Post # 1
I’m looking for some way to incorporate my fiance’s past life as a sergeant in the army. He is passionate about giving back to a Vetrans organization and will probably volunteer his time there in the future. For the wedding I’d like to somehow show our support of the troops but not so blatently as a donation card in lieu of favors (plus I like giving real gifts as favors!). Does any one out there have any ideas (maybe purchasing an item from a VA website and giving them away at the wedding, while indicating proceeds are going to a cause?).
Post # 3
I think your thought about giving donation cards instead of favours is actually GREAT, lets be honest, how great are favours ever? Are they really something that can change your life? Why not write something clever combining your new life together and the life that is provided to us via the armed services? If you dont want to do this and you are set on favours, give whatever you want and then add a note that in addition a small donation has been given and if you want include the websites of such things as "Adopt a soldier" in case anyone else wanted to pick up where you left off. I have no ties to the military but am thinking this is something I might like to do. Fighting terrorism is now a fact of life and although I do want my wedding to be all fairytale and sparkle, I think it is just decent, moral and timely. Please let me know what you end up doing!
Post # 4
I have been looking around for you, but the things I have found are on websites that CharityWatch.com has rated as unsatisfactory or poor. That website is one we, in the nonprofit field, use frequently. The Better Business Bureau is also a good source. Be sure to do your research on where you are donating your money.
Post # 5
I’m in the air force, and while I think this a great idea… do all your guests support the military? We were planning to do something similar at my wedding, but a few of my friends are really liberal and hate what I do and what the military stands for. While I don’t agree with my friends, I respect their beliefs, therefor we donated to a group trying to find alternatives to fossil fuels.
Post # 6
Wow I am really shocked at the last comment. I couldnt have anyone at my wedding who did not support our military. Even more so if I or my FI had been in any branch of it. 100 years from now this thinking is not going to look enlightened-just whacked. I respect you for being in the Air Force thank you for your service. I think we are all getting too brainwashed when we say we respect others beliefs, I think "tolerance" is as far as we should go. I want to say that the point of being in a WEDDING…standing up in a wedding, attending a wedding…you tell the world you support these people and their union, your attendance says I vouch for these individuals. Remember we are supposed to decline weddings of people we cant support for any reason! I have made this clear to all of my bridesmaids, that by accepting the role, they bring their sign of approval to us, to marriage. Even my niece does not "believe" in marriage so I cannot have her as a bridesmaid!
Post # 7
Both my FFIL and my FMIL are Army vets, my FI was a Coastie, my FSIL is Air Force, and FBIL is postponing basic (also Air Force) to be our Best Man.
With all that said, Maureen — thank you for your sacrifice of time and your service to this country. Tree, great idea for military support type favors. Personally, I’m not a favor fan, so I would lean towards donation cards/announcement in the program or whatnot, but if you’d like something tangible, you could do those yellow ribbon car magnets, or something similar. But yeah, I definitely support this decision — our veterans so appreciate our love and support. I love to see FI stand up just a little straighter whenever anyone thanks him for his service.
Post # 8
Our country offers freedom of speech, therefor it is necessary to be respectful of one another. I chose to change my favors because I hate when certain religious groups come knocking on my door trying to push their beliefs on me- and this sort of reminded me of that. The military is not for everyone. That being said, I don’t agree with my friends views. I love my job, after college taking the tests to become an officer was the best thing I could have done. I think your favors are a great idea, especially since you don’t seem to have the problems I have. 🙂 Best wishes.
Post # 9
I would like to direct your attention to AnySoldier.com. Any Soldier Inc. started in August 2003 as a simple family effort to help the soldiers in one Army unit; thus, their name. What they do is unite troops serving oversees with folks back home that wish to support them. Basically you would sign up for a person and they in turn would distribute your care package/ letters amongst their unit, mostly intended for those troops who do not receive mail from home. Believe me, this happens a lot. They have a variety of items (pens, mugs, keychains, etc.) which they sell on their website to help with the upkeep. Please check them out if you’re looking for a military based favor whose purchase will support the military directly.
Personally, I would not have someone at my wedding who does not support the military. My fiance is a Marine, the Marine Corps is already a big part of our lives and will be an even bigger part once we are married. These guys and gals are overseas doing the job that many of us could or would not do. I don’t want to offend anyone, but it’s the truth. How many of you would up and leave your family for months at a time (12 in my fiance’s case) to do a job where you are underpaid, under-appreciated and overworked? Not many I believe. I am very proud of my fiance and his "brothers" and "sisters." And no, I don’t just support him, I support all those who set their lives aside for all of us back home. God bless them ALL.
“…Just tell us you love us, and never forget to fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone; to stand your own watch, no matter how long. For when we come home, either standing or dead, to know you remember we fought and we bled, is payment enough, and with that we will trust, that we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”
©Copyright 12*7*00 by Michael Marks
Post # 10
I don’t want to hijack the thread, but, I am bleeding heart liberal. I wouldn’t "be offended" at somone doing a military donation favor especially if it were for things like purchasing body armor.
I support our troops, I have 2 friends who have either been in Iraq or who are there right now, but in light of the current political culture, and world happenings, It could easily be misconstrued(with poor wording choices) as you donating money in their name to say John McCain, and if I got something like that I’d probably turn around and donate money in the bride and grooms name to Obama. I actually went to a wedding where the couple donated to an organization that works against Planned Parenthood and it was all I could do to not make a huge scene at the reception.
If you kept it specific like Mr. and Mrs. Newly married couple have made a donation in your name to Bodyarmorfor under supplied soldiers.org a cause near and dear to our hearts following Mr. Grooms serivce in the armed forces. Our families are both grateful that Mr. Groom returned safely to us, back here in the states and we would like to help ensure all soldiers family have the same opportunity…… would be clear and concise and not giving any leaning to a political party.
For the record we chose Jimmy Fund since we are A) huge sox fans and B) who doesn’t want to cure childhood cancer?
Post # 11
I don’t support the current war, but I do want to support our veterans. (Also, like Elizabeth said, things like body armor and extra armor for Humvees – I think 99.9% of the population agrees that those can’t be bad things no matter who you’re voting for.) I think funneling donations toward veterans’ organizations is a good way to unite people on both sides of the political fence. VAs need as much help as they can get right now and I think most people know that. Maybe you could offer some sort of VA-related favor or charity option, then also offer something like anysoldier.com for those who’d like to take a more active role?
I think anybody attending your wedding, whether in favor of the current situation or not, is going to know how important the military is to you and honor that with the respect it deserves. I think a simple note like, "Because of FI’s former position as etc. etc., we ask that our guests honor this important part of our lives by considering a donation to the following…"
You could also always make donations in honor of each of your guests and just let them know that instead of handing out favors. Again, like Elizabeth said, just try to pick places that are apolitical, whose focus is as strictly on helping veterans (or soldiers) as possible. If your FI is passionate about the VA, I say go for it. Maybe they have a PR department or something that you could call that could give you ideas if you wanted to have a physical favor on the table.
Post # 12
These are all such great ideas – thank you all very much for your thoughtful words and suggestions. The topic of war in general can become political and dividing so I would not want to subject any guest, especially at such a happy occasion as a wedding, to feel uncomfortable but I think we all do agree we must support our armed forces as they are fighting to protect us every day. I will be looking into all the above suggestions – thank you again for your help!
Post # 13
While many people may be against war, I think most people acknowledge that the service people actually sent abroad to fight have little control over our foreign policy. Many people (especially after the horrible treatment Vietman veterans recieved when they returned) are aware that soldiers are following orders and fighting for our country- not because they are violent bloodthirsty mercinaries!
So, like others mentioned, choosing an organization that supports soldiers and/or veterans (as opposed to supporting a war effort) wouldn’t be offensive to logical guests.
Tree- I liked your idea for the favor cards, but if you want to give an actual favor, what about a "Buddy Poppy" from the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars)? The money goes to support and advocate for veterans and their dependents (read more at http://www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=cmty.levelc&cid=127).
I’m sure the VFW (perhaps even your local chapter) would help you get them and then your guests could wear or display them (I drive a VW Beetle and keep my poppy in the silly flower vase on the dash). Then not only would your guests have a favor, it would remind them and others of the sacrifices of our service men and women.
Post # 14
"I wouldn’t have anyone at my wedding who didn’t support the military." Are you going to take a poll at the door and turn people away? Or add to the invite "Please join us if you get the correct answer on the following question: You a) support out right to bear amrs b) want to reduce your global footprint c) support the military d) all of the above?" People will have different beliefs from you. If you are going to weed out your guest list on that basis you will definitely save some money.
If you want to donate money to any cause you support instead of giving me a favor go for it. I am not going to miss that coaster or candy. But to tell me that this is somehow a "favor" or gift to me is lame. I may not support that cause and I am certainly not getting anything out of it. Please don’t confuse charity with gift giving.
Post # 15
We are doing donations to help support the troops as my FI is a Marine veteran, but we haven’t decided on an actual website to donate to – any suggestions? We were hoping to donate to someone that could send us little cards that would describe what the donations are for, sort of what you would get when you donate to breast cancer. Any ideas?
Post # 16
I am both a wedding planner and a military wife so this issue is close to me.
Here are some great suggestions for donations that shouldn’t raise to many issues…
Fisher House – Provides free or low cost lodging to veterans and military families receiving treatment at military medical centers. http://www.fisherhouse.org/
Military Prepaid Calling Cards – https://thor.aafes.com/scs/default.aspx
Operation Homefront – http://www.operationhomefront.net/
Spirit of America – http://www.spiritofamerica.net/
USO – https://www.uso.org/donate/custom.aspx?id=636&CMP=KNC-WS8Gchar&HBX_OU=50&HBX_PK=military+charities