ST. LOUIS, MO.  (Joe Richter, Missouri Sports Magazine) – We hold parades for sports teams, but what about the people who are really important to our country?  Where are the parades for those who sacrifice a large portion of their lives to serve their country, and foster freedom around the globe?  That’s just what Craig Schneider and Tom Appelbaum are trying to make happen on January 28thin downtown St. Louis.

Sure, this is a sports website.  But sometimes there are things much more important than multimillionaire athletes and what their teams are doing.  We need to show how much we appreciate the sacrifices made by American troops in Iraq who are returning back to the country they fought for.  We need to welcome our heroes with open arms.

Schneider and Applebaum are trying to put a parade down Market Street on January 28th to welcome our troops home from Iraq and honor them for their service to America.  There’s just one trick – they need to reach a certain dollar mark to make it happen.  They’re trying to do this in under a month.  People have told them they’re attempting the impossible – especially in a time of economic stagnancy.  But this is St. Louis, and this is America.  Charity and honor is what we do.

How does something like this happen in the modern age?  Schneider and Applebaum chose to utilize Facebook to get the word out.  They started the page “Make January 28th Welcome Home the Heroes from Iraq Day” on the social media website, and the region took notice.  A veteran’s charity of great reputation (but asked not to be named yet) offered to back the parade if Schneider and Applebaum could raise $25,000 by this Friday, January 13th to show just how interested the region is.  They need donations from those who want to thank the men and women who served in Iraq just as much as we needed these veterans to keep us free.

If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause and properly honor these brave men and women, visit their Facebook page, or send an email to them at iraqwelcomhome@gmail.com.  You can also pledge through the law offices of Tom Applebaum (314-985-5673) or fax a pledge to 314-985-0637.  If they’re unable to reach their financial goal, they’ll donate the money to the veteran’s charity mentioned.

As they say on their page, these veterans “didn’t ask for a parade, or a community show of support, or a gathering of people and organizations specifically focused on easing our warriors’ transition back to civilian life.  We’re throwing one anyway.”

It’s the least that a grateful country can do for those who have given so much.  Please do all you can to help make this happen.

(Thanks to Ann Rubin of KSDK for contributing to this article.)