How To Really Support Our Troops

Jerry Coffee
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Wednesday - June 08, 2011
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“Our troops tell us what they need to help the local people in Afghanistan (or wherever) and with your help (the American people) we provide it; fast, and with no red tape. This improves relations with the locals, and makes our troops safer and more successful in their mission.” - Unofficial mission statement of “Spirit of America”

I have often been frustrated by the statement, “I support our troops but I don’t support the war.” To me, even if you don’t support the war, as long as our troops are there, at least help them win and get home sooner.

And now there is a tangible and fulfilling way to offer support - “Spirit of America.”

SoA was founded in 2003 by a young Southern California entrepreneur, Jim Hake. Hake has had key involvement in several high-tech enterprises, and has been called a media and technology guru. In SoA, the Wall Street Journal credits Hake with bringing to bear the best entrepreneurial traits of American business - speed and efficiency - and refers to the partnership between U.S. Marines and SoA as “a coalition of the can do.” Sen. John McCain calls SoA “America at its best.” Maj. Gen. James Mattis, commander of Central Command, has cited SoA as “beyond anything we have seen.”

SoA is a 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization. All donations are used for specific projects in the field and are tax deductible. Administrative expenses come from other sources. Hake also is the author of the book 101 Ways to Help the Cause in Afghanistan, featuring 65 organizations that are supporting our troops and helping the people of Afghanistan in innovative ways.

Some of SoA’s “innovative ways” include: providing sewing machines to Iraqi women to earn money and reap the fruits of free enterprise; giving tool boxes to Iraqi men to be able to improve their surroundings while making a living; providing prosthetic arms and rehab training for Iraqi men whose arms were chopped off during the brutal reign of Saddam Hussein. In both Iraq and Afghanistan, SoA has donated medical supplies, school supplies, sturdy swing sets, and baseball and soccer gear for schools recently built or repaired by U.S. Marines. (One Iraqi teen said, “I’d rather play baseball than fight.”) Recently SoA provided children’s winter coats and shoes for the Marines to distribute. The trickle-down effect of all these initiatives makes a safer operating environment for our troops and a more hostile environment for the Taliban, who have little to offer but fighting, or the sing-song recitation of the Koran in drab madrassas.

In keeping with Hake’s media experience, SoA has provided the equipment and technology for new Iraqi television stations to counter the bias of the Al Jazeera Middle Eastern monopoly. In some places, solar-powered radios were distributed as an objective alternative to Al Jazeera’s propaganda.

Recently, SoA - in partnership with local Marines - connected Afghan children with American children by Skype. The students in each classroom were able to see and talk with one another, exchanging ideas on music, sports and school activities.

Just this past week, SoA posted a solicitation for “3 new Field Representatives for Afghanistan; a great job for Veterans who served there but feel they missed the meaningful ability to make a clear and direct contribution ... to the well-being of the Afghan people and the positive outcome of the war.” To read the stringent qualifications for the positions is to gain significant insight into the ethos of SoA, and the reason for its amazing success: “Must believe in the art of the possible, we is better than me, [always asks] ‘who knows more about this than I?’; must realize that exemplary patience, listening skills, personal initiative, optimism, smiling, and good sense of humor are the Field Reps’ secret weapons. Know it alls need not apply!”

Please support Spirit of America, and really help our troops win!

For information and to donate, go to

For field reps positions, go to

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