Last month I happened to find Cup of Joe for a Joe, a program that lets you buy a cup of coffee for a randomly selected United States servicemember stationed overseas. After checking out Green Beans (the company that runs the program) and finding that they’re totally legitimate (serving coffee to troops stationed in incredibly hostile places — they’re solid) I put in a $60 donation to buy a cup of coffee for a servicemember every day for a month. That’s no big deal, you and I spend more than that on our monthly wireless service. It’s a cool little thing to do for someone and it’s not about getting anything in return. But what’s been incredible, and unexpected, are the replies I get from the troops who get the coffees. Green Beans sends them a note from the person who bought it, and they’re able to send a reply by email. Some are short notes of appreciation, some are longer letters describing life overseas. Today I got a great one, and it felt like an appropriate day to share the idea with more people. Here’s an excerpt from the email I got:
Matt, Happy 4th of July (today), Thank you for this gift, though I’d rather be having a beer with you right now. I am an Ohio National Guard soldier on my third deployment, currently in Afghanistan. We work on a dusty camp up north, but are able to travel to FOBs with a Green Beans and I love their coffee. So, you picked a great way to support us.
I think Americans of all political stripes can agree that these men and women are sacrificing an awful lot on our behalf. If you haven’t done anything for a servicemember lately, or even if you have, consider buying one a cup of joe on Independence Day.