The San Francisco Film Commission recently denied the Silent Drill Platoon of the U.S. Marine Corps the right to shoot a segment of a cross-country film campaign for their "America's Marines" TV commercial on the side street of my block. New York allowed them. The San Francisco commission's excuse was traffic control. California Street, my side street, is closed off every year for a Chinese New Year parade. It is closed off not infrequently for secret, police-escorted people in limousines going to their expensive hotels at the top of the hill. San Francisco is a city proud to close off its big streets when it wants to.
Wherever you are, however you feel about the war, however you feel about American Marine Corps recruitment, it's important to remember and care for men and women already serving in Iraq.
If you can, please consider adopting a soldier through Soldiers' Angels Soldiers' Angels is a national, non-profit organization whose slogan is, "May no soldier go unloved." Adopting a soldier means commiting to sending a letter once a week and a care package once or twice a month for a predetermined length of time. Soldiers' Angels will help you with ideas for care packages. You don't have to have a lot of money. (Warning: It is not a dating or entertainment service. It is a serious commitment that matters to soldiers and their families.)
I signed up yesterday. I found out about it from Greta Perry of "Kiss My Gumbo," whose husband served and came home to Louisiana from Iraq. Greta Perry, besides writing "Kiss My Gumbo" (at kissmygumbo.com), runs the entire Louisiana chapter of Soldiers' Angels, among many other things. This is the last post in which I am going to exploit her.
And don't worry, you will only be solicited for help for soldiers, AIDS, and Katrina wreckage at this site.