Blogmaster’s musings: I have no problem walking past Veterans soliciting donations in front of stores
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Blogmaster’s comments from Wisconsin’s Northwoods
By Steve in Wisconsin
September 13, 2010
13 Sep – I have no problem walking past Veterans soliciting donations in front of stores… This post will likely “ruffle some feathers” but I refuse to be intimidated or shamed into donating “a dollar” to veterans sitting at tables outside stores and offering cheesy fake flowers for fund-raising.
Yes, the little cloth flowers are supposedly “Assembled by Disabled Veterans” but I find the presence of these elderly vets demeaning – I guess it’s the fact that after serving their country proudly in Korea or the onset of the Vietnam War (which I’m guessing is where most of these military personnel served, based on their age) they now find themselves sitting outside storefronts for nickel and dime donations. In return for a small donation the “donor” gets a symbolic flower with a twistable wire stem that you’re supposed to fasten in your button hole. I ask my readers: How many of these flowers have you gotten over the years… and do you even know where they are right now? (I’ll bet you do know, – just like I know where mine are.)
I’m proud and supportive of U.S. veterans – and each year I send one or more donations through the mail to veterans’ groups. This is a more respectable method of fund-raising (solicitation by mail) and undoubtedly the financial return is much higher.
However, veterans sitting at store entrances do have the desired affect on many people. My wife, for instance, feels guilty walking past these folks without giving them money. Her solution: When the first vet appears at a storefront she donates a dollar and gets the “flower”. She then twists the flower around her purse strap so she can walk past subsequent solicitors “guilt free”. I feel no such obligation.
But don’t misinterpret my actions as discourteous. I offer a sincere smile and a “Good morning” to veterans manning the tables – and I truly think they appreciate my friendliness much more than a shopper insincerely parting with a buck. These men and women have done a great service for our country and they deserve our respect and gratitude in return. I do my part by letting them know I appreciate them.
Steve in Wisconsin is a former deputy sheriff with travels in Africa, Asia and Central America. His primary blog is inteltrends.wordpress.com