Surely You Can Spare $1 for a Veteran

Written By: Kim - May• 26•12

Today I was grocery shopping at my local store. As I exited, the ladies from the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars (VFW) were selling their “Buddy” Poppy. The simple selling point is: “Remember our veterans.” These flowers are assembled in VA hospitals by disabled and needy veterans according to the VFW’s website.

A new "Buddy" Poppy to add to my collection.

As I do whenever the Buddy Poppies are on sale, I donate and get one for my car or more if my children are with me. All three of their grandfathers, their father, aunts and uncles served in the US military. It is a gentle reminder for them and me that someone else sacrificed so that we may live in a free country. Someone else stepped up to serve to help those oppressed in other areas of the world. Someone else’s life was changed forever because of his or her selfless act. The least we can do is donate a couple of dollars.

How can someone say no to that? I understand turning down Girl Scout cookies, Boy Scout popcorn or softball team fundraising bake sales. These types of food are not for everyone. Imagine my surprise when a guy turned this down with a polite “no thank you.” It took all my adult patience not to march in to the store after him and speak to him. Who knows. Maybe he works for the VFW and has hundreds in his garage.

So, this weekend when you see someone selling the Buddy Poppy outside of your local stores, please stop and donate. Surely you can spare $1 for a veteran.

Well Said My Fellow American

Written By: Kim - Apr• 28•12

Earlier this week, I traveled to Orlando, Fla., for DigitalNow 2012, which is an amazing conference for association professionals. The most pleasant cab driver from Washington Flyer picked me up at my home.

Originally from Pakistan, he immigrated to the US 15 years ago. He received his US citizenship a couple of years back. He wants his 7 year-old son to attend West Point. His naturalization ceremony was held at Thomas Jefferson’s home in Monticello outside of Charlottesville, Va. I cannot think of a more perfect spot than the home of the father of the Declaration of Independence. 

I often ask my cab drivers if they seem open to conversation and who often hail from other countries what they miss most about their home. I had a cab driver last December say that, “America was his home” even though he originated from India. What a powerful and moving statement that was.

My conversation this week yielded the same, powerful response: “I have not returned to Pakistan in the 15 years since I left.” Powerful words which testify to why America opens her arms. We were a country founded on immigrants. The Statue of Liberty’s poem holds powerful words for Americans to remember. This is not a post about immigration reform. I am simply reminded by a new American what it means to live in this amazing country:

Anyone can come to America and is offered the chance at a better life. In Pakistan, when we go to a movie, the announcement beforehand reminds everyone to look under our seats for any signs of a bomb. I came from another country and my son has the chance to attend West Point or any other college. There are not many countries in the world where you can argue with your politician and still be alive to tell the story the next day. The founding fathers guaranteed citizen’s rights that many other countries, even now, do not enjoy. The founding fathers were pretty smart.

Well said, my fellow American. Well said.

So remember: It’s your Constitutional right and duty as an American citizen. Get out and vote. I know my cab driver does.