Veterans Appreciate Rockaway's Support
Thank you for the center page color photos showing the citizens of Rockaway turning out to show support for our wounded members of the Armed Forces. This proves that many people are showing their appreciation of our servicemen and women, even if it means welcoming them into their own homes. However, just a short time ago, not many were aware of the Wounded Warriors Project. Civil service employees of this city have always been supportive of the armed forces as well, as they have shown it in so many ways. NYPD precincts would collect basic amenities like deodorant, foot powder, insect repellant and snacks and ship them to troops deployed to the Middle East and Afghanistan. Firefighters added graphics to their apparatus, which reads "We Support of Troops." Individuals who reach out to the men and women in uniform in such a manner show that regardless of political leaders or personal beliefs that they are grateful for a service given to them by total strangers. This is crucial to maintaining strong morale amongst these individuals who make sacrifices for the sake of total strangers. As a citizen of Rockaway and also a veteran of Operation of Iraqi Freedom, I can say I am proud to live in a place that shows such gratitude to the troops. When I learned I was going to Iraq some time ago, I was given offers of thanks, prayer, and a number of handshakes. This included business owners, local political leaders of various parties, members of the clergy and friends and acquaintances acquired through the years. After my return home nearly a year ago, what was supposed to be a quiet transition back into normal life was now filled with ubiquitous welcome banners, yellow ribbon T-Shirts and now parades attended by people waving U.S. flags and cheering their support. Needless to say, I was very happy to see the full color photos of this event. Much thanks to your newspaper for covering this, and much thanks to those that show their support to the armed forces. If only other communities in the United States would follow Rockaway, we'd be all right.