NO soldier goes unloved

Posted July 5, 2018 at 2:53 pm

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By Julie Ann Madden

Wearing the color of red on Fridays isn’t necessarily to support the Akron-Westfield Westerners sports teams on a game day. It has a much more important role in the United States. Since this country has been at war continuously since 2001, an effort to support American troops deployed overseas began in 2005 and continues today.

It is RED Fridays. RED stands for Remember Everyone Deployed.

At least two Akron families are wearing red every Friday, not only in support of America’s deployed soldiers but to personally support their own loved ones who are serving this country overseas at this time.

For Ryan and Sue Bergman, of Akron, participating in RED Fridays is to support their son, Jacob, who is the 185th Air National Guard Security Forces in Kuwait. He has been there since January but is expected to return back home the end of this month.

“Our family has been wearing red shirts on Fridays since Jacob was deployed,” Ryan told The Akron Hometowner.

“Our family is proud of the concept of RED Fridays,” said Jessica Pick, wife of soldier Alan Pick from Akron. “It’s encouraging to know that people acknowledge the selflessness of those men/women deployed and continually think of them.”

“I want (people) to know military families appreciate the support and this is about the easiest way I can think of to ‘show’ support,” she said, adding Alan has been serving in Niger, Africa, since Jan. 2. He is currently on his “last leg of deployment and hopefully will be home soon.”

According to the RedShirtFridays.org, “They Bleed Red, So We Wear Red! The mission of RedShirtFridays.org is to show support for our servicemen and servicewomen. We are not a political organization. We do not care whether or not one supports or does not support our nation’s specific military missions. We care only about making our support of our servicemen and servicewomen known to our fellow Americans and the world. We are a silent majority that does not wish to remain silent anymore. We wish to let our servicemen and servicewomen know we support their sacrifice and that we will not forget them; we will do this by wearing Red every Friday.”

According to soldiersangels.org’s October 2014 post, “RED Friday was created to remind people of our heroes overseas and show that we are thinking of them. In 2005, this movement started through an email chain, similar to chain letters where you passed it to several friends.

Sometime in 2006, the RED Campaign was adopted in Canada by Lisa Miller and Karen Boier, the wives of two Canadian servicemen. Eventually, Lloyd (Doc) Hofmeister became involved in the Canadian RED Shirt Fridays and decided to take it back to America. Lloyd started a website called redshirtfridays.org because, “I know what it is like to be half a world away from your life, to feel that no one cares, and to come home to be humiliated and ashamed of your service…I have seen firsthand how troop morale is as important as basic training. If morale is low, mistakes are made and people die. Our job is to support our troops and in the process we can help to increase their morale by showing we care. Let’s face it, your show of appreciation could very well save someone’s son or daughter’s life.”

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