Today I officially adopted a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq. It was easier than you might think. I didn't adopt him in the traditional wrapped-in-a-receiving-blanket way, but in a "Hey, I don't know you, but I'd like to send you a care package or something."
He's only 20 and works seven days a week on patrol, 12 hours a day. Those are the patrols shown in Gunners Palace where every random piece of trash on the road could be a goodbye note written to you in the form of an improvised explosive device. He was supposed to be done with his service in January, but got pulled back in under a loophole he didn't realize existed.
As much as I disagree with the deception that led up to the war and the fact that the U.S. chose to invade the country, and as much as I hate the suffering and casualties of Americans, coalition soldiers and innocent Iraqi citizens, I support our troops just like the magnetized bumper ribbons suggest (with the exception of the Abu Gharib and Gitmo bad seeds, of course).
So I've taken one troop in particular under my wing, so to speak. As in, I plan to send him plenty of Butterfingers and Adam Sandler movies. Anyhow, all that sentimental hogwash about how helping someone else will make you feel less bored or blue are true. Who the hell knew?
While I'm feeling all warm 'n' fuzzy, I'll also share this Goethe quote (another ubiquitously magnetized message):
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Begin it now."