OC provides for basic hygiene along with a few items of comfort to combat troops
deployed to the remotest locations in the Global War on Terror...
those warriors at the "tip-of-the-spear."


"A Dedicated Dozen"

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 this war.

Yes, I know times are tough everywhere in this Country. We are gripped in a powerful economic storm that defies definition or historical precedence.

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 essay asks a total of a dozen relatives/neighbors/social contacts/business contacts/coworkers for just five dollars ($5) each, those dozen small donations could then be turned into one 'Caregiver Kit' for a trooper in the field. I can't think of a better deal for $5 despite "Subway's" omnipresent jingle.

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: Dedicated 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:

Operation Caregiver
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?