28 September 2007

Cuppa GI Joe

I am writing this to ask you (all what, seven of you) for a favor.

Now, I don't know what you think about the wars we are in. Heck, half the time I wonder if I know what I think about what we've gotten ourselves tangled up in. One thing I do know, there are lots of really great people over 'there' doing what the powers that be have told them needs doing. Even if you exclude the whole fact that you are getting SHOT AT, BOMBED, and otherwise endangered, life there often sucks.

You are away from your family for months. The weather is lousy. There is no sex. There is no beer. And the coffee tastes like . . .

Um, well, yeah, uh, let's just say the coffee tastes bad. And you can't do much about about most of that, but you CAN do something about the coffee. You don't need to go to the store, the post office, or get yourself tangled in that packing tape stuff. There are all these wonderful coffee companies, many of them micro roasters, who are happy to send your coffee donation to the troops. They vary in how they work, how much they charge, whether or not they match the donation, things like that. I have listed a few, I am sure you can find more, perhaps even someone local to you.

So raise a mug in salute to their service, and if you can, help them raise a mug too.


Coffee Donations To The Troops:

Boca Java will match your coffee donation pound for pound. (this is who I use)
Island Joe's won't win any web design awards, but their award winning coffee can be donated.
Maxey Coffee Company will send your coffee donation to a service member and a buck to AnySoldier.com.
Dunkin Donuts holds a monthly drawing, 50 winners a month receive a case of coffee. FREE!

11 September 2007

Off The Beaten Path

It is a bit hard to get to, though you can see it easily from the 395. The folks building roads in the DC area love to make you change lanes, and you need to drift right, and right, and right again across about a zillion lanes of traffic. The signs are barely there, they could not be more than a couple feet square and a couple dozen yards before the road you need to take.

But finally, there you are. The US Air Force Memorial. Situated on a bit of land next to the Navy Annex, its spires rise out of the ground and soar skyward. As you walk the grounds, the quiet of the place seeps into you, despite being surrounded by asphalt and traffic.

The quiet is deeper than immediately apparent. As you stand under the spires and look to the distant Washington DC skyline, a large flag comes into view. It is then that you realize that here, 6 years ago, a plane taken over by evil in human form flew over. Low enough to see and hear far too much, it crashed moments later into the side of the Pentagon.

On that day, people stood in parking lots, sat in cars stuck in the traffic, jogged along paths and sidewalks, and in a moment were forever changed by their witnessing of history. Many still hear the plane in their dreams.

On that day, it was hitting or missing the traffic. A TDY. A transfer to a job a month before. Stopping for coffee on the way into work. A newly reinforced building section, offices miraculously empty because so many had yet to move in. All that stood between life and death on that day was a moment, a split second decision.

On that day, there was no rank. Military and civilian from the very top of the ranks to the very bottom dug in the rubble, and listened to the firefighters, and prayed.

Never forget.