Deep down, way deep down inside me, I've always wanted to be a Marine. You know, as in a United States gun toting, spitting nails kind of Marine, OORAH. But I don't like to get water in my face. And I hate running. I don't like the woods and I can't leave the house without lipstick or mascara.
Other than that, I'm a prime candidate.
Anyway, a college friend, Jodie, actually IS a Marine. Not only a Marine, but a Marine Corps captain. Not only a Marine Corps captain, but a hot Marine Corps captain. I recently interviewed her for an article I'm writing for a magazine I've never seen in print.
Anyway, Jodie recently returned from Fallujah, the only female officer to live in downtown Fallujah during battle. She was in charge of men. Hot men.
More importantly, she reached out to the Iraqi women who have little or no glimpse of personal freedom. Not only are they covered physically with a veil, but they are smothered by the male figures in their lives. Many are undereducated or illiterate and are solely dependent on their husbands for food, shelter, clothing and existence.
If I chose to make money from writing this blog, I could. I could probably make a mean $1.20 this year. But I have that choice. Can you imagine never having that option? Jodie, while in the position to help women as a soldier in Fallujah, discovered that even though she could help in some physical ways, she was completely helpless in matters important to women: Independence.
Did you know it is perfectly legal for a husband to give his children to his parents and forbid his wife to have contact with them? Did you know Female Genital Mutilation is practiced in the Middle East, not just Africa. World Health Watch estimates that nearly 60% of the females in the Iraqi village of Hasira, has undergone FGM.
Did you know that it is socially acceptable for a family to murder their daughter in the name of preserving family honor? It is estimated there were over 5 thousand honor killings this year alone.
Since returning to the US, Jodie has launched a home based web business called http://www.onestarrynite.com/. Women from oppressed nations such as Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, hand make crafts to be sold for profit. The money goes a long way in helping these women on the road to financial independence. Jewelry, stationary, bookmarks (made from burqas) purses, bags and loads of other great gift ideas can be found.
Support our troops. Give more than just a gift. OORAH.