You can help support our troops — here’s how
I want to tell you three things about honoring those who serve our country in uniform.
First, Peachtree City’s own Mimi Gentilini has a long record of supporting our deployed troops. I remember a number of years her restaurant staff gathered donations in cash and in kind, and loaded up an SUV to the gills with goodies, to be delivered to a central collection point for flight to young Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This year Mimi is leaving in place the Christmas tree in her Peachtree City restaurant as a focal point of contact with local sons and daughters deployed around the world.
She needs all of you to bring her names, addresses, and photos if possible, of deployed Americans, and she will figure out a way to decorate her tree with that information.
This is a heads-up because Mimi will lean on her customers, like me, to select a deployed man or woman to send goodies on selected occasions year round instead of just at Christmas.
I think Mimi has Valentine’s Day in mind for her first batch, but what do you expect, she’s a girl!
Those of you who know someone deployed, please hurry to provide details to Mimi asap at Mimi’s Good Food, well hidden in the office strip in the southeast quadrant of Kelly and Dividend Drive, just west of the railroad tracks.
And for all you other customers who enjoy a comfy place to relax with great sausage and biscuits and other breakfast and lunch fare like Mom used to make, get yourself ready to support Mimi’s effort to let deployed troops know we care about them, not just at Christmas but every damn day!
Second, I and two other local Vietnam vets, Mike King and Ric O’Brian, were privileged to spend Sunday afternoon at Robins Air Force Base with a bunch of Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve pilots and crew, and a Marine helicopter unit, swapping stories and points of view at the invitation of Lt.Col. Manny Haldopoulos, himself a Peachtree City resident.
Most of these guys have multiple combat tours under their belt. Sunday was a reminder why I like these guys so much. While their hands are tied by stupid combat rules created in Washington, it is reassuring to see in these solid men and women the competence, diligence and determination to do their duty with honor and integrity.
I regret I did not bring my teenage daughter, and I think you would be proud for your kids to meet these men and women as examples of the kind of character we hope for them.
I cannot help but contrast them to the weenies we elect in Washington, those at the very top who, in my estimation, aren’t qualified to shine the boots of the pilots we met on Sunday. Considering the dubious politicians we elect to lead them, maybe we don’t deserve them, which brings me to my final point.
I recommend to you the movie released on Friday, “Lone Survivor,” the true story of a SEAL team in Afghanistan.
The Saturday afternoon theater was packed full, a good sign that many of you are interested in what our troops endure on our behalf.
This movie does a good job of making you feel like you are right there in combat with them, with all the urgency, violence, pain and ugliness.
I hope you go and take your older kids (language alert: lots of F-bombs) to face the reality of what our troops go through to do our dirty work. We owe them more than we can ever repay.
Now quickly gather the details Mimi needs to make good things happen. Please.
[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen.]