A Letter to My Shipmates

By lex, on November 4th, 2009

Some of you remember that I spent a day at sea with some cutting edge folks on the blog, tech and information world. I wrote them a little email today that I thought I’d share with you.

I hope you don’t mind.


I’m writing this email to you, my USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) shipmates, because I know you to be proud and influential members of the bloggerati, technophiles, attention getters, trend setters, opinion makers and fascinating, intelligent, genetically gifted individuals whose children, if you have any, are each and every one of them above average. Otherwise your nieces, nephews and cousins, I’m sure.

Busy as you are, it might have escaped your notice that each year for the last several years there has been a fund drive that delivers voice-activated laptop computers to soldiers wounded on the field of battle. These laptops permit our wounded troops to connect with the world as they work through their convalescence, reach out to family and friends, take college courses and generally work on becoming healthy, productive members of society.

The program goes by the admittedly clunky moniker of “VALOUR-IT“* , a tortured acronym that stands for “Voice activated laptops for our injured troops.” The drive is completely apolitical, takes no position on the war(s) themselves and serves only to help out young men and women who gave it their best, took some hard lumps and have come back home, seeking to make their way in a new, and for them, unfamiliar world. Sponsored by an umbrella organization known as “Soldier’s Angels“, a registered non-profit 501(c)(3), every dollar donated to VALOUR-IT is fully tax deductible, eligible for matching corporate funds and goes to the troops. There are no associated overhead costs.

Each year, the several military services hold a friendly competition, and I regret to inform you, you Eagles of the Sea, that this year the US Navy is getting its butt kicked*. Our Navy. Yours and mine.

You: That’s awful, Lex. About the Navy, I mean. And the troops of course. What can I do?

Me: You know what you can do, shipmate. Having seen the quality and character of those who sail forth to the uttermost parts of the sea, doing the nation’s hard work, like. For months at a time, under arduous conditions and for damned little pay.

You: But specifically.

Me: Glad you asked. Give a little if you can. Spread the word within your inestimable spheres of influence. Bear in mind that really good young people have gone forth to really awful places to do the things that our democratically elected government has asked them to do and came back diminished in body, if not in spirit.

Give them a hand, and if it suits your fancy, tweet it or blog it or send emails to those who care and can make a difference. Do it for Team Navy *. Or just do it.

After all, how many chances do you get between now and Veteran’s Day on the 11th of November, get to do something so selfless for those who have given so much?

And I don’t ask for so much.

You guys rock.



We’ll see how they do. They’re not closely linked to the service folks like we are.

But they’re good people, none the less. I’m sure they’ll do what’s right.

* 09-20-2018 Links Gone; no replacements found – Ed.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, blogging, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Navy

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