Memorial Day: Honor the Dead, Help and Support the Living

On Memorial Day we should respect our warrior dead, and remember their devotion to duty and their sacrifice, and be grateful.

But on Memorial Day, we should also give assistance and support to our living veterans. There was a good column in today’s WaPo entitled Remember the Wounded. And we can do more than remember. We can open our wallets.

There is a list of groups offering support to those serving, including wounded soldiers, here, and Winds of Change has a very comprehensive list here. Take a look at these lists, find a cause you like. Then give them some money.

I used to be a fundraiser, and I found that it is best not to dilly-dally too long, but to go ahead and get to “the ask”. I also found that getting someone to give a decent-sized “leading gift” is helpful. So …

To put my own money where my mouth is, today I have sent $1,000 to the Wounded Warriors Project:

The “Wounded Warrior” project seeks to assist those men and women of our armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world. Many of the injuries are traumatic amputations, gunshot wounds, burns and blast injuries that will retire these brave warriors from military service. These wounded soldiers will return to civilian life minus one or more limbs, or with serious wounds or disfiguring scars, and will face greater challenges today obtaining assistance and finding opportunities that would enable them to provide for themselves and their families.

Many of us who read and write blogs supported the President and supported the invasion of Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. The necessary consequence of those decisions, which we supported, was that many Americans would die or suffer serious wounds. The absolute least we can do is make some contribution to help those who have carried out those missions, including those who will carry serious wounds for the rest of their lives.

I hope that the community of ChicagoBoyz readers will open their wallets and give generous financial support to one of the many worthy groups who are working to help our veterans, to help those still serving and their families, or those who have been wounded.

If you match or surpass my contribution to some good cause, terrific. If you give some smaller amount, that is great, too. But remember, there are people in rehab right now who gave arms and legs. So, give something.

Happy Memorial Day. Thank you to all our veterans, living and dead.

God bless America.


I got a good response from my old friend Chicago Litigator Pundit (“CLP”). He wrote:

Thanks for bringing the Wounded Warrior Project website to my attention. I have come to the (probably obvious) view that those who put their lives on the line for our country are the ultimate heroes, more so than presidents, judges, great scientists, philosophers, or other important contributors to our society. The contributions and accomplishments of the latter group, even those that are historically pivotal, may be greater, but the heroism of those who have gone to war for this country, fought for freedom, or otherwise put their lives on the line for us (including, for example, firemen, policemen, and the passengers of Flight 93) is far greater.

Having failed to do anything remotely heroic in support of the great cause for which our men and women are fighting for in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, making a contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project seems like a good way to help these heroes. Perhaps it is a selfish way of making myself feel better, but it does make me feel better. (I matched your contribution.)

I responded essentially as follows:

I agree with every word. I have never done anything dangerous in my life. I call myself “Lexington Green” but the people who were wounded or died on the real Lexington Green gave me more than I can ever dream of repaying. And the “minutemen” of today make contributions which are every bit as valuable, and also beyond my ability to repay. But, at least I can do something rather than nothing. So I did. I am glad you matched my contribution. I hope a few more people do.

So come on, ChicagoBoyz readers, get out those credit cards.

UPDATE II:Here is a link where you can find the VA facility nearest you.

10 thoughts on “Memorial Day: Honor the Dead, Help and Support the Living”

  1. Great comments by Lexington Green and CLP. Concur in CLP’s definition of “hero.” God determines who will be heroes in a noble cause. We control only whether we will contribute to it. There is no shame in not being a hero. There is shame in not being a contributor while soaking up the benefits of heroic sacrifice.

  2. If you didn’t happen to serve, don’t beat yourself up about it. There isn’t room for all the Americans of good will.

    When I was in Afghanistan, I was very conscious of being the tip of a spear that had a very great nation behind it. One reason that I was able to be so well equipped and supported is that we have great engineers, scientists, businessmen, educators, and so forth.

    We had so much support in terms of stuff sent from people back home, church groups, elementary schools, etc., that it was embarrassing. I hope that the guys in Iraq are as well taken care of.

    What you’re doing with Wounded Warriors is outstanding. I used to urge people to give to SOWF, but no more. (They paid big bucks to give Hillary a podium during the election period and she used her speech to slime those ex-operators who now work for private military contractors. That broad has no class; neither does SOWF). I’ll make sure the guys in my circle know about Wounded Warriors as a better, apolitical option for giving.

    Unlike SOWF, WW also supports wounded from the conventional forces, who are bearing the brunt of the war right now.

  3. What is the economics of donating to charity? How does it benefit the giver? People don’t do anything without incentives. Is donating money a LOGICAL think to do?

  4. Half Sigma, you have to take the partial derivative of your own subjective utility function to determine how many utils you would get from making a donation. If the figure is positive, it is logical to give.

    Rathern than report the results of your investigation, just give some money.

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