There are so many causes out there - it's impossible to pick just one to be dedicated to. I think a big part in determining which cause we become most involved with is what we've been through and therefore what's personal to us.
Before you continue reading this, let me stress that this is not meant in a mean way. This is just my opinion and I am NOT saying that I don't feel bad for other countries' problems caused by disasters.
The past few weeks, we have had a lady selling wristbands for Japan Tsunami relief efforts - Which is a great idea, and a great way to raise money to help. I don't know how much money she ended up raising, but I'd say she made a pretty good chunk of money for Japan. Today at the assembly we had to recognize the efforts she was making to help Japan, she said "Please do not forget about Japan. Even though the media only focuses on it for a few days, a week maybe, it doesn't mean things there are all better. Japan still needs your support, help, and prayers. Please, do not forget about Japan."
And while I agree that Japan is definitely still in bad shape and definitely still needs help rebuilding, I think that we as a population have become more involved in other countries' problems and supporting those causes than we have our own.
The media doesn't focus as much on our Troops overseas anymore - definitely not the ones still in Iraq (By the way THERE ARE STILL TROOPS IN IRAQ. IF SOMEONE TELLS YOU THAT WAR IS OVER - THEY ARE WRONG.). We as Americans don't tend to openly support our troops because somewhere along these past years, supporting our troops means you support the war. Just because you support our troops doesn't mean that you support the war. I know that war was necessary at the time, but I don't like the fact that we're still there - that our men and women are still dying for our freedom there, that my cousin's there now. It makes me worry that our soldiers think that we have forgotten them. I would do anything to change this, even in just a small way.
At the same time that wristbands were being sold for Japan, I had student council organize a drive for the Thank You Foundation - a local organization that collects supplies of all sorts to send to the Troops overseas. Almost everyone in every single one of my classes was wearing a "Gaman" band, but my class didn't even completely fill one box of supplies for the troops. I'm not saying that Japan relief isn't important, because I know it is, I'm just saying that if we didn't have Troops defending us, protecting us, we wouldn't even be able to care about other causes. Our FREEDOM is what allows us to do that.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is, America, we need to take care of our own First. And, yes, I'm begging you PLEASE DO NOT FORGET ABOUT OUR SOLDIERS.
So in honor of Armed Forces Month and Armed Forces Day this coming Saturday and Memorial Day on the 30th, I ask you, please just take a minute of your day to say "Thank You" to a soldier you know - or if you see one out and about. And if you have time, find out how you can get involved with an organization near you that supports our Troops.
P.S. Did you know that there are still hundreds of thousands of AMERICAN soldiers missing from the Vietnam and Korean wars?