R.E.D. Remember Everyone Deployed

What do you think of, when you see RED? Do you think of a specific commercialized holiday coming up or do you think of the thousands of service members who have come home with a flag draped over their coffins? Do you think of the war we are fighting overseas to keep the war away from our backyards? Do you think of the 22+ veterans and active duty service members that commit suicide every day? Do you think of the blood shed on our soil by terrorists, grown both here and abroad? Will you think of the flag draped coffin that was recently met by President Trump containing the remains of my brother in arms and fellow sailor Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens. Ill tell you what I think of when I see RED. But first, a little background on where and what RED stands for.

In 2005, amidst the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan an email chain, was started. The email stated the following:

“You will soon see a lot of people wearing RED on Friday’s. Here is why…

The Americans who support our troops, are the silent majority. We are not “organized” to reflect who we are, or to reflect what our opinions are. Many Americans, like yourself, would like to start a grassroots movement using the membership of the Special Operations Association, and Special Forces Associations, and all their friends, simply to recognize that Americans support our troops. We need to inform the local VFW’s and American Legion, our local press, local TV, and continue carrying the message to the national levels as we start to get this going. Our idea of showing our solidarity and support for our troops is starting Friday, and continuing on each and every Friday, until this is over, that every RED – blooded American who supports our young men and women, WEAR SOMETHING RED.

Word of mouth, press, TV — let’s see if we can make the United States, on any given Friday, a sea of RED much like a home football game at a university.

If every one of our memberships share this with other acquaintances, fellow workers, friends, and neighbors, I guarantee that it will not be long before the USA will be covered in RED – and make our troops know there are many people thinking of their well-being. You will feel better all day Friday when you wear RED!

Let’s get the word out and lead by example; wear RED on Fridays.

Please forward this to everyone you know!!

While it is not really clear when or where the campaign started to wear RED on every Friday officially started, it started and took off as something for deployed troops. To remember and honor them. I have been wearing RED in some form or another on every Friday for as long as I can remember. I recently saw something about wearing RED on Friday for National Wear RED Day. Which is always the first Friday of February in honor of the American Heart Association and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institutes work to bring awareness of Heart Disease as the number 1 killer of women.

Wearing RED means a lot of things for a lot of different people. From heart disease awareness to remembering everyone deployed and HIV/AIDS awareness. All of which are equally important, but I don’t want people confusing these and not knowing that they could and should wear RED every Friday and it would mean something to someone. When you wear RED, I don’t think of political affiliations or the atrocious pantsuits Hillary Clinton has worn, or the “RED” states. Nor does it remind me of the USSR or the Axis of Evil or even gangs in the streets. When you wear RED, regardless of the day, I think of all my brothers and sisters in arms who are deployed, have deployed and will deploy. Of the hardships and heartaches dealt with, from shipmates passing away in their sleep on the ship to missing a child’s birth to someone dying and not being able to make the funeral back home. It reminds me of all those things and more. When I see someone wearing RED, I think of my nephew. Red was my nephew’s favorite color. I think of the moment I got that phone call telling me my nephew passed away and I think of the day I stood in that HOT Wyoming sun on that hot June day in my dress blues with tears streaming down my face. I think of the flag draped coffins of my brothers and sisters as they make their way home from battlefields afar, be it the deserts of the Middle East or the jungles of Vietnam. What I don’t think of, is heart disease or any number of other things that RED stands for. RED stands for many things but for this veteran, it stands for Remembering Everyone Deployed and all that it entails to be deployed.


For God and Country

Zakia Thiesen

About Zakia Thiesen

My name is Zakia Thiesen, pronounced (Zah-Key-Ah Thee-sin) I am originally from a small city in southern Minnesota, where was born and raised until just before my 13th birthday. I have lived here in Maine since. I currently reside on the coast with my 6 year old daughter and our two dogs. I pitched the idea of a blog about Veteran’s and the trials and tribulations, veterans go through when transitioning to civilian life from active duty life to the Bangor Daily News and here I am, writing this for all of you. I strongly support community involvement and encourage others to get involved in any way that they can. I served in the US Navy for four years as a Culinary Specialist. I received an Honorable Discharge in 2011. Please note that anything I say here is a reflection of my own personal views, experiences and opinions. My words do not reflect any local, state or national veteran or non veteran advocacy group I may be affiliated with. My views do not reflect the opinion of any local, state or national public officials, the US Government or the Department of the Navy.