RED Friday, Support our Troops
Our founder shares the organization's history of wearing red on Fridays.
There are many variances of how "Red Friday" got started in the United States. While I can't state whether or not those accounts are accurate, I can share how we adopted the phrase as an organization to promote wearing red on Fridays.
We use "Red Friday" as a way for military families as well as civilians to show solidarity and support for all military personnel regardless of rank or location, regardless of whether military personnel are stateside, stationed abroad, or on a float.
Back in 2004, I got an email from a Dad in Colorado. Both of our sons were combat deployed to Iraq with Colonel Bryan P. McCoy, the CO for 3/4, 3rd Btn, 4th Marines. His email said: "Hey, on Friday, people in Canada wear red to honor their military. Can you ask our Marine families to do that?" And I did. And we have done it ever since. Back then, we were the largest military community bringing people together in one location for information, support, and services and a Place to Connect & Share®. We had a huge voice and family members who associated with MarineParents.com started wearing red on Fridays.
In 2006 right after I moved the organization out of my home into our first warehouse/office, we created the first Red Friday shirt: "Red Friday...it's a military thing". At the same time, I was blasted with emails telling me that "Red Friday" was for Canadians and we live in America and I'd better stop the campaign. I ignored them and we kept right on going. I have understood all along that "Red Friday" originally came from Canada, but it made no difference to me. It was a great way to show solidarity for our military whether an individual had someone serving or not.
The RED standing for "Remember Everyone Deployed" is not something I understood and I'm not sure when it came about. I didn't care for Red Friday being specifically about deployment. I had always understood that deployment was supposed to be the meaning of the Yellow Ribbon. From what I recall, the R.E.D. part came about when troops were no longer combat deployed. Personally, I have a hard time "praying" about deployments when people are off on a ship or on temporary duty in another country where we have military installations and all the comforts of home; while it's still unnerving for many family members and my good wishes are with them, I'm not praying for their safety the way I prayed for the safety of our Marines and military personnel on combat deployments getting shot at, killed, and injured.
People seem more enamored with R.E.D. than with the "Red Friday...it's a Military Thing". Again, personally, I feel it's important to have Red Friday be in support of all military, not just those deployed. That continues to be the position we hold here at MarineParents.com.
Red Friday is not as old as the "Son in Service" flag now known as the Blue Star Banner, which most folks no longer understand, nor is it as old as the yellow ribbon, but it's certainly been around 15+ years now and has taken a firm hold with military families as well as with civilian offices who have a military-based person behind them encouraging the offices to wear red on Friday in support of our military personnel.
We continue to encourage you, the Marine Parents family, to join this cause and wear red on Fridays for all of our military.