Note: One of our longest-tenured users, Crowe, is taking the opportunity to embed with a Navy mission providing relief to Central and South America. He'll be blogging his time aboard the USS Kearsarge here at RS. The costs of this embed are low - the cost of plane tickets and food add up to around $900 - so any support you can give him would be welcome. I'll be chipping in $100 myself, and urge you all to join in. Here's a note from Crowe about the trip, and a link to give. -Ben Domenech
A diversion from the latest election update, if you will.
The subject line read, "Embark on a U.S. Naval Vessel." I was intrigued so I opened the email. The result will be blogged here at RedState.
In a few days I will board the amphibious assault vessel USS Kearsarge and voyage along with the Navy on a humanitarian mission to Central and South America. The second phase of Operation Continuing Promise will bring Navy medical and veterinary personnel to six nations including Nicaragua, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Panama, and Trinidad & Tobago. The total deployment through these six nations will last five months -- I will be with the mission only through its first stop, Nicaragua.
The USS Boxer completed the first phase of Operation Continuing Promise in April and June, bringing humanitarian aid to three Pacific coast Latin American nations -- El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru. In those two months they treated 14,000 patients, performed 127 surgeries, dispensed 40,000 medications, distributed nearly 3,500 pairs of eyeglasses, completed 14,000 dental procedures, treated about 2,900 animals the people rely upon for their livelihood, and instructed 18,000 students in first aid, CPR, basic sanitation, and nutrition. In more than twice as much time, visiting twice the number of countries, the USS Kearsarge promises to far exceed those impressive numbers.
I'll see first-hand some of the good things our incredible armed forces are doing around the world to bring the promise of America to other peoples. I'll speak with the medical personnel, the ship's crew, hopefully some of the patients (if my Spanish comes through), and share it all in this space.
This is a distraction from what could be considered "far more important" things regarding the Presidential campaign and local elections, but think of it rather as a reality check, a change of pace, a look at something worthwhile that our government is doing and will continue to do regardless of the turmoil of election politics. Our warriors in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere do amazing work securing the peace through combat operations, but also, importantly, through humanitarian efforts that demonstrate good will, commitment, and attentiveness. This trip is all about the latter, without requiring the former -- indeed, in part with the hope that the former will never be necessary.
This incredible opportunity, however, is not a paid vacation. I have to cover my own food costs and my travel expenses to and from the ship, as well as my plane ticket back to the States from Nicaragua. All told, the trip will cost $900. This is where you can actually become a part of this trip. I know many of you are making lots of donations to worthy candidates and causes. I know this is a time when donations are being monitored, limited, and scrutinized. I assure you: there are no FEC-imposed limitations on donations to this cause. You may give as much as you like. I've even included a handy button to make it even easier. Thank you for whatever support you can manage; I look forward to sharing this mission with you.