By Matt Calabrese, GSB ‘15
I was eight years old when Al-Qaeda attacked our country. At the time, I never really grasped what the consequences of these actions really meant. In the blink of an eye, we lost over 3000 Americans as a result of the deadliest terrorist attack this country has ever seen. We were at war. However, we did what Americans do best: we got back up and showed our enemy that we could never be beat. As we began to recover from this premeditated attack, America’s bravest were getting ready to ship overseas and protect our freedom.
Growing up on Long Island, I remember everyone tying yellow ribbons around their trees and cars to signify that they support our troops. I also remember every news station showing images of families across the country saying good bye to their loved ones as they boarded planes headed to Afghanistan and Iraq. It was amazing to see the amount of pride in one’s country being shared by every American.
However, after 11 years of war, this patriotism and support has seemed to fade away. Today, yellow ribbons are a rarity, and the top news story is about football referees messing up a major call. It’s obvious that this war is no longer a major focus of the American people, and this is upsetting. Americans continue to enlist to support this cause, while others return for multiple tours. As I have grown older, I have developed a tremendous respect for our men and women in uniform. Our military is made up entirely of volunteers willing to sacrifice their lives in order to support a cause that is bigger than them. Anyone who is willing to put a uniform on and sacrifice their life for this country is an amazing individual. Because of this, I find it extremely important to keep supporting our troops to show that we still do recognize their efforts. As civilians, we can show support in many ways. We can display an American Flag or a yellow ribbon, but we can also donate to the various charities that support deployed troops and troops that have returned to civilian life.
Recently, I have found an amazing charity called “Cup of Joe for a Joe” by Green Beans Coffee. Through this charity, Americans can simply donate cups of coffee to our soldiers overseas. With every cup you donate, you get to send a small note to each soldier that receives your coffee.
Picture this: a soldier returns back to base after a full day of operations and he/she is greeted with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and a caring note to them. However, the cool part is that the soldiers can respond to you! You know when someone does something nice for you and you can’t help but smile and be thankful? This charity is exactly that for soldiers. Unlike most charities where you donate money and you never know exactly how it’s being used, this charity is simpler. You buy an inexpensive cup of coffee that gets delivered directly to a soldier. This simple charity is amazing and it’s a great way to show our soldiers that we are thinking about them.
If you are interested in donating you can visit the Green Beans Coffee site. One cup of coffee can make any soldier’s day.