It’s Not About Politics, It’s About Helping People

Two summers ago, Snickers and I threw a birthday party for Emmie while she was in NYC with Troy and Mareike during the Hike for Heroes. We celebrated how a spunky Shiba was helping her humans walk across America and also raised funds and awareness for military families in financial crisis. It was the first time I’d done any fundraising for people. I thought it would be easier than raising money for dogs, but it was actually harder.

One of the surprising roadblocks that I ran into while planning the event and soliciting donations was a lack of support for the military in general. Friends would tell me that they didn’t support the government’s involvement in a particular war or country and therefore couldn’t donate.

My most common response to that was probably “huh?” and a blank look.

little girl pushing veteranSupporting military families and veterans really isn’t related to whether you support any particular administration, political party or foreign policy. With the exception of World Wars, soldiers – especially soldiers at the lower end of the pay scale – don’t usually go into the military to support any one particular war or policy. Matter-of-fact, policies may change drastically during a soldier’s tour, but they continue to do the same job each day.

This is not an ideal world. Our country needs a military force. At the very least, we have to be able to protect ourselves. Like any enterprise, the military needs employees. They recruit soldiers. People join up for a myriad of reasons. Unlike most enterprises though, employees of the military can find themselves in war zones and the psychological effects of that can be devastating. The military life can be difficult and it is certainly even more of a hardship during economic recession. Veterans, their families, and the families of deployed soldiers often don’t receive the mental or financial support that they need. That is where organizations such as Active Heroes step in to fill the need.

Encouraging the efforts of organizations that help military families and veterans is not synonymous with supporting the politics of war. For me, it’s simply helping fellow human beings who were willing, if necessary, to sacrifice to protect the rest of us.

If adversity to foreign policies or war has stopped you from supporting efforts like this in the past, I hope you’ll reconsider and support "Doggies Helping Veterans" as we try to raise $100,000 for the Active Heroes Retreat. The funds that we raise will be used specifically for a dog park and trails and to start a pet therapy program.

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