Blogs » My UHV Experience 2 » ‘Red Friday’ a small way to show support for soldiers


The other night I was on Facebook, and I noticed I had an invitation to attend "Red Friday.” This event doesn’t just occur one Friday; it will occur each Friday until all our troops are home. A young woman in our town is married to a soldier and she is selling red shirts that say "Red Friday, until they all come home.” So I ordered one to show my support and many others also are getting shirts.

My brother-in-law was in the National Guard for eight years. In that time, he served in Kosovo and Iraq. We are all very proud of him and what he did to serve our country. I’m sure everyone else who has a loved one serving or who has served for our country is very proud of him or her. Here is the inspiration behind "Red Friday”:

Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but I did not put two and two together. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who’d been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home.

"No,” he responded.

"Heading out?” I asked.

"No. I’m escorting a soldier home.”

"Going to pick him up?”

"No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq, I’m taking him home to his family.”

The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn’t know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier’s family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days.

I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, "Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do.”

Upon landing in Chicago, the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sgt. Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sgt. Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign.”

Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American.

So here’s a public "thank you” to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do.

Very soon, if not already, you will see a great many people wearing red shirts every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority.” We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for our country and home in record-breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing, just simply showing our support in one of the easiest yet most effective ways.

Many Americans, like you, me and all of our family and friends simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday, and continues each and every Friday until the all of troops come home, with a victory or not. We are sending a deafening message that every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar will wear something red. Foreign nations in support of what our troops are doing are also taking notice of Project Red Shirt, and I am overjoyed to have spread the project internationally.

Project Red Shirt has no prerequisites. You don’t need to have a family member in the military; you don’t even need to support the war. This group isn’t about the war, it’s about the soldiers. You don't need to support or refute Obama, nor do you need to have a Christian faith. You don’t even need to be American. The only prerequisite is love for our fighting men and women, and the desire to show them how much you care with something as simple as remembering a red shirt.

So please, by word of mouth, articles at your school, press, TV, let’s make the United States on every Friday a sea of red, much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and our troops will know the once "silent” majority is on their side more than they ever knew, certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked, "What can we do to make things better for you?” is "We need your support and your prayers.” Let’s get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear something red every Friday.

So even if you don’t have a "Red Friday” shirt you can still support our troops by wearing any red you can!

Have a great week!:]

Countdown until summer ‘11 continues: 6 weeks! (That’s including finals week)