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Infamy or Praise

Updated: 2018-03-17T05:32:54.673-07:00


Thanksgiving is special.


What other day of the year do I look forward to seeing the Detroit Lions play? What other day of the year does the wife look forward to getting up early to watch people walk with balloons down a street in New York? Ah, Thanksgiving.

In this, the calm before the culinary storm to come, consider a more noble purpose for this day. As you pause to give thanks for your friends, family, and freedoms, why not contribute to help those who've given so much to secure those things?

I've written recently and in years past about Project Valour-IT and that fundraising gauge has lived in the sidebar for some time now; if you've not taken a moment to consider contributing, please take that moment now. This fundraising effort is now up to nearly $73,000 overall, with the Army team's contribution the largest of all the branches, at more than $30,000. Thanks to all of you who've joined me in contributing thus far!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! My sympathies go to those of you who root for the Lions (or, Heaven forbid, play for them); I started this post just after kickoff and now, approximately 20 minutes later, the Lions are down by 11 points. Lions fans, may the turkey and trimmings you will later enjoy remove the bitter taste in your mouths this season.

Veteran's Day Need Never End


Sure, the calendar shows Veteran's Day as occurring only yesterday, on November 11, but our military personnel continue to sacrifice for us the year round. Major Chuck Ziegenfuss advises this morning that Project Valour-IT, an effort I've proudly championed in the past (see here, here, and here), is in dire financial need; consequently, an urgent fundraising effort is underway and will continue for the next couple of weeks.

Those who are not familiar with the project can find more information at the website of its parent charity, Soldiers' Angels. I'll put a donation link in the sidebar and post from time-to-time about the progress this fundraising effort has made. My link will attribute donations to the Army team, but you can donate to any of the other branches' fundraising teams or at the Project Valour-IT site and the donations will all head to the same place, to be used to benefit of our injured servicemen and women.

At the time of this post, cumulative donations for all branches' teams are nearing $12,000; the fundraising goal is $250,000.

Please join me in donating what you can. Thanks, as always, for supporting Project Valour-IT and our troops.

UPDATE: The cumulative donations graphic seems to be having some issues at the moment; I'll remove it from this post for now.

Project Valour-IT Update: V for Victory!


Blackfive and the Valour-IT blog both report that Team Army has come out on top of the the interbranch fundraising drive conducted over the last couple of weeks. All totals are preliminary and, as noted by the project organizers, some donations are still rolling in, but at this point $168,370.91 has been donated overall; of this total, $53,023.00 was raised by the Army-affiliated team.

Congratulations to all involved in this year's drive and my thanks again to those of you who pledged through Infamy or Praise!

Project Valour-IT Update: Veterans' Day


The blogosphere's annual fundraising drive for Project Valour-IT is nearing its Veterans' Day end (you can beat the buzzer by donating via the link below). Although Team Army does not appear likely to reach its lofty fundraising goal this year, I'm pleased to report that it and the other branch-identified teams have succeeded in raising considerable amounts for this worthy cause. The Army team has, at the time of this post, raised $23,416.00; the four branches combined have raised $70,575.00.

My thanks again to those of you who contributed via Infamy or Praise!


Project Valour-IT Update: Happy Birthday, Marines!


Today is the 232d birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Happy birthday, Marines! In honor of the Corps' birthday, let's all take a moment to appreciate the heroic contributions to our nation's freedom made by Marines past and present and to donate to Project Valour-IT via the Team Army link provided below.


Project Valour-IT Update: Crosses to Bear


This photo, taken recently by the amazing journalist Michael Yon in Baghdad, is the talk of the internet today (via Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit):As Yon described to Reynolds, "I photographed men and women, both Christians and Muslims, placing a cross atop the St. John's Church in Baghdad. They had taken the cross from storage and a man washed it before carrying it up to the dome. A Muslim man had invited the American soldiers from 'Chosen' Company 2-12 Cavalry to the church, where I videotaped as Muslims and Christians worked and rejoiced at the reopening of St John's, an occasion all viewed as a sign of hope. The Iraqis asked me to convey a message of thanks to the American people. 'Thank you, thank you,' the people were saying. One man said, 'Thank you for peace.' Another man, a Muslim, said 'All the people, all the people in Iraq, Muslim and Christian, is brother.' The men and women were holding bells, and for the first time in memory freedom rang over the ravaged land between two rivers."Some are explicitly identifying this photo as the Iraq War's "Mount Suribachi" or "Iwo Jima" moment, referring to the iconic photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during the Second World War. Others, like Day by Day's Chris Muir, make that point a little more subtly:Whatever your view of the issue, it's safe to suggest that, like the flag raising on Iwo Jima, the cross raising in Baghdad is not the end of this war; there is a tremendous amount of hardship and bloodshed in the foreseeable future for the Iraqi people and for our own servicemen and servicewomen. Indeed, if the war were to end today, there would still be much which remains to be done to assist those men and women in our armed forces who've sacrificed so much for our benefit and to benefit millions in the Middle East and around the world.Project Valour-IT is one way to assist and, in a small but significant way, repay those sacrifices. Please consider donating today, either at the link below or at the effort's usual donations page (also available in this blog's sidebar). As you can see, the Army Team has raised nearly $19,000 thus far during the interbranch Veteran's Day fundraising effort for Project Valour-IT; the four branches combined have raised nearly $54,000 thus far.[...]

Project Valour-IT


For the last couple of years, I've periodically blogged about and blegged for the Project Valour-IT effort (see here and here).

In this year's Veteran's Day fundraising drive, I'm once again enlisted in the Blackfive-led Army team. Please spare a moment to consider and few bucks to support Project Valour-IT and their outstanding works on behalf of our injured servicemen and servicewomen.


Project Valour-IT Update: Veterans' Day


The Veterans' Day fundraising drive for Project Valour-IT is nearing its close and I'm pleased to report that both Blackfive's Army-affiliated team and the overall effort have exceeded their respective goals!

The Army team has, at the time of this post, raised $46,030.00, exceeding its objective by $1,030.00; the four branches combined have raised $181,170.00, exceeding their fundraising goal by $1,170.00. Congratulations are due all who contributed to this very worthy effort, but especially to the leaders, members, and supports of the Marines' team, which has raised nearly $52,000.00!

My heartfelt thanks again to those of you who contributed via Infamy or Praise!

Project Valour-IT Update: Take the Money and Run


I'm taking a few days off this week, so I'll make this my last Project Valour-IT update. I know the effort is in good hands -- you all know it's a worthy cause and you all know what to do to show your support for our injured servicemen and servicewomen.

Blackfive and the Army are now more than halfway to their objective of $45,000.00, with nearly $25,000.00 in donations received this far; the combined effort has raised more than $88,000.00.

I'm proud to have participated in this year's Veteran's Day fundraising drive. My thanks are gratefully offered to those of you who contributed through the Infamy or Praise sidebar and elsewhere.

Project Valour-IT Update: Have Numbers, Lack Tagline


"Jon Carry" managed to avoid putting his foot in his mouth today.

While this may be good for Democratic candidates nationwide, it's bad for me now that it comes time to theme this Project Valour-IT fundraising update. Rather than trying desperately to fill some dead air and risk botching a joke, I'll just move right along to the numbers:

Blackfive, et al. on the Army team have now passed the $15,000.00 mark (better than one-third of the way along toward the team's goal of $45,000.00); the combined effort now accounts for nearly $57,000.00 in contributions for Soldiers' Angels' Project Valour-IT.

Go Army, beat Navy!

Actually, since this is a worthy cause which benefits injured soldiers regardless of their branch of service, go Navy, too! And Air Force! And Marines!

Go everyone, beat al Qaeda!

Project Valour-IT Update: Kerry On, My Wayward Son


The caissons keep rolling along! Blackfive's Team Army has raised, at the time of this posting, more than $14,500.00 for Project Valour-IT; the four teams combined have generated nearly $53,000.00 in donations to this worthy effort. Nothing to apologize for there!

On the other hand, Senator Kerry did have something to apologize for and, somewhat belatedly but to his credit nonetheless, has apologized for what he and his handlers describe as "a botched joke". Although he's now tacking in another direction, there's still a group of Minnesota-based guardsmen stationed in Iraq who wanted him to know that they still need his help:


UPDATE: The New York Post joins the dogpile:


Project Valour-IT Update: Cash-n-Kerry!


Thanks to all of you who have expressed your support for the Project Valour-IT fundraising effort I mentioned yesterday! The Army team led by Blackfive has, at the time of this posting, raised nearly $8,000.00 toward their $45,000.00 objective; the four teams combined have raised more than $26,000.00 thus far.

Supporting the troops in his own inimitable way is erstwhile Presidential candidate John Kerry, who told a group of college students yesterday:
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq."

For what it's worth, a commenter to Michelle Malkin's website noted that the officers and enlisted personnel in America's armed forces are, by and large, as well educated as or even better educated than the students at Pasadena City College whom Kerry addressed. Senator John McCain also criticized his current Senate and onetime Navy colleague:
Senator Kerry owes an apology to the many thousands of Americans serving in Iraq, who answered their country's call because they are patriots and not because of any deficiencies in their education.

Americans from all backgrounds, well off and less fortunate, with high school diplomas and graduate degrees, take seriously their duty to our country, and risk their lives today to defend the rest of us in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

They all deserve our respect and deepest gratitude for their service. The suggestion that only the least educated Americans would agree to serve in the military and fight in Iraq, is an insult to every soldier serving in combat, and should deeply offend any American with an ounce of appreciation for what they suffer and risk so that the rest of us can sleep more comfortably at night.

Without them, we wouldn't live in a country where people securely possess all their God-given rights, including the right to express insensitive, ill-considered and uninformed remarks.

Perhaps cheeky political blog Wonkette is onto the truth, though; their theory is that Kerry is a "GOP Secret Weapon":
The conservative faithful is roused. Tony Snow has a whole script prepared for today’s spoon-fed question about how John Kerry thinks the troops are morons, talk radio and blogs show the only enthusiasm they’ve managed in a month .... It’s like the White House is paying Kerry to be out in public screwing things up.

Wait a minute!

Fortunately, contributing to worthy causes like Project Valour-IT is not a partisan affair; you can support the troops the Soldiers' Angels way and still support the troops the John Kerry way (and we won't even question your patriotism or "Swift Boat" you)!

V for Valour


Since August 2005, those of you who visit Infamy or Praise have seen a link in the sidebar for Project Valour-IT, the effort by the Soldiers' Angels organization to supply voice recognition software and portable computers to armed forces personnel recovering from hand or arm injuries or amputations. Since the project's inception, the effort has supplied nearly six hundred voice-enabled laptops.

Blackfive and many others are now engaged in a good-natured(?) inter-branch rivalry fundraiser for Project Valour-IT. This competition is set to continue through Veterans' Day and already is responsible for more than $5,000 in donations. Although I grew up in an Air Force family, my sympathies are (and my college ROTC days were) with the Army; as such, I've joined Blackfive's Army fundraising team and will display their donations meter in the sidebar throughout this campaign.

Let's take this opportunity to repay some of the valor shown on our behalf with a bit of Valour of our own. Please pass the word and open your wallets for Project Valour-IT or one of the many other worthy ongoing efforts which Soldiers' Angels has organized.

Thank You


According to The Truth Laid Bear, the blog-based fundraising effort for various Hurricane Katrina relief organizations has raised $1,198,109 in contributions thus far. In all, 1,812 blogs, including Infamy or Praise on behalf of the American Red Cross, have participated. Thank you to all who have donated.

More Blegging for a Worthy Cause


There's unfortunately no end to need in the world these days. I appreciate those who have mentioned to me that last week's post about the Soldiers' Angels Foundation and their Project Valour-IT either prompted them to donate to that charity or a similar one, or to consider doing so in the near future. (And my thanks go also to those of you who donated but didn't drop me a line!) A link to that worthy cause remains in Infamy or Praise's sidebar and will so remain for some time yet.

Let's do some more good.

The news this week has detailed the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina so discomfortingly well that I don't need to recap those effects here. On Tuesday, I posted a donation link to the Red Cross' donation page in the sidebar but didn't draw much attention to it. Certainly, the Red Cross needs no introduction; the tireless efforts of its volunteers and workers year after year, during major disasters and more personal tragedies, here and abroad have made its mission known to all. If you have not already donated to one of the many efforts providing relief to the areas battered by Katrina, please do so now through the donation link in the sidebar.

If you've spent much time today in the blogosphere, you've likely noticed the concerted efforts of hundreds of bloggers, led by the Instapundit and The Truth Laid Bear sites, to raise money for and draw needed attention to the numerous charities involved in the relief and rebuilding efforts now ongoing in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Please take the time to donate to the Red Cross here or to another effort at another blog site and take a second as well to register your generousity on the TLLB contribution logging page, to see your contribution add to the thousands of dollars blog writers and readers have raised for this noble and necessary effort.

Ain't Too Proud to Bleg for a Worthy Cause


For those who may not have yet heard of the group, Soldiers' Angels is a very worthy cause indeed. The foundation is dedicated to providing aid and comfort to military personnel and their families and "to ensuring that our military know they are loved and supported during and after their deployment into harm's way". From their website:
In the summer of 2003, [Sgt. Brandon Varn] wrote home expressing his concern that some soldiers did not receive any mail or support from home. Being a caring and loving mother, [his mother, Patti Patton-Bader,] decided not to allow a situation like that to continue. She contacted a few friends and extended family to ask if they would write to a soldier or two.

Within a few short months, The Soldiers' Angels Foundation went from a mother writing a few extra letters to an Internet Community with thousands of angels worldwide and growing stronger with the addition of new members daily. With more and more merchants donating services, money and items for packages, the Angels reorganized as a 501 c 3 non-profit so all donations would be tax deductible.

Soldiers' Angels currently supports thousands of American Service Members stationed wherever we raise our Country's Flag and the number is growing daily. We also work tirelessly supporting our Wounded Soldiers, with transitional backpacks, personal visits, phone calls, etc. Additionally, we send our thanks via letters and email to the military of Great Britain, Poland and Australia who serve by our soldiers side in Iraq.

The group supports a number of intiatives, including providing care packages and long-distance calling cards to deployed personnel, airline frequent-flyer miles to their families, and Kevlar-armored protection blankets to provide extra shielding for Humvees in combat zones.

Now, in addition to those and other projects, Soldiers' Angels has begun a new initiative -- Project Valour-IT:
provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse.

I have posted a donation link at the top of Infamy or Praise's sidebar; please join me in supporting Project Valour-IT and the many other outstanding Soldiers' Angels efforts.