Anyone who has walked into our office on any given Friday will typically find myself and my boss (and, ideally, my co workers) wearing red. No, it’s not a fashion statement, and it’s not some kind of psychological game we’re playing. It stands for something – it is our way of showing our support for deployed soldiers.
So what is Red Shirt Friday? Red Shirt Friday is more than just a movement. It is a sign of support for service men and women both deployed and returning home. At any given time, thousands of soldiers are deployed, far from home and some even in dangerous situations. When these soldiers come home, so many feel lost and unsupported by the country they were representing. By wearing red, it is a simple way to say “I support you.” To a person who has been in the service, showing that support can mean a world of difference to them.
Now the big question – why does Red Shirt Friday really affect me? Yes, I support our troops, though not always the battle. But that is not the only reason I wear red. I come from a line of military service men. My father served in the US Navy until I was 13. Both of my grandfathers are Army veterans, while my step-grandfather did his time in the Air Force. My great-grandfather was also an Army vet, my third cousin just graduated from Air Force basic training, and several close family friends serve the Marines. I could go on and on into my ancestry, but I think you get the point – the military kind of surrounds me. Being a brat (for those who don’t know, that means the child of a service member), I’ve been around more military people than I could ever count. And apparently I can’t avoid the military, as even my boss is an Army veteran. I have seen first-hand what support can do. Even the smallest bit of support can make a huge difference, so I wear red to make sure every service member I come in contact with knows that I support them.
I urge everyone to wear red on Fridays. Make red part of your business – give your employees the chance to dress casually if they wear red shirts, give customers who come in wearing red a discount, find some way to incorporate the support. Maybe, someday, everyone will wear red on Fridays, and every serviceman and woman will know that they always have our support. #RedFriday