In re the list traffic on military appreciation, etc:
As a veteran and current reservist, thank you.
I am a member of a family with a long tradition of military service. At
one time or another, someone in my family tree has fought the British a
couple of times, the Mexicans, the South, the North, the Indians, the
Spanish, the Germans, the Turks, the Italians, the Japanese, the North
Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Iraqis (heck, we didn't get along with
anyone....). Some of the finest people I know are in the services, and
some of the greatest lesson I've learned were in the service.
Every year around the holidays I see these things, and I appreciate it,
but can't help but think it should be a year 'round thing. The
commitment of a member of the military is a 24/7 thing....
A short essay of my thoughts on this follows my signature below.
Happy Holidays to All!
Council Bluffs, Iowa
We're active duty, volunteers, draftees, reservists, and guards members.
We've served in peace and in war, in the freezing cold and broiling heat,
dug foxholes, slogged through mud, moved materiels and supplies through
gunfire, walked point in a free-fire zone, jumped from a perfectly good
airplane into a hostile area, experienced the peculiar hell of standing
watch when it's perfectly quiet, and donned protective masks and
bio-chemical protective gear when the alarms go off.
We've been in combat zones for month and years at a time, and served our
country for entire lifetimes. Sometimes those lifetimes were short.
We've seen the ballon go up, and deployed on a less than a moment's
notice. We've watched our families grow up without us, lost our families
because of our service, and our families sometimes lose us.
We've been sent on combat missions and peacekeeping missions, and train
constantly. We drive tanks, ride in infantry vehicles and trucks; we fly
planes, pilot ships, and hump rucks. We shuffle papers, move supplies,
turn wrenches, target guns, and perform medical services. We gather
intelligence, drop bombs, shoot missiles, run commo, and form perimeters.
We kill the enemy. We may not want to, but we do what is necessary to
accomplish our mission: To be prepared -- at all times -- to protect the
interests of our country. And we do this so that you never have to face
the horror of taking a life, or seeing a friend die, or place yourself in
We give our lives.
We've seen the world change because of our efforts, and been slighted
because of those efforts. Some have said that idealism is dead, that in
today's pragmatic times, folks are too practical to sacrifice for a
concept. We do. In peace and in war, we do.
Sometimes we're remembered and thanked; given a parade, a flag, or a
salute on special occasions, or on holidays. Sometimes we're an
inconvenience; more often, and worse, we're taken for granted, as a
constant. We don't expect gratitude, we don't need to be glorified or
pitied, we don't seek special honors. We do what we do out of love for
you, our country.
We've earned respect, and simple acknowledgement of our contributions.
Please remember us daily. If you can't or you won't, and we're forgotten
until the next holiday rolls around, we'll still be here.
We'll still serve. It needs to be done, and someone has to do it.
And we believe.