20061110

Veteran's Day

Well, being the wimp that I am I never sent the lettet I typed up a few days ago. So instead of sending it to the newspapers I will post it here. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
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My fellow Americans, I am not writing this letter as a Democrat, a Republican, or even as an Independent. I am writing it as a soldier. It is popular to say “support our troops” so I wanted to take a moment to say thank you, but also share what that means to me. I feel qualified to speak on this topic from a personal perspective as I have been a soldier for over 20 years now – having served both on active duty, and as a reservist. It is true that over the past two years that over 2,000 soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq, and it is true that every day the men and women of the armed forces of the United States face danger. But where are the stories of their triumphs? Where are the tales of the good things that have occurred? Of schools built? Of hospitals built? What about the training of the people to staff those facilities? I could not possibly hope to elaborate in this small note all of the good things that our troops have accomplished, or the work that continues on today. And not just in Iraq either. Today the men and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard serve around the world and the United States. We have responded to the call of both Republican and Democratic leadership. From the DMZ in Korea, to Afghanistan/Iraq/Bosnia, to the Gulf Coast states after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But all this you know. I have heard it said that the rank and file of these services is flush with those who could not make it in school or society (not just recently, but over the years) – but if you were to delve deeper you will see that these services are really a microcosm of our society as a whole. I have served beside mechanics, construction workers, waiters, firemen, policemen, and even a lawyer. Some have not begun their continuing education; others have set their careers aside to serve. But one thing is common in all cases, intended or otherwise, they have each set aside their personal lives to serve the country. On this Veterans Day I would ask that we all set aside our political ideologies and sit down with a Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, and/or Marine and ask about the things they have done. Combat is such a small part of what the armed forces are about. Each and every one of us cares deeply about the deaths and wounds of our fellow soldiers – they are our brothers and sisters, they are our friends. There is nothing more demoralizing to our service than to hear the constant trumpet of all that is wrong. We and our families, probably better than most, know the exact cost that these things inflict for we bare that cost directly. I ask that we more proudly celebrate the good things that are being accomplished. The lives that are being saved with improved education and health care, the sharing of knowledge with others. We Americans do not know everything, and we are not perfect by any means, but we are doing some good in the world today. If you are one who has been affected by the service, directly or indirectly, of a Veteran – please take the time to thank them. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, A soldier

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your letter is truly poignant and touching. Many members of my family have also served for many years and my prayers and upmost respect goes out to all those who diligently defend and protect our country. Great tribute to Veteran's Day.
Jennifer