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One way we can say thank you

Fortordsign photoHappy New Year! I know I’m a little late on this, but it did not seem like too many people were paying attention last week. 2012 was a challenging year for all of us, but I hope that many of you, like me, found moments of joy and positivity and can look back to see perhaps a number of things that may indicate a better year for you in 2013.

On January 3rd, Michael Moore wrote a blog titled Those Who Say "I Support the Troops" Should Just Stop, Out of Respect for the Troops. What was amazing to me is the number and diversity of veterans and military community members who posted the blog on twitter and facebook, most agreeing with Mr. Moore’s comments, a man who for one reason or another does not typically enjoy a large following within the military. His point was, that if individuals are not working in some way to directly alleviate the challenges our service members and veterans have each day, then they are not supporting the troops.

He's right. While there are people, who in the right time and place can say a meaningful thank you to our service members in words alone and not alienate or upset service members, those people and those situations are rare. If you're wondering whether or not you are one of those people and are not backing up your words, or your yellow ribbon car magnet, with actions, chances are you are not.

Words without actions are empty and often hurtful. When actions begin to trump words, however, real support is demonstrated and over time positive change is made. The flip side of that is that members of the military and veteran community also have to be part of the same action. We cannot be passive recipients of support or help and cannot allow ourselves as members of the military and veteran community to become a special entitled class in America. There comes a time when we need to step up and seek out the resources and support required that can leverage our skills and experiences to be leaders in our broader community. It is however, the community's duty to help provide those services and in many cases the are.

As a veteran, and I can only speak for myself, but I think many of my sisters and brothers would agree, I don't need grand gestures in 2013. Instead a focused commitment to extend you or your organization's daily weekly, monthly, or annual routine of service, outdoor acivity, community outreach or the like to include a local veteran, service member, military family, VFW Post, IAVA, or the like in what you do, your actions will show us there's another mission waiting.

As part of its commitment to do just that, Sierra Club's National Outings program provides a 10% discount on all national outings trips to make getting outside more accessible for those who served, and are serving, to defend our nation including active duty, National Guard, reservist, veterans, and their families. In addition, limited scholarships of up to 50% off the price of trips, are available for three specific trips this year, two in the desert southwest of Utah that are perfect for families, couples, or single service members and veterans:




and one at one of our Nation’s most recent National Monuments and former military bases, Fort Ord, California.


If you are interested, please click on the above links and get in touch with the specific trip leader for more information. If you apply, be prepared to send in a copy of your DD214 or military ID to prove your military status.

Here’s to a great 2013 and getting outside!

-Stacy Bare



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