Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Few Random Thoughts to Pass the Time

So this post will contain a few items that are relatively unrelated. These are mostly meant to highlight items in the news or organizations I feel deserve to be recognized.

I've been holding onto this next story since October and have searched in vain to find it and finally found it hidden in a folder on a spare laptop I was using then.

It is about an Aleutian tribe telling Hugo Chavez (the South American version of Fidel Castro but with Oil) to go to hell because of his remarks at the UN comparing Bush to the Devil...

From the Associated Press (Oct. 2006)

"The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, a nonprofit organization that represents native Aleuts in Alaska, has rejected lower cost heating oil from Venezuela because of Hugo Chavez's remarks at the UN. These are among the poorest people in the entire state of Alaska and they pay some of the highest oil prices because of the high cost of transportation. Native villagers are refusing free heating oil from Venezuela, on the patriotic principle that no foreigner has the right to call their president 'the devil'"

Many Aleut communities are poor, so this was a show of real patriotism — putting country before self. This is something to remember the next time you see those insipid Citgo free-heating-oil commercials on TV.

I urge you to send donations to this community when you can (yes I know its late for this past winter but you could do this on a yearly basis if you'd like making it a annual reminder that there are true patriots in our midst);

Donations to help the villages affected can be made at a Key Bank account titled:
" Unangan Energy Assistance Fund" C/O Key Bank # 729681009001
Donations can be made at any Key Bank Branch Nationwide or Can be mailed to:

Unangan Energy Assistance Fund
c/o Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association
201 East Third Avenue
Anchorage , Alaska 99501


Unangan Energy Assistance Fund
c/o Key Bank
P.O. Box 110420
Anchorage , AK 99510

Donations are tax deductible as a contribution to a 501 c 3 Not For Profit TIN # 92-0073013

{heh, kind of ironic that the transport costs of oil in Alaska are so high considering the oil in Alaska - LN}


Ok now my next point.

Somewhere in the world a soldier sleeps far away from his home. He is sleeping in his bunk/foxhole/firing position far away from the comfy beds that we go to everynight after watching hours upon hours of TV and gorging on instant gratification entertainment.

What these soldiers could use is someone writing to them and sending them "care packages". You don't need to know the soldier... in fact you don't even have to already know how to get the letters and packages to them.

All you need to do is go to this website:

The website explains its mission thusly;

Sergeant Brian Horn from LaPlata, Maryland, an Army Infantry Soldier with the 173rd Airborne Brigade was in the Kirkuk area of Iraq when he started the idea of Any Soldier® to help care for his soldiers. He agreed to distribute packages that came to him with "Attn: Any Soldier" in his address to soldiers who didn't get mail.
Brian later completed a tour in Afghanistan and is now home, but continues larger then ever.
Any Soldier Inc. started in August 2003 as a simple family effort to help the soldiers in one Army unit, thus our name. Due to overwhelming requests, on 1 January 2004 the Any Soldier® effort was expanded to include any member, of any of the Armed Forces in harms way

My brother set himself up to receive the packages for the guys in his unit. His unit then received alot of these packages and letters (along with the ones I and the other family members sent to them). My brother and his buddies tell me that these packages really mean the world to the soldiers who "walk the wall", keeping us safe from harm.

The creator of AnySoldier gives us the same insight with this quote'

"I couldn't be any more proud to have been apart of such an honorable organization as This is priceless, and I would like to thank all of you who entrusted me to be your contact. To have been able to distribute the mail personally as a contact to soldiers who get next to no mail at all and for that brief moment see the look of hope in their faces of good things to come. The hope that somebody out there does care. That somebody does in fact love them as they deservingly should be loved. The hope that some day their involvement in the fight on terror was to preserve those that believed in them so much through and through, until their fight was done. We fight so that maybe, just maybe your grandchildren won't have to.
Pray for us in all that we do."
Sergeant Brian Horn
Afghanistan, Nov 2005

Please go and participate in this program. It really takes very little time out of your day and makes a monumental impact on the lives of our servicemembers.

Another such program is also found here;


"Well Thai" -you'll say- "what about the soldiers who come home and are wounded and are bieng cared for?" {careful speaking to yourself like that Thai :) saw Hoyo said to tell you hi -LN}
Good question my friend...

For that there is my next organization;


In DC there are Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center that treat wounded soldiers (I have previously mentioned that my brother was being treated at Walter Reed). Aleethia seeks to help ease the burden of recuperation at these hospitals by giving them time away from the hospitals themselves and getting them out to the "real world".

Aleethia's mission is as follows;

Supporting Those Who Serve

The mission of the Aleethia Foundation is to support the newly injured troops with short-term therapeutic recreation. The doctors have determined that it is beneficial for the newly injured troops to get out of the hospital environment occasionally. Our mission is to help them get out for meals, movies, sightseeing, and visits to interesting sites.

Our main focus is the Friday Night Dinners for the wounded troops from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center

What are the Friday Night Dinners?

They are dinners at Fran O'Briens Stadium Steakhouse that are donated to the troops as a measure of saying "Thank You".

Here's how Aleethia began and has evolved;

How The Aleethia Foundation Began

The Aleethia Foundation was started to provide a method of tax-deductible contributions to fund Friday Night Dinners at Fran O’Brien’s Stadium Steakhouse. In the process of providing the dinners, we found some of the troops in need of small financial grants ($1,500 to $2,500) to bridge different financial situations. We then expanded our mission to providing as many of these small grants as we could. We also found a need to do more than just the dinners, so we started supplying other short-term recreational activities such as siteseeing drives, trips to movies, and smaller dinner situations.

We are a small group of volunteers. There is no paid staff and no overhead. We spend all collected money on the troops.

Please go to the site and see what you can do to assist them either by donating money or your time. I guarantee it will be worth it to the organization, to you and most of all, to the soldiers.


Last but not least...another organization helping soldiers and their families.

Each year there is a fundraiser for Fisher HouseTM

What is Fisher HouseTM? Well... I know what it is...but I'll let Fisher HouseTM explain who they are to you instead.

The Fisher House™ program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America's military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House™ Foundation donates "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

There is at least one Fisher House™ at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. Annually, the Fisher House™ program serves more than 8,500 families, and have made available more than two million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990. Based on a comparison of fees at a Fisher House™ (the average charge is less than $10 per family per day, with many locations offering rooms at no cost) with commercial lodging facilities in the same area, it is estimated that families have saved more than $60 million by staying at a Fisher House™ since the program began.

In addition to constructing new houses, Fisher House™ Foundation continues to support existing Fisher Houses™ and help individual military families in need. Families and friends of patients at any of the military's hospitals can now receive up-to-the-minute reports on a loved one by going to the patient's own customized web page, thanks to new services provided through CaringBridge. We are also proud to administer and sponsor Scholarships for Military Children, the Hero Miles program, and co-sponsor the Newman's Own Award.

As you can see, Fisher HouseTM fills a vital role in the recovery of wounded troops as well as accomodations for their families who stay with them during recovery. Please go to their site and participate as much as you can (either via donation of money /services or time).

Ok ... I'll return you to your normal schedule of talking about the issues. I just wanted to highlight a few organizations that really deserve the recognition.

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 Recently played a few games on Caldera (warzone) and then... Lots of luck in this one, but satisfying