Salute Peace

In honor of both the Marine Corps birthday (today) and Veteran's Day (tomorrow) these Peace Cord bracelets seem appropriate. Made by Afghan women out of military-grade parachute cords, and accented with military buttons, funds from the bracelets "create jobs for impoverished Afghan women, deliver access to education and healthcare, and provide funds to U.S. troops for humanitarian projects to supply necessities like shoes, food and school books to isolated Afghan communities."

While I am far from a eagle (edit: oops, I mean "hawk." I guess eagle seemed more patriotic?) on military matters, I like how these bracelets recognize that much of our military's role is peace-keeping, relationship- and community building. Helping the countries we enter, rather than hurting them. (Although this is not to minimize the damage that fighting and conflict can create.)

It was a epiphany watching a news report on the 10-year anniversary of 9-11 showing a reporter taking pictures of the burning Twin Towers to Afghans in rural parts of the country, and few recognized the image most of us will never get out of our heads. In fact, in a survey of 1,000 rural Afghans, only 8% knew what the pictures depicted. It follows that they would understandably be confused as to why the U.S. military now patrols their villages. The report made me realize how far apart the global issues can be from individual understanding. I like how these bracelets not only symbolize, but truly actualize, helping individual women and honoring the members of the military who serve.

Now the question is, do I get Marine Corps to recognize Jason's service in the reserves? (pictured at top) Navy to remember Dad's civilian scientific work? Or Army for his official service? Coast Guard for Jason's grandfather? Airforce for Uncle Paul? I suppose a have a number of personal family reasons to wear these bracelets too.

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