled veterans of war.

    8. Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
    More than half of the men and women who have given their lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere have left behind a spouse or children. These families must now face their future without a husband or wife or father or mother. In addition to their grief, many of them must also address the questions of finding work, where to live, how to raise their children, how to provide for their education, and even how to get food on the table.

    9. Operation Uplink
    Operation Uplink is a program that keeps military personnel and hospitalized veterans in touch with their families and loved ones by providing them with a free phone card. Operation Uplink uses contributions to purchase phone cards and distribute them to servicemen and women who are separated from those they care about.

    10. Operation Homefront
    Operation Homefront was created to channel volunteer support to help the families of deployed military personnel. With hundreds of thousands of service members deployed for war with Iraq, and countless others around the world fighting the war on terrorism, thousands of spouses and children are left behind, many in need. Operation Homefront is there to support military families while their loved ones are deployed.

    And one more.

    Fisher House
    Provides free or low cost lodging to veterans and military families receiving treatment at military medical centers.

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  35. brian stouder said on February 1, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Further to Nance’s RIP, Molly entry – and her observation that Molly was ahead of her time, there is a picture associated with this article about the Boston terror-scare yesterday

    and the caption says Two characters in the cartoon named Ignignokt and Err are “mooninites” — trouble-making characters that look like 1980s-era computer graphics. They are represented on the devices making a hand gesture they often use.

    The coy way that we are told that we were all being flipped off got me laughing…

    But in a larger sense, what is one to think of the spectacle of one of Ted Turner’s adle-brained networks grabbing free publicity by inducing a terror-scare and graphically telling us all to f@ck off??

    Just the type of story that Molly would absolutely smack outta the park!

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  36. Jim said on February 4, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    I can’t speak to what happened in the Vietnam era, since I wasn’t a Soldier then. But I can tell you how I am treated these days and it is almost embarrassingly kind, considerate and gracious. I used to travel on the Washington Metro in uniform frequently and had several occasions where people came up to me and thanked me for my service. One woman even hugged me. I was touched, but again, a little embarrassed. I was, after all, heading to work in an office building. While flying in uniform once, the flight attendant offered me a first-class seat. She was very nice about it, but a little annoyed that I couldn’t accept it.

    As for care packages, it depends on the maturity of the theater. In the early stage of an operation, the PXes haven’t been set up yet and it can be hard to get personal hygiene items. But Iraq is certainly not that way now, unless it’s someone assigned outside of the bases (i.e., attached to an Iraqi unit). Most Soldiers have Internet access and is a great friend to have during a deployment. The PX usually carries a nice variety of DVDs and CDs as well, not to mention tons of snacks.

    All MREs have a small bottle of Tabasco these days. However, most Soldiers probably aren’t eating them that often. You only eat MREs if you can’t get to the dining facility.

    So what to send to a deployed Soldier? Sending alcohol or any other flammable product is a no-no and its possession in theater could get your Soldier a court-martial. Letters, drawings from the kids, photos, home videos are always prized. Cookies are good, too!

    The most important thing is to let your Soldier know that you are thinking of him or her.

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