Dec 052008

A few days ago I wrote a piece about Sears and their holiday wish lists for United States military personnel and feedback has been poring in ever since. I knew I’d get feedback on the post, but was a bit surprised at the angle several of the responses took. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

The Sears Heroes at Home Wish Registry is a program Sears is heavily promoting that appears at first glance to be a way for those on the homefront to support soldiers overseas by helping them purchase much needed items for the holidays.  You know, things like kids’ coats, dresses for little girls, boys’ pants, Nintendo Wii’s, booster seats for baby and flat screen televisions.  Yes, you read that right:  Nintendo Wii and flat screen TV both made the top 100 list of items that U.S. servicemen need this Christmas.

So are you starting to see why I might have a problem with this program aside from my general distaste for the government stealing my money in order to oppress innocent people abroad?  I further took Sears to task over the fact that they aren’t putting their own money into the program, and aren’t even helping supply these so-called necessities.  They’re just offering to collect your money, turn it into Sears Gift Cards (which can obviously only be used at Sears), and hand it over to a select group of soldier’s families.  They didn’t even go to the trouble of setting up a charity to do so which means that your so-called donation isn’t even tax-deductible.

Back to the responses…

I expected much more of the “why do you hate the troops” and “you’re a communist idiot” type of feedback than I received.  In fact, a majority of it (by a narrow margin, but still a majority) was positive.  And I’m not just talking about from my anarchist and freedom-loving brethren.  No, even from much more traditional corners. As I wrote yesterday, I can still be a fan of Sears and be wholly against this program.  Just as I can still support the soldiers as people and detest what they’ve chosen to do for a living.  I would like nothing more than to have all of the U.S. military personnel home safe for the holidays.  I think the Iraqis and Afghanis would probably appreciate that as well. Then everyone could have a happy holidays and Sears would have quite a few more customers as well 😉


  18 Responses to “Follow-up On Sears’ Heroes At Home Wish Registry”

  1. OH GOD FORBID you help a soldier or his family! I really don’t mind people questioning the government I encourage it but there is no need to insult soldiers or deny them anything because you disagree with the governments choice A soldier is just doing their job. My first thought is you are one of those losers they wouldn’t let into the military. Why else woudl you hate the military so much?
    If it wasn’t for soldiers you wouldn’t be able to write this crap. They work their bums off doing their job and anti-Americans like you talk about oppression as if they personally are over there terrorizing the Iraqi people. You believe too much BS in the news about Iraq that is not the norm. Why not ask a soldier who’s been over there a few times and see what they have to say or better yet ask the average Iraqi civilian what life was like with Saddam as their dictator it wouldn’t be a pretty story. The US has been given a time line and we’re pulling out according to that time line. It’s highly improbable that we will be able to oppress the people when we’re not in the country but I’m sure you have already figured out the magical way it can be done. This is something you’ve heard a million times but you are a disgrace and if you hate the US so much move to Iran. Try writing your anti military and government crap in Iran and see what happens to you! Make sure it’s taped for all to see.

  2. Welcome, Maudra!

    1) I’m glad you’re proud of your soldiers. Personally, I don’t have any soldiers that work for me. If I did they certainly wouldn’t be wandering the globe messing with the internal affairs of other countries. They’d be here protecting me and mine.

    2) I didn’t insult anyone and I challenge you to point out where I insulted a soldier in this post. Was it by wishing they could be home with their families for the holidays?

    3) Soldiers aren’t “just doing their job”. They’re doing the job they’ve chosen to do (it is an all volunteer service at the moment) and forcing me to pay for it. Extortionists and hit men are just doing their job as well, but I don’t think you’d be defending them.

    4) You couldn’t be more wrong on my military experience. The US Navy wanted me to become a member so bad that they granted me a full scholarship to the university of my choice. I chose to turn down the easy, full ride, Naval ROTC scholarship because I realized I couldn’t work for an organization that kills other human beings.

    5) I’m so tired of this “they’re fighting for our freedoms” garbage. How on earth do you think Iraqis and Afghanis are going to stop me from speaking (writing) my opinions? They have neither the ability nor the interest to come to this country and pass such ridiculous laws.

    6) I’ve talked to many a soldier who has served and/or is serving in Iraq. Many of them agree that their job is to oppress the local population. The local population agrees – that’s why they’re fighting back! And don’t forget that it was the US military who put Saddam in to power as the dictator in Iraq.

    7) I’d love to leave the United States, Maudra, but the government you worship won’t let me. They refuse to give me a passport. You see, we aren’t even free to leave this country. Just try boarding an international flight without a passport (which is really just government permission to travel). It can’t be done.

  3. 1. You act like it’s our decision to go to Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. Personally I would not want to be over there, but if my boss came up and said ‘Hey You’re going to Iraq tomorrow” I would willingly go, in fact, I’m volunteering to go over there to defend your ungratful selfish ass. And do you know what event provoked us to send so many people over there? 9-11. Now apparently you’re not very educated in the whole war situation, but WE lost THOUSANDS of people. Another country came in and killed our people. Now apparently you don’t give two shits about the people that died in 9-11, you just care that you and your family are safe, which is fine, but what do you expect us to do? Just sit here like ducks and wait for us to get attacked again so we loose more people? Just as long as we don’t kill anyone right? Other countries can kill as many people in our country as they want, but we can’t touch them? Oh, until one of your family members gets shot, then it’s a whole different story right? If some inconsiderate towel head came over here and walked up and shot your most loved one or your little girl or little boy, you would just forgive them and love them wouldn’t you? Yeah well some people don’t want anymore of OUR FAMILY lost and we’re not going to sit on our asses and let them keep walking all over us, we’re going to defend ourselves and that means eliminating the source, so guess what, bye bye terrorists. Oh and guess what, as long as you’re paying taxes, you’re paying us, therefore we are YOUR soldiers so guess what, THANKS FOR THE NEW TV AND NINTENDO WII YOUR TAXES BOUGHT FOR ME =) I LOVE IT!

    2. As for insulting soldiers, you don’t appreciate that people have died for you, that’s a fucking insult. I have an idea, how about I give you my flight over to Afghanistan, YOU’LL LOVE IT!

    3. Move to another country and stop bitching about paying for my Nintendo Wii and guess what, right this very moment your tax dollars are paying me to write this all back to me! And for the record, the soldiers over there in the middle east arn’t just defending selfish brats such as yourself, they are defending toddlers, infants, drugged up teens and guess what, they are also defending extortionists and hit men, it’s not like they go over there and right before they get shot they say “Oh this is for the perfect little school girl that goes to church every Sunday”.

    4. As for working for an organization that kill other people…. To me it’d be considered worse to be the one paying the people kill the others and guess what…THAT’S YOU! I’m sure the Navy is very very HAPPY that you didn’t join as a matter of fact I’M glad you didn’t join.

    5. As for the fighting for your freedom. Those middle eastern people are trying to (summed up) BOMB US!! Does that not mean anything to you? Yes we have freedom, do you know why? BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN FIGHTING FOR IT. Sounds repetitive right? If we stop and have no military, no government like in that dreamy world that you believe in, we would be taken over, kind of like what Hitler was trying to do =) So lets say all that happens and we get over taken by a dictator that doesn’t give a shit about what you say and says you can only believe in one thing, then guess what, you’re screwed. You are not very educated as far as I can tell, if you didn’t know people came to this country from OTHER COUNTRIES overseas because they were told what to believe and what they can/cannot do, that’s why we have so many religions and opinionated ass holes such as yourself. So be grateful you have the freedom that you have now.

    6. As for the soldiers in Iraq right now “oppressing little villagers”, you act like those are the only soldiers over there! There are thousands and thousands of soldiers all over that country doing many, many different things you can’t just assume just because a few soldiers are oppressing the local population that everyone else is too. You think you know a lot but in reality you don’t and you need to realize that there’s more than what you think you know.

    7. Maybe they won’t let you leave because they want you to stay here so if our government/military falls apart you’ll be here to witness the insanity of it all. And with Obama president, you might just get to see it! What’s funny is I have a passport from 5th grade, I have a passport from 11th grade and guess what, I have a passport from last year! It’s amazing how it’s so easy for me to get a passport and you can’t. And besides, you were probably trying to fly to Afghanistan to help save your little towel head terrorist buddies. Let me give you a little insight on why we’re fighting Afghanistan… Al Qadea is a powerful terrorist organism headed by one infamous man by the name of Osama Bin Ladin. They are almost certainly responsible for the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, along with several other lethal attacks on the U.S. and it’s allies. They are currently planning even more deadly attacks and are attempting to acquire W.M.D.s, even as the full force of the U.S. army pounds against them. Al Qadea is targeting America mainly because of it’s support of Isreal, among other things. What’s funny is Afghanistan thinks we should stay until Iraq is stable, amazing isn’t it? As for you moving to another country don’t go to Britain, Australia, Italy, Poland, France, Canada, Denmark, South Korea, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Afghanistan or the Philippines because they’re all either supporting the war, supplying “murderous” troops or a majority of the population is backing the US up.

    So please take your uneducated opinions to another country.

  4. Welcome, Military Girl!

    Quick questions: if you’re in the military why are you posting from a U.S. Department of Transportation computer? Shouldn’t you be posting from a military computer? Or are you really just another bureaucrat living off my stolen tax dollars and killing time at work like most of the population of Washington, DC?

    Anyway, onto your points…

    1) Yes, it is the soldier’s decision to go overseas. You said yourself “I would willingly go, in fact, I’m volunteering to go over there“.

    As for my understanding of the events of 9-11 it seems I’m much more educated on them then you are. Your assertion that “Another country came in and killed our people” is simply wrong and truly shows your ignorance. Al Qaeda is not a country! It’s a group of people, as you correctly state in your seventh point. As for what we should do about it, how about soling the problem by stopping the invasion of their homelands? That is after all what Al Qaeda really wants.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the WII and television that was purchased with my tax money, but having my money stolen from me does not make me complicit in the purchases of the criminals. Sorry. If you get mugged and the mugger uses the stolen cash to rent a hooker does she become your hooker? No, I didn’t think so.

    2) No one’s died for me, why is that so unclear? When, exactly did I ask any of these soldiers to do anything for me? They’re over there dying for whatever they’re dying for, but if it were up to me they’d all be home with their families.

    3) Can’t move to another country. The thieves who run this country will have me thrown in a box and/or shoot me should I try. But then, you already knew that, didn’t you?

    As for the soldiers defending me… once again I must ask… from what? No one in the Middle East has ever threatened my life or my freedoms! If the soldiers want to defend me, how about they return to the states and keep people like you from stealing my hard earned cash?

    4) So, you’d consider it worse to be the victim of a crime, then to be a criminal? No wonder you glory in getting paid in stolen cash to sit around and comment on blog posts.

    If the Navy was so happy I didn’t join then they sure have a funny way of showing it. They kept trying to recruit me for more than a decade.

    5) Which “middle eastern people” are trying to bomb us? Everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan? Do you seriously believe this crap? Have you ever spoken to an Iraqi or Afghani? I have. And despite having numerous discussions with hundreds of middle easterners, not one of them has ever stated they were interested in bombing me. Where, exactly do you get this information? It’s clearly not from the people themselves and it’s not even from Al Qaeda as they’ve stated clearly and repeatedly that they hav no qualms with the people of the United States, but only with those who continually invade and occupy their homelands.

    And when, exactly did Hitler try to take over the United States? It seems to me that we took the fight to him, not the other way around. America hasn’t repelled an invading force in over a century.

    As for the freedoms I have now, they are few and far between (and becoming more scarce every day). Which explains why so many people I know are leaving this country in order to try and find freedom elsewhere. The government has never granted any rights to me or any other person – all they do is infringe upon the rights that we innately have as human beings. You might want to recheck the founding documents of this country if that’s not a statement you can understand.

    6) Every American soldier in Iraq is oppressing the Iraqi people by their very presence. Have you forgotten that we invaded Iraq without provocation? (remember Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11). The people of Iraq didn’t ask us to come. Just as they never asked us to put Saddam Hussein in power, but we went ahead and did that as well.

    7) Why they won’t let me leave the country is irrelevant. I am a prisoner who has committed no crime. By the way, I had a passport all through school as well – is that supposed to be impressive? Just because some slaves are allowed to leave the plantation doesn’t mean those of us who can’t are actually free.

    But then, your last statement sums it all up perfectly: “So please take your uneducated opinions to another country.” In other words, according to you, all of these people died to give me the freedom to think what I like as long as I don’t do it here in America. Well, thank you very much, but no thanks.

  5. I am in total agreement with you!! First of all, my husband is active duty military and secondly, we were on the recieving end of the Heros for Home Wish Registry along with a few of our friends. I am greatly disapointed that Sears did NOT put any of their money into the program. All of the money we recieved was straight out of the pocket of “Joe Public”!!! So in my eyes, Sears got FREE money from the public to give to us to spend only at Sears!! I won’t say how much we got on our gift cards but it was no where near the $550 we were first told would be our maximum amount per family. And we did get an email gift card to use at Sears or Kmart for $100 to spend on their brand of Christmas decorations, tress, wrapping paper, etc that was suppoed to be a gift from the company itself. I know Sears does help the military out in other ways. But to promote a progam to get people to donate their own hard earned money and not put in a penny of their own money!! I think it is very SELFISH of Sears and it embarasses me to know that I have a gift card sitting here that was given to me by the genorosity of the general public and that they were snowballed in such a way. I seriously think this should be taken to the Media!!

  6. Welcome to Philaahzophy, Sharie!

    It’s always nice to hear from those who agree, but it’s even better when that support comes from those personally affected by the story. It’s also a bonus when people actually address the main point of the post which, in tihs case, that Sears was basically taking advantage of people’s good will towards military personnel.

    May I recommend that you pass the received gift card on to a charity of your choice? That way good still comes of it, but you don’t need to be reminded of Sears’ dishonesty in your name.

    As for the mainstream media I doubt their willing to suffer the flack they’d receive – both from Sears and from the type of people you see commenting above. But, being a recipient you’re in the best position to get that story out there. Try dropping a call or email to your local paper or television news station. They’re always looking for human interest stories. If you do so, please do me the favor of swinging back by and letting me know how it turned out!

  7. Since you think you’re so smart, do your research and find out why I’m writing from a “Department of Transportation” computer. It is indeed military. You just need to stop talking. No one cares.

  8. Sorry, MG, but I’ve got better things to do. When you’re interested in sharing more of your insight as a military insider, please feel free to return. The main question is this: how do you justify invading Iraq because some civilians from Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan blew up buildings in America? And please try to have your facts straight this time.

  9. There are a couple of things I’d like to comment on. First of all we’ve got to talk about Sears. I think they’re just trying to capitalize on the tendency for people to “Support the Troops.” Some people were sitting in the board room thinking about how the public is buying up phone cards, Wal-mart gift cards, etc. They decided that people would dish out some good money and they wanted in on it. Can’t really blame them, but in their defense the program does say “Heroes at home.” I don’t see that as deceptive, and it doesn’t make me think that the gift cards will be used anywhere but home, i.e. Middleofnowhere, Iowa. The requested products are, of course, not things that they need to have, but they could possibly make life easier or more enjoyable for the family members left at home while the service member is deployed.

    For all of the “not my military, gov’t steals my money” type talk, that’s one of the things that makes America great…everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Without a doubt there is waste that goes on within the government. You see it on a daily basis. But, I think that is going to be the case with a vast majority of institutions. Hospitals, charities, churches, schoold, etc all have a level of wasteful spending…granted it’s not on the level of the government.

    I think I’m safe to assume that you exercise your right to vote every chance you get. I’m sure articles like the ones you’ve posted here will help you entice like-minded people to hit the polls as well. That is about the only course of action you really have to bring about the changes that you want. Until then, nobody is stealing your money from you. Your vote and your elected officials are speaking on behalf of the majority of the populace.

    Should we be over in the middle east? Are we doing good things, or are we just being bullies? That debate could go on forever. But there have to be people who are willing to defend the United States and our interests. We can’t just stay within our boarders and fight off attacks…just like a boxer can’t win a match with his hands up but not punching. If we don’t play a little offense it’ll be harder to play defense. The U.S. has been attacked within the past 100 years, Japan occupied the Aleutian Islands back in WWII, and Mexico invaded N.M. about 90 years ago. If we were to pull all of our military forces back into the U.S., other countries would still try to come after us on our own turf. This is just a result of our history. I don’t like it either.

    I’m not sure why you can’t get a passport…I bet there’s an interesting story behind it. If I were you I’d travel to one of our neighboring countries illegally (couldn’t be too hard) and denounce your citizenship there. Then you’d be in the clear to do whatever you’d like, right?

    BTW, I’m a proud member of the Air Force…and if someone want’s to send me a new TV or ATV I’ll take it.

  10. wow im glad this is how you feel about the poeple to risk their lives to give you the right to write this and say you don’t support this. As a military wife our husbands are WAY underpaid for the job they do. if they were able to get out into the civilian word they could make 3 or 4 times more then what we make now. we can do that based on our contracts and honestly most men and women ENJOY fighting for yours freedom. so if a compnay respects this and decided they want to help out military family by giving them help to give their kids the best chistmas possible when daddy is in Iraq and might now make it home i don’t see a problem with this and the fact that you do shows your true charcter!

  11. Joe,

    Thanks for the well thought out and reasonable reply. I’m not going to go after your points individually as I’ve done so time after time in various poss and comments here. Let’s just agree to disagree.

    I have considered expatriation, but that would mean not being able to see my daughter again. Until she’s 18 (or her mother gives up custody) I’m stuck here in the US.

  12. One simple question, Danielle-

    If all these people are supposedly risking their lives to give me rights, then how do Canadians have free speech? What about the Swiss? The Japanese?