Winds of Change.NET: Liberty. Discovery. Humanity. Victory.

Formal Affiliations
  • Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto
  • Euston Democratic Progressive Manifesto
  • Real Democracy for Iran!
  • Support Denamrk
  • Million Voices for Darfur
  • milblogs
Syndication
 Subscribe in a reader

Spirit Of America: After-Action Report

| 8 Comments | 12 TrackBacks
Well, I'm tired!! A late night last night, and then up at 4:45am to get on the road to Pendleton. And a great day packing swag for Iraqis. I want to publicly thank Jim Hake of www.spiritofamerica.net for pulling this together, and more, for letting me do this. I can pack medic bags in my sleep now...and I'm looking forward to doing it again. The crowd was far larger than I feared (am I the only one who worries for the first 20 minutes of my own party that no one else will show?), but still smaller than I hoped. I'd guess there were 20 volunteers, matched by an equal number of green-uniformed Marines, who ranged from a petite (really, she was like 5'1", there's no other word) blonde woman to a guy who had to be 6'4". Both the Marines and the volunteers were amazing; energetic, always moving, swarming over the piles of stuff and reducing them to a stack of stuffed school bags and a pile of empty boxes. The Marine commanders, a Top Sgt. and Col. (I'll keep names out of this for now, but may add them in later) were impressive to me - arrogant as I am - because of their obvious intelligence and attention. They missed nothing the whole day. My cohort - the Chaya Venice-lunching crowd - doesn't understand the energy and intelligence that those who run the military have and that they somehow unlock in these kids. Or maybe it was always that way, and we just didn't know. Celebrity sightings included Jim Hake, Lt. Smash (who thinks the frisbees will have the biggest impact), Da Goddess Her Own Self (who has a renewed appreciation for camouflage - and look what she's done to the place over at cat-hating Acidman's!!), and Gerard Van der Leun, who kept me in stitches the whole day. But the accomplishment will show up on Gerard's blog, when he posts the picture he took (I spaced and left the camera home) of the giant pile of kits of medical equipment stretching across the yard toward the containers. Each kit was sadly less complete than what I carry in my car (OK, they have a stethoscope and a blood pressure cuff). But in many neighborhoods, they may well be most of the medical gear available to the families and kids who live there. Kids who will now have school supplies (and frisbees!!). And the Marines - the U.S. Marines - will have given it to them. I think stuffing bags and helping that happen is worth spending a day away from billable work to do. And I'm dying to do it again.

12 TrackBacks

Tracked: January 22, 2004 10:14 AM
Excerpt: Citizen Smash - The Indepundit LCDR (sel) Smash reports on the Spirit of America effort to win hearts and minds, spending yesterday filling bags and containers with donated material for their return to Iraq. It's fun to read about their time spent help...
Tracked: January 22, 2004 4:34 PM
A Fun Day from Citizen Smash - The Indepundit
Excerpt: WE ARRIVE at the Main Gate of Camp Pendleton shortly before the appointed hour of 9am. A small crowd is...
Tracked: January 23, 2004 4:11 PM
Small Moves from American Digest
Excerpt: "Small moves, Sparks.... Small moves..." -- from the movie “Contact” Organized chaos amidst organized clutter and the distinct sense that somewhere there was a war on. Driving from the main gate to the mustering area you glance in your side mirror and ...
Tracked: January 23, 2004 4:11 PM
Small Moves from American Digest
Excerpt: "Small moves, Sparks.... Small moves..." -- from the movie “Contact” Organized chaos amidst organized clutter and the distinct sense that somewhere there was a war on. Driving from the main gate to the mustering area you glance in your side mirror and ...
Tracked: January 23, 2004 5:23 PM
Excerpt: more on this is coming ... a thorough round up ... the following will be replaced with the complete story later today. An Amazing Day It was a beautiful thing ... on Wednesday about 40 volunteers from all parts of...
Tracked: January 23, 2004 8:58 PM
Excerpt: American Digest has a beautiful post about the day. Armed Liberal has his recollections of the day up. Captain Poopdeck...
Tracked: January 24, 2004 3:27 AM
Excerpt: Media Coverage Following is a rundown of the media coverage of our efforts at Camp Pendleton PRINT/ONLINE San Diego Union Tribune, Marines enlist civilians' help to carry good will, gifts to Iraq Los Angeles Times, (Subscription) Frisbees, other suppli...
Tracked: January 24, 2004 3:32 AM
Excerpt: An Amazing Day It was a beautiful thing ... on Wednesday about 40 volunteers from all parts of Southern California and over 50 Marines worked side by side to prepare for shipment the goods Spirit of America had donated for...
Tracked: January 27, 2004 3:48 PM
Excerpt: School kit assembly at Camp Pendleton It was a beautiful thing ... on Wednesday about 40 volunteers from all parts of Southern California and over 50 Marines worked side by side to prepare for shipment the goods Spirit of...
Tracked: January 29, 2004 4:24 PM
Excerpt: School kit assembly at Camp Pendleton It was a beautiful thing ... on Wednesday about 40 volunteers from all parts of Southern California and over 50 Marines worked side by side to prepare for shipment the goods Spirit of...
Tracked: January 30, 2004 4:10 PM
Excerpt: School kit assembly at Camp Pendleton It was a beautiful thing ... on Wednesday about 40 volunteers from all parts of Southern California and over 50 Marines worked side by side to prepare for shipment the goods Spirit of...
Tracked: February 6, 2004 9:40 PM
Excerpt: School kit assembly at Camp Pendleton It was a beautiful thing ... on Wednesday about 40 volunteers from all parts of Southern California and over 50 Marines worked side by side to prepare for shipment the goods Spirit of...

8 Comments

My son who serves with the 1/7, and who spent 7 months in An Najaf and Al Hillah last year, will return to Iraq next August. The gifts brought by the first wave of redeployed Marines and the good will generated will help make my son's job easier. Thank you so much for what you did today.

I was there, too, and it was a good day. Lots of camaraderie while assisting in a very worthwhile, if unglamorous, part of the Marines' mission in Iraq. Armed Liberal was ebulliently keeping things moving as Jim worked with the Marine leadership to plan the next step. I was honored to meet all those mentioned above -- good people with whom anyone of good will would be proud to be associated.

Semper Fi, Marines, and stay safe!

I was rather shocked to hear on the local news tonight that THOUSANDS of Marines and civilians worked to put the kits together.

Was I really so tired that I missed the rest of the group?

I had a wonderful time and can't wait for the next opportunity to help out!

Wow, I wish I could have been there too, sounds like it was amazing!

And to Da Goddess, I've been amazed by the news reports about Operation Give and the Chief's toy drive, I've yet to see one that is 100% accurate and some that are out of left field. My favorite was an interview with me I read in a University Newspaper. It was my favorite because I've either gone completely senile or the reporter made the whole thing up. I never gave her an interview.

Anyway, I'm glad it worked out well. Congrats to all of you!

I'm dying to help at the next go-around.
Amy

I suspect that the count of THOUSANDS by the press was because they have never seen a group of more than 5 people that were actually doing something productive rather than just marching in 'protest' of those that were being productive.

I was there too--it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed meeting people in, ah, meatspace that I had only encountered in cyberspace before. A.L. is right; one lady I met (another volunteer) described the Marines as "ants" in terms of their speed, efficiency, and organization. They were pretty impressive.

I hope the Iraqi children enjoy the school supplies we packed up, and the Iraqi doctors find the medical supplies useful. The frisbees will likely be the most effective part of the shipment, though, as they are durable and multifunctional (everything is tagged or printed with the word "friendship" in English and Arabic).

Anyway, I had a great time, and I'd definitely do it again, given the opportunity.

Thank you so much for contributing your time and energy to this - I really wish I could have helped out. Next time fer shure, I'll be there with camoflauge-painted bells on!

Leave a comment

Here are some quick tips for adding simple Textile formatting to your comments, though you can also use proper HTML tags:

*This* puts text in bold.

_This_ puts text in italics.

bq. This "bq." at the beginning of a paragraph, flush with the left hand side and with a space after it, is the code to indent one paragraph of text as a block quote.

To add a live URL, "Text to display":http://windsofchange.net/ (no spaces between) will show up as Text to display. Always use this for links - otherwise you will screw up the columns on our main blog page.




Recent Comments
  • TM Lutas: Jobs' formula was simple enough. Passionately care about your users, read more
  • sabinesgreenp.myopenid.com: Just seeing the green community in action makes me confident read more
  • Glen Wishard: Jobs was on the losing end of competition many times, read more
  • Chris M: Thanks for the great post, Joe ... linked it on read more
  • Joe Katzman: Collect them all! Though the French would be upset about read more
  • Glen Wishard: Now all the Saudis need is a division's worth of read more
  • mark buehner: Its one thing to accept the Iranians as an ally read more
  • J Aguilar: Saudis were around here (Spain) a year ago trying the read more
  • Fred: Good point, brutality didn't work terribly well for the Russians read more
  • mark buehner: Certainly plausible but there are plenty of examples of that read more
  • Fred: They have no need to project power but have the read more
  • mark buehner: Good stuff here. The only caveat is that a nuclear read more
  • Ian C.: OK... Here's the problem. Perceived relevance. When it was 'Weapons read more
  • Marcus Vitruvius: Chris, If there were some way to do all these read more
  • Chris M: Marcus Vitruvius, I'm surprised by your comments. You're quite right, read more
The Winds Crew
Town Founder: Left-Hand Man: Other Winds Marshals
  • 'AMac', aka. Marshal Festus (AMac@...)
  • Robin "Straight Shooter" Burk
  • 'Cicero', aka. The Quiet Man (cicero@...)
  • David Blue (david.blue@...)
  • 'Lewy14', aka. Marshal Leroy (lewy14@...)
  • 'Nortius Maximus', aka. Big Tuna (nortius.maximus@...)
Other Regulars Semi-Active: Posting Affiliates Emeritus:
Winds Blogroll
Author Archives
Categories
Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en