Warrior Library

SUMMER OF LOVE

6/20/11

From Audrey Herbst, OWL

Lately the shrieking heads on the news and a general feeling of divisiveness amongst Americans had really been getting me down. Even in my small town, public communication was breaking down into shouts and accusations.  But then in one week we received boxes of books from Jack Lewis, Kevin Maurer and now Ashley Merryman (update on her donation later), snapping me out of my funk.  I have no idea about anyone’s personal political feelings; if their books are any indication, our dozens of authors are from all over the spectrum. But none of these people required any proof that I or the other donors had the same opinions about the wars or politics before they agreed to participate.  The publishers donating on their behalf similarly have shown no agenda.  Everyone just wants to do their part for the troops, however small.  And together we have made a lending library of thousands of books in over a dozen cities in four nations.

So, just like I’m limiting videogame time for the kids this summer :) I think I need to limit my time watching 24-hour news channels and stop reading those awful online reader comments altogether.  Yesterday I watched Ghostbusters 2 with my two boys, and it occurred to me that we are living in a time of pink political ectoplasm, giving it more power with every angry word and hateful thought.  Help me spend my summer collecting books for our troops with the time I used to waste being offended and outraged.  Instead of posting the latest Weinergate photo, post a link to our Facebook page.  Instead of watching throbbing forehead veins, learn about these generous and talented authors – and buy their books!  (Warriorlibrary.org has an Amazon store to make it easy.)  Instead of being dragged into argument with a troll, write to your favorite authors and tell them about us.  Or if you are an OWL donor, write all your author/editor/publicist/agent friends.  And join me in my quest to start paying more attention to individuals instead of interest groups.

Individuals like the great Colonel George Reynolds, who inspired us to start Operation Warrior Library.  Like his wife, who kept house and family together while her husband served five deployments and missed birthdays and holidays and tucking in his kids at night.  Like Jack and Kevin and Ashley – and YOU – who use the Internet to support instead of tear down.  Like the truck drivers who pick up our many boxes of books for free and haul them down to Georgia even as gas prices soar.  Like those who bravely fight in the sand for their country, who even more bravely put their lives back together after coming home missing their limbs or their memory, who die at age eighteen or twenty-seven or forty-five.

The pink slime only needs a little goodwill to turn things around.

“Your love keeps liftin’ me higher than I’ve ever been lifted before…”

 

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