X-Tra, Miscellany and Admin: November 2009 Archives

Project VALOUR-IT

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(This will remain on top through Veteran's Day. Scroll down for newer posts)

I think that one charitable fund raiser per year is both reasonable and an absolute limit, so I have to be very picky as to which one I choose. I could choose the San Diego Zoo, American Red Cross or many other worthy charities.

The one I have chosen is more important than that.

Project VALOUR-IT helps disabled troops who have lost the use of one or both hands in action. It can't replace those hands; what it does is enable them to connect to the internet and use a computer, both of which are becoming ever more essential parts of daily life. They stepped up to the line to defend you, your family, and even the jerk who runs this website, and for the rest of their life they are going to suffer a disability that is becoming more important to all aspects of living a normal life. I believe that helping these people live a life that is as normal as practical is the absolute minimum we can do.

There are NO ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS to this program. Every penny goes to buy these laptops, which the manufacturer sells at cost or even a touch below.

Prevent this shame from happening to us. Please.

The Last of the Light Brigade

There were thirty million English who talked of England's might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four!

They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, "Let us go to the man who writes
The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites."

They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
And, waiting his servant's order, by the garden gate they stayed,
A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

They strove to stand to attention, to straighten the toil-bowed back;
They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and "Beggin' your pardon," he said,
"You wrote o' the Light Brigade, sir. Here's all that isn't dead.
An' it's all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin' the mouth of hell;
For we're all of us nigh to the workhouse, an, we thought we'd call an' tell.

"No, thank you, we don't want food, sir; but couldn't you take an' write
A sort of 'to be continued' and 'see next page' o' the fight?
We think that someone has blundered, an' couldn't you tell 'em how?
You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now."

The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with "the scorn of scorn."
And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

O thirty million English that babble of England's might,
Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
Our children's children are lisping to "honour the charge they made-"
And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!


Rudyard Kipling


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the X-Tra, Miscellany and Admin category from November 2009.

X-Tra, Miscellany and Admin: June 2009 is the previous archive.

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