As I was leaving for work today, I saw a news spot on Operation Bedding.
Adam Conboy, a soldier serving in Iraq, called his mother, Mary, one Sunday. She asked if there was anything she could send him. He said he could use some sheets and pillows...and asked if there was any way she could send these supplies for the other 40 members of his company.
This request caught Mary off guard, so Adam chuckled and said, "Get Operation Bedding going, Mom."
Adam was killed 5 days later.
In his memory, his mother quit her job and devoted herself full time to ensuring our troops get to experience some of the little comforts of home.
It's a bittersweet story, illustrating the sacrifices of war and the outpouring of support that comes in the wake of those sacrifices.
But seeing this story also made me angry.
The reason this soldier was asking for sheets and pillows is because THEY WERE NOT PROVIDED SHEETS OR PILLOWS. He and his fellow soldiers were sleeping on bare mattresses.
Let me get this straight, government--you have troops in a foreign land, risking their lives, paying them squat while they're away from their families...and you can't spring for $25 worth of bedding so maybe they can get a decent night's sleep?
Our prison population is provided bedding. Hell, the ACLU would be all over the penal system if this weren't the case (rightly so, IMO), yet our soldiers have to rely on charity for the same privilege.
Operation Bedding is a noble cause doing wonderful work, but it shouldn't have to exist.
Seeing the story was a reminder that all of our soldiers make daily sacrifices, from small to large to unspeakable.
Keep them in your thoughts this weekend.