One Week Left

It has been exactly one week since we began our fundraising drive to Fisher House ( a not-for-profit organziation under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code), and we are still overwhelmed by the support that we have thus far received.

To date, we have raised $5,757 for Fisher House in honor of Sgt. Yance T. Gray, and Sgt. Omar Mora, but that still leaves us with over four thousand dollars to raise and only a week to do it in, so we need everyone to dig deep.  We’ve averaged about a thousand dollars a day for the first five days, but things have slowed down quite a bit over the last day and a half, and at the rate we’re going, we may not make it.

I have another reason why I want to get to ten thousand.  Hell, I want to leave ten thousand way behind.  The response for this effort has been astounding, and we’re doing a lot of good and helping a lot of military families out there who have loved ones in the service who have been injured.

I’m going to be honest with you, this could be probably one of the best things I’ve done in my life, and I love that feeling.  I love the feeling of being a part of something good, and I love the feeling of making a difference.  It gets in you, and there’s really nothing like it.

If we make our goal in the time allotted, we’re going to make this an annual drive, so yeah, I want to smash our goal to pieces.

Part of what this is about is putting a face to the faceless, giving a name to the 3800 fallen angels who have sacrificed their lives for their country.  For this reason, I want to talk about someone else in the context of this drive.

Deep Confusion author Hope Springs A Turtle informed me last night that a good friend of her family (a military family) recently died in Iraq.

Smith grad dies in Iraq

(Smith College photo)

Roselle Hoffmaster’s Smith yearbook photo.

By Globe Staff

Roselle Hoffmaster, a graduate of Smith College who died while serving in the Army in Iraq, is being remembered fondly today at the Northampton institution.

“You couldn’t find a more caring or compassionate person. She’s a giver. She’s the ultimate team person who gave her all,” said Carla Coffey, who coached Hoffmaster in cross country and track and field.

Hoffmaster, 32, an Army captain, died last Friday in Kirkuk of non-combat-related causes. She was the First Brigade Combat Team surgeon, the military said this weekend in a release from Fort Drum, N.Y.

Hoffmaster, a native of Cleveland, graduated from Smith with a biochemistry degree in 1998.

She was commissioned into the Army Medical Corps in 2004. She was assigned to the Tenth Mountain Division in July and deployed to Iraq this month.

She is survived by her husband and parents, the Army said in a statement.

The Army has released no further details on the circumstances of her death. The investigation is still ongoing, said Fort Drum spokesman Benjamin Abel.

Professor Christine White-Ziegler said Hoffmaster was “a real star, just off the charts in terms of her academics.”

“She was just a very easygoing and approachable person. … You could see her concern for others,” she said.

“It’s very sad for the whole Smith community. We’re very saddened by her death,” said Coffey, the coach.

We were compelled to start this fundraiser because in a flash the personal aspect of losing someone to war was brought home to us.  If this does become an annual drive, I think that’s what it’s going to be about, turning the statistic into names and faces, telling the stories of those who have died in Iraq, and then letting their memories help their comerades in arms who still live but are injured.

So please, we only have four thousand dollars to raise, and seven days left to do it in.  We can do this.  If you can give, please do.  It doesn’t have to be a large sum; a lot of donors, including myself, have donated thirty dollars or less.  And if you can’t give, help us spread the word.  Even if you can give, there’s still no reason why you can’t join our email drive to get the attention of larger media personalities in the hopes of this fundraiser reaching a wider audience.  You can check the list out here.

But ultimately, I want to thank everyone who has participated up until now.  We wouldn’t have gotten this far without you.

Thank you.

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