Bumper stickers are the perfect way to advertise what we want other people to think we think. They are an easy method to convey a message without the inconvenience of having to defend our position or explain why/how that message is worthy of being plastered on the back of our vehicle. In Montana, I've noticed all manner of drive-by-slogans ranging from opinions on constitutional rights, to keeping Missoula weird, to the passive aggressive 'Get Lost' campaign directed toward (attracting?) tourists. But every once in a while I notice a sticker that makes me want to stop the car and ask the driver if they truly believe what it says. My wife never lets me do this.
"We support our troops." Okay, how?
I am not doubting the sincerity of these people and I understand that I'm casting a wide net that will ensnare all types of people, so if this doesn't apply to you then please humor me because I am sure it applies to someone else. I know different people display these stickers... Friends of people in the military, parents of children serving, veterans who want to support those still in active service, spouses. These individuals have a vested interest in this idea. It is personal and intimate to them.
But what about the person who bought (or was given) one of these and simply slapped it on their Escalade or Outback and promptly forgot it was there. It's a great social sentiment but it means nothing more. How exactly, does a person actually support the troops? It involves more than "keeping them in our thoughts." I think about all sorts of things during the day: food, music, sports, my family, the weather, books, zombies, did I mention food? I support these things (okay, minus the zombies) by actively pursuing them and trying to effect positive changes in them. I act. Thinking about something is not the same as supporting that thing. If you can do something in the time it takes a traffic light to change, then I question how much support is actually involved.
One of the the most important things we do for the veterans at Project Homeless Connect is provide them with services. There is a mobile clinic for them to utilize as well as numerous personal items for them to choose from. We believe supporting our troops entails actually trying to provide for them in areas in which they have been neglected. Nearly 1 in 4 homeless people is a US veteran. Our mission is to move from a bumper sticker to a reality.
Please partner with us. If you want a way to support our troops, please donate to PHC or come out and help volunteer.