Long before there were professional astronomers, the ancient
astrologers associated each of the twelve months of the year with
one of a dozen Zodiac signs. Ironically, and despite the march of
science via the Hubble and a plethora of ground based eyes-on-forever, this Zodiac system lives on to this very day and
graces every major newspaper portending the future.
Millennia before there was a nation called Israel, there were the
twelve tribes of Israel. No more; no less. Did Moses organize the
people into a dozen tribes for some unknown cosmic reason?
In the New Testament, Jesus selected twelve disciples to
found His church. Twelve followers would hardly qualify as a modern
Fortune 500 Board, let alone the core of future Western
civilization. Was the choice of precisely a dozen men just another coincidence?
But it is not just Judeo-Christian literature that seems to venerate
this numeric value. In a classis saga of the old traditions, Beowulf
selected exactly a dozen men to go with him on his epic journey. Symbolic?
Perhaps; or perhaps it was simply the number of oars he needed
manned in the long boat for his epic voyage to Geatland.
Roses, eggs, donuts and bagels all come by the dozen. It seems so odd given
we are a species with only ten fingers. But, we do group things by
the dozen...the cosmic and the mundane...and we have so for thousands of years.
In contemporary culture, even Lee Marvin made his most memorable
movie (outside of, "Cat Ballou"©) when he commanded "The Dirty
Dozen"©, defending America against the Nazi juggernaut. In this film,
a dozen men accomplished what an army could not.
The Dirty Dozen
I recently watched this film with my son. It got me thinking
about what a dozen folks might be able to accomplish in this day and
age. Twelve...so small a number and yet so blessed by Providence...
what could a mere twelve dedicated souls do if they joined
together for a common cause
like the men in the film?
Perhaps a dozen folks could ban together to affect the course of
civilization, like the twelve Apostles of the Gospels. Perhaps they
could work to support the efforts of one brave warrior, like
Beowulf's dozen men. But outside Hollywood and epic poems could a
dozen ordinary people really make an impact; a "difference" as the
contemporary zeitgeist likes to call it, in the lives of others?
Then it hit me. It hit me like a red light camera ticket, a summons for jury duty or an audit
notice from the IRS.
I was struck by the idea that perhaps twelve ordinary Americans
could ban together and exert their influence in a very meaningful
way. With a collective small effort each, together they could affect
the life of one American trooper at a primitive base in the deserts
and mountains of Afghanistan in a way that defies any hedonic
calculus. By their willingness to suspend the cultural cynicism that
one person’s small efforts matters not, each could affect the life of one
warrior over 5000 miles from the familiar and the safe environs of
our common experience. A dozen Americans, banding together, could
make a difference in the life of one American who is struggling to survive while
trying to bring Democracy and Peace to a corner of the world that
knows little of either.
A "Dedicated Dozen"© could accomplish that easily. And because each
member would only need to make a very small sacrifice, it could not
only be done now, it could also be sustained for the duration of
Yes, I know times are tough everywhere in this Country. We are
gripped in a powerful economic storm that defies definition or
And we are at war...
I am confident that few of us would trade places with any of
our troops at the "tip-of-the-spear" no matter how tough we think our
present circumstances to be. We all know that young Americans are
being called upon to fight for us halfway around the world. In that
context, is it so great a thing to ask those of us who are most able
to afford a very small sacrifice, to make that wee effort to
provide a little "comfort for those in harm’s way"?
Remember the dozen? Consider this: if everyone reading this
asks a total of a dozen relatives/neighbors/social
contacts/business contacts/coworkers for just five dollars ($5) each, those
donations could then be turned into one 'Caregiver Kit'®
trooper in the field. I can't think of a better deal for $5 despite
And each of these folks may sign a group letter that
you can pen yourself or you can click on this link and print the one
provided. (click here:
Dozen letter ©)
It can be just that easy to send a Kit and a letter as well.
It is a tiny sacrifice to ask. It may translate to one less designer
coffee this week, one less cocktail at a given Happy Hour with
coworkers, one less fast-food splurge on the way home or it may not
be noticed at all. These combined donations can then be used to equip a
warrior with the most basic items of hygiene and comfort in climes
ill-suited to human habitation, let alone combat, and far from the
reach of fixed base facilities or the Mobile PX.
Do you know a dozen? If so, do you have the willingness to ask them
to make a little sacrifice of just $5 each for one who fights in
their stead? If so, gather your dozen donations and send a check for
$60 ($5 x 12) made payable to the 'NICE GUYS'© to:
P O Box 722289
San Diego CA 92172
Please do so ASAP. Include your, or our, note of encouragement and an
address with your donation and you may hear from this warrior 5000
miles and a world apart from you. It is a special experience to make
that connection and realize the good you've done.
We have entire units waiting for our support. It only takes a
dozen small donations at a time to provide what they each need.
Please keep Faith with this effort. I know I can not do it
alone. I need everyone's, "Dedicated Dozen"©.
Do you know a dozen?