TL;DR: I support the troops. Here’s some merch that donates money to that cause. Serious stuff and a funny video at the bottom.
For the most part, I keep this blog very light hearted. However, today I will be discussing a cause very near and dear to my heart that may rile some of you up – supporting the United States military. Military support can be controversial as it is tied to many other aspects of our political and cultural landscape such as war, mental health, domestic violence, and 2nd Amendment rights – to name a few.
I’m a huge supporter of the members of our military despite the fact that there are those that give the military a bad name – I would know – however, I think there’s a bigger calling at work here. Bad apples shouldn’t be the poster children for the whole tree. We shouldn’t allow negative perceptions of those “bad apples” to turn us away from everyone else. If anything, we should allow that negativity to motivate us to learn more about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), TBI (Traumatic Brain Injuries), the transition process for those coming home from overseas, and what’s being done by our government and military leaders to help our veterans – and how we can get involved too!
While I encourage showing support everyday, most causes have special days to go all out – in this case, Veteran’s Day. It’s a day to say thank you to those – past and present- that have been a crucial part of American history. What I’m showing you today are charities I think you should check out and my favorite piece of merchandise from their store. I wanted to get this post out so there will be time for you to buy something and wear it this Veteran’s Day. I want to buy it all, but realistically that’s not in my budget, so I plan to buy one or two, then add the rest to a wish list (*cough cough* Christmas is coming 🙂 )
*Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with these groups in terms of profit, so please don’t think clicking these links will earn me anything. These are genuinely good organizations that I support and want to promote, you can check their rating on Charity Navigator,
1.$24.99 and 2. $32.99 The front says “The greatest casualty is being forgotten”
Both shirts are part of the Wounded Warriors Project & Under Armor collection. “Wounded Warrior Project serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families.” (from their website) WWP was one of the first Veteran’s programs I became involved with when I volunteered at one of their Tough Mudder events. Along with their BackPack Program and merchandise, they also coordinate 8K events and several other programs designed to cater to veteran’s “mind, body, economic empowerment, and engagement”.
I find this design a little hard to read at first glance, but I think that’s the point. If you are familiar with the group, you recognize the design. IAVA stands for Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America. IAVA began as a joint project with the Ad Council, but is now a 4 Star Charity geared towards supporting our most recent generation of veterans. It was started in 2004 by an Iraq veteran to assist veterans in various ways in their communities, in politics, and creating a connection with civilians to get them involved as well. This organization is well known for creating “Community of Veterans”, the first online social network exclusively available for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a purely veteran’s only community designed to help with the transition back to civilian life.
4.$28 – act quickly – read below to see why!
Sevenly is not specifically a military charity, however, I think they’re an important organization. Every week Sevenly teams up with a different charity and creates “cause art” merchandise and donates at least $7 of each item back to the specific charity of the week. The reason I say you must act quickly if you like one of their items is because most are exclusive, limited editions. The shirt shown above supports a charity called “4 Paws 4 Ability“, which trains and provides service dogs to those in need, including veterans. While there are service dogs to assist with PTSD related needs and a host of other veteran’s needs, this charity is focused on mobility issues and hearing loss associated with combat.
Last but not least is a charity I’ve been interested in for some time now, Got Your 6. I figure most will know this, but just in case…saying “got your 6” is another way of saying “I’ve got your back”. This group works with the entertainment industry and other non-profit groups to bridge the veteran-civilian gap. They aim to do this through an awareness campaign across TV, print, radio, and social media. 100% of their donations go back to the non-profits that support this campaign.
So there ya have it, which shirt do you like best? Had you heard of any of these charities before? Please let me know of any other charities you like to support that you think I should look into, or any other thoughts in the comments below – thanks for reading! Check my Instagram: @missal_leigh on November 11th to see which shirt I end up wearing!
On a way more serious note: This is an issue I’m currently following/supporting to the best of my ability, please read: Free the Marine: SGT Andrew Tahmooressi
On a way more light hearted note:
This artist creates a series of comics based on his time in the USMC. He’s very talented, and provides commentary so civilians can understand the context/military humor. Great insight to the military presented in a hilarious way: Terminal Lance
One of my favorite military related videos: MOMMA DOG