A little support goes a long way

That little yellow magnet on the back of your car reads support the troops, but when was the last time you looked at it or even noticed if it is still there? The media doesn’t talk about troop support like they did soon after we engaged in war. Does this mean that the troops aren’t supported any more, or is it just under the radar?

“I think it’s still pretty high … I ‘m not back in New York, but I think it hasn’t wavered too much. I feel that support for the war has gone down tremendously, but I think America still supports us,” said Spc. Carlos Ozuna, a soldier from New York who is on his first tour over in Iraq.

Support is everywhere on the roadways, but besides the yellow ribbons on cars what other support-the-troops efforts are being made?

Numerous organizations have started up since our country went to war and Web sites like anysoldier.com have been created to help with shipping goods and supplies, in the form of care packages, to our troops overseas.

“Sometimes, if I’m lucky, people post items that they want, so with the money that we raise I do my best to put them together,” said Maggy Brooks, president of the support the troops club at Castleton State College.

The anysoldier.com site that Castleton’s club uses has nearly 4,000 soldiers it sends packages to.

“The packages can last from a week to several weeks, food goes by pretty quick, I tend to share with the guys in my platoon and the food here sucks so when you get stuff sent from home it doesn’t last long,” Ozuna said.

The C.S.C. Support the Troops Club started at the beginning of last year.

“It was a community service idea for the freshman to do at the end of orientation. I decided to do it, but didn’t know what to do so I just started the club,” said Brooks.

The club raised more than $700 dollars last semester alone, and all the profits went to sending care packages to the troops.

“The amount of support in the communities is amazing,” said Darren Duquette, a soldier with the National Guard who returned this past summer from his tour.

But even with countless groups sending care packages, Ozuna said soldiers certainly aren’t inundated with them.

“I have received a few care packages, maybe five to seven,” said Ozuna, who was deployed in early September. “Usually the items I get are food, soap, shaving stuff, movies, pictures; it all depends really on who is sending it.

Some people may be skeptical about going to online sites, but that isn’t the only way to support the troops. Castleton’s group holds events like Texas Hold’em nights and 50/50 raffles to offer community members ways to help out without jumping online.

“You don’t hear enough about it any more,” said Steven Alustiza, a cadet from Norwich University who is commissioned with the U.S. Army. “But I think the efforts are great and they help the military to know there are people who support them.

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