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How to Remember the Soldiers this Holiday


December 24, 2004
MoveOn.org

During this holiday season, our hearts go out to those in harm’s way. That’s why we’re highlighting an opportunity to help a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan call home for the holidays, and provide humanitarian assistance to refugee families in Iraq. It’s a great way to let them know we care.

http://www.envirosagainstwar.org/edit/index.php?op=edit&itemid=2199

(December 23, 2004) -- This is a cherished time of year, when we take time out from the workaday world to focus on our families and friends.

Our thoughts also naturally go to those in harm's way -- the young American men and women who won't be with their families this holiday season, and the Iraqi refugee families that face a long, cold winter. That's why we're highlighting two opportunities for MoveOn members to reach out in the holiday spirit to the people who are paying the true costs of war.

For the 160,000 men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan, even a holiday call home can be prohibitively expensive. That's why the United Service Organizations (USO) has launched "Operation Phone Home" to provide phone cards to every soldier who wants one in time for the holidays. With just a few days left, the USO is still trying to hit its goal, and MoveOn members can make the difference. To send a phone card, just go to:
http://www.uso.org/pubs/8_20_2733.cfm

This is a great way of showing that those of us who didn't support the Iraq war still support and appreciate the sacrifice of the people who were called to serve in it. And this kind of small-scale giving can snowball into large-scale benefits for the troops.

After MoveOn members and many others donated millions of frequent flyer miles to bring soldiers home during their leave, the Pentagon was compelled to fully fund all future flights themselves. Your leadership made the difference then, and it can do so again.

War takes its toll on civilians as well as soldiers. Massive numbers of Iraqi families that have been displaced by the escalating violence. Because conditions are so dangerous, humanitarian relief organizations have withdrawn from Iraq, and the Iraqi winter is closing in.

And Remember the Iraqi Victims
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is one of the very few international organizations still daring to bring vital services directly to Iraqi civilians.

• You can make your donation to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and earmark it for Iraq, at:
http://www.ifrc.org/helpnow/donate/donate_response.asp

The IFRC is racing to help hundreds of thousands of refugees survive the winter by providing blankets, heaters, and basic medical supplies. In the face of increased insurgent violence targeted at government schools, the Red Crescent has mounted an effort to equip every school with first aid training and basic medical supplies. They've also been charged with maintaining the rapidly growing number of orphanages in the most war-torn parts of the country.

Most of our holiday traditions revolve around the simple metaphor of bringing light into the darkness. For us here at MoveOn, you're the single greatest source of light we know. We're awed and honored to be working with you. Because of you, we know there are brighter times ahead.

Adam, Ben, Carrie, Eli, James, Joan, Justin, Laura, Mari, Noah, Rosalyn, and Wes — The MoveOn.org Team

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