Manufactured in America

Operation Care and Comfort care packages

Operation Care and Comfort care packages (Photo credit: Presidio of Monterey: DLIFLC & USAG)

This morning a blogger friend of mine and a guest blogger on this site, Gina, wrote a wonderful piece on a few ways that Soldiers keep in touch with home. She mentioned a matchbox car contest, sending holiday cards, and reading children’s books via Skype. This is the link to her article: A World Away From Walmart.

Nothing in her post was vicious and nothing should have been provocative. And yet, one of her readers found something to complain about. A very trivial matter really. One that didn’t really lend itself to the discussion at hand. He replied to her

I wonder if they are concerned about where the parts were manufactured?!

Well, that made me angry, and I know it got to Gina too. The man missed the point completely. Who cares where the toys were made? Who cares where the cards were printed? No one involved cared because it wasn’t an issue. It wasn’t the object; It was something more.

It’s the Pepsi can with English lettering not Arabic script , the Campbell soup can with the red label not the blue one, the Starbucks coffee mug not the white styrofoam cup. It’s the matchbox car that is the same size, shape, and color as the one that a little autistic boy and his father played with after supper. It’s the Birthday, Valentine, Easter, Halloween and Christmas card that a father slipped into his daughter’s backpack before she headed to school. It’s the story book that helps siblings too young to read fall peacefully asleep. It’s holding a partners hand and cracking redneck jokes while shopping at the Walmart. It’s all the little reminders of home and being loved. Those feelings of being connected and belonging.

Many times that is what is missing on the battle field. A feeling of home. And that dear sir, who had the audacity to question, is unequivocally manufactured here in America.

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2 thoughts on “Manufactured in America

  1. Ollie, you beautifully capture what these little touches of home can mean for our deployed. And this is an eloquent and moving response to that reader’s comment. As you know, I had a hard time responding without just sounding angry (so I kept it short)
    I think what bothered me most is that he had no concern for the troops or their families..no care that they were doing all they could, during the most difficult and dangerous time of their lives, to stay connected….to make sure their children felt loved.
    He truly did miss the point. But I am grateful that so many others haven’t. That there are so many of us who are thrilled to send a toy or a card or whatever it takes. That “concern” comes from the heart. And yes it is made right here at home. Thank you for this wonderful post.
    G

    • Thanks G,
      There are times in the military when its good to mess around, have fun, and relax. Then there are time when everything becomes direct, and dead serious. But there is never a time for snarky. Military families spend years learning that delicate balance. I think average civilians just haven’t caught up to it yet.

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