Showing support for armed forces is a tradition as old as time. R.E.D., a modern version of supporting troops, is an abbreviation for Remember Everyone Deployed. Although the start of this practice is not easy to distinguish, the unwavering support of the movement is unsurprisingly astounding.
History of RED Fridays
Wearing red on Fridays, known as RED Friday, is the weekly tradition for American and Canadian civilians to wear an article of red clothing to support troops that are deployed abroad. There are two stories of the beginning of RED Fridays: a chain email (believe it or not!) going around in 2006 encouraged people to wear a red article of clothing on Fridays and to forward this email to their friends, family, and email contacts. The other origin story comes from our neighbors to the north, Canada, as the Canadian citizens rallied to wear red to support their soldiers deployed in Afghanistan as a part of the Global War on Terrorism.
How To Wear RED
Participating and supporting RED Fridays is as simple as it sounds, wear red on Fridays! Wearing red is not limited to wearing a military-themed t-shirt. Every workplace has its own culture and dress code, so for some wearing a military centered t-shirt is almost impossible. To still show support, wear a red tie, red lapel pin, or a red work appropriate shirt. There is power in numbers, recruit and rally your coworkers to start wearing red on Fridays to show your support for our deployed troops.
Supporting the Troops in Other Ways
Showing support via clothing and spreading the cause to others is a great way to spread the R.E.D. cause and purpose. There are other ways to show a more tangible support for your community through volunteer work and donations.
- Soldier’s Angels – Soldier’s Angels is a charity devoted to volunteering and giving to veterans, deployed troops, wounded and family members. The volunteers at Soldier’s Angels put together care packages with requested items, supplying gas and grocery money for family members, and send cards to those who are deployed. Soldier’s Angels also partner with local VA Medical facilities. Learn more at https://soldiersangels.org/
- HeroBox – HeroBox was started by a brother of a deployed soldier who soon realized a lot of deployed troops receive little to no support from their loved ones back home. Founder Ryan Housley started to curate care packages for those with specific needs based on gender, location, and a variety of other needs. HeroBox has expanded to all 50 states, boosting volunteer efforts to help tens of thousands of deployed troops. Learn more at https://herobox.org/
- Operation Gratitude – Operation Gratitude was started when Carolyn Blashek she met a disparaged soldier who lost his family and felt all alone. Blashek started Operation Gratitude from her living room sending personalized care packages to troops overseas. Operation Gratitude sends over 300,000 care packages to deployed troops, new recruits, veterans, wounded heroes, and their care givers.
Remembering The Mission
There are many ways to support the service members deployed whether they are in combat zones or not. Wearing a red article of clothing every Friday is a great way to show your support to those around you, and hopefully will encourage them to join you every Friday.
Sharing articles like this, volunteering, donating to trusted veteran organizations, and sending care packages to those who are deployed are great ways to raise awareness of the meaning of RED Fridays, helping those who are deployed, and boosting their morale.