I wanted to wish all of you out there a Happy 4th of July! Thank you to all who have walked in the footsteps of our forefathers and paid the price for the freedom that we all enjoy. America was a dream. It is a reality because of the many sacrifices and achievements of our warriors in the field and the families back home that have sent them in to the fray.
The toughest fight we are embroiled in at the moment is in Afghanistan. Not only are we fighting the Taliban and Al Queda and their allies, but we are also fighting for the people. Empowering them was a key to success in Iraq and it will be a vital key to success in Afghanistan.
I have shared the experience that many of our service members have had in having all our pens cleaned out by children. David Scantling recently back from Afghanistan, told me that having a pen is a status symbol for children there, because all of the important people have pens. In a country with a pre war 11% literacy rate (Library of Congress), it is not hard to imagine why.
Handing out school supplies builds a link between our service members and also helps support a more educated populace. This one on one relationship builder has also helped the literacy rate in Afghanistan improve to 28% (UN Development Report).
We thought it appropriate to show support on July 4th for Operation Iraqi Children that buys and supplies service members with school supplies to the children Iraq and Afghanistan.
Operation Iraqi Children was created by Gary Sinise and Laura Hillenbrand after soldiers passing through the Iraqi Villages discovered the poor states of the schools and the lack of basic supplies, making it a struggle for children to simply “learn.” In partnership with People to People International, many soldiers stationed in Iraq (and in other nations served by American troops) work together on their days off to gather supplies sent by friends and families and give them to local schools.
There are many ways to support OIC: the folks close to Kansas City can donate their time and help assemble School Supply Kits to be shipped; those further away can build their own kit and mail it to them. (Please visit the How you can help tab on their homepage
Finally, you can also help the BAW team raise some much needed funds for them. Just enter “independence” at checkout and Brothers at War will donate $2 for every DVD, or limited edition signed poster, and $1 for every mini-poster bought during the month of July. You will also receive a 10% discount on your purchase.
And thank you again for your amazing support. By being active in our Facebook community, forwarding our newsletter to friends and family, purchasing the film and simply talking about Brothers At War, we are able to continue sharing our story all over the world.
Happy 4th of July!