You see them everywhere – first there were the yellow ribbon stickers saying “Support Our Troops,” then they showed up in red, white and blue colors. Now, they are out for everything imaginable – P.O.W.s, breast cancer, etc. etc.

I think the whole idea is ridiculous. It is soccer-mom mentality gone mad. People buy these things not to support troops, but to let other people know that they support the troops – how vain and how stupid. You are not supporting or assisting those brave men and women fighting and dieing in Iraq and Afghanistan… you are supporting some quick-thinking entrepreneurs and your own egos.

You want to really support the troops…

The Defense Department is not accepting anonymous packages for the troops overseas, but has offered suggestions on how to help or show support:

Operation USO Care Package accepts individual donations of $25 that go toward a package of personal items and snacks for a soldier. Those wishing to participate can go to the Web site or call 1-866-USO-GIVE.

Operation Uplink allows people to donate calling cards so servicemembers can stay in touch with family and friends.

Operation Dear Abby offers the option of e-mailing greetings to troops.

Defend America allows people to sign a virtual thank-you card to soldiers.

The Army and Air Force Exchange allows people to give money for gift certificates which troops can redeem for merchandise. Visit the Web site or call 1-877-770-GIFT (4438).

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation provides higher education financial assistance to the sons and daughters of Marines and former Marines.

Operation Independence organizes and sends care packages to deployed troops.

I want to again take a second to thank the men and women serving in our military. I won’t get all right-wing bandwagony and start going on about the price of freedom and I will continue to question the leadership of our country. (People seem to think that if you support the troops, you are a blind follower of the Republican party) I will not allow the effort of our “citizen soldiers” to be cheapened like that.

Thank you to everyone serving in our country’s military at home and abroad. Keep your head down and stay safe – a grateful nation wishes you a speedy return.