My brother-in-law Anthony wrote a note tonight on his Facebook page that was so heartfelt and so honest that I had to share it. He gave me permission to do so, and I hope everyone reads this and understands the sacrifice of the men and women of our military. Some will come back from “downrange” whole, some will not. Pray for the safety of our military. Pray that all this animosity will end. Pray for peace. His words follow…
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“A few days ago I came home from a long business trip, two and a half months. While I was away my son, an Army Lieutenant, asked if a few of his soldiers could stay at the house a few days. They had temporary duty at West Point and accommodations at the Point weren’t available. Sure, no problem.
“I entered the house after seven time zones and about 20 hours of flying to find seven military police watching Pirates of the Caribbean in my living room. I work in a tough business but this was a tough bunch. There was a kid from West Virginia, another from central Pennsylvania, another from Georgia and the sergeant from Brooklyn. They were tattooed, muscled and I am glad they are on my side. I looked around the room at these young men laughing, joking and ribbing each other, as soldiers do. Two had been deployed twice, in Iraq and Afghanistan, most had been deployed once and they would all be going “downrange” the beginning of next year. The draw down the news mentions occasionally will still leave over 100,000 soldiers in harm’s way: political semantics for an upcoming political season.
“These soldiers were the sons of working men and women, not the sons of politicians. We have elected a congress, the great majority of whom, have never served. Members of congress do not send their children to the military, they send our children to war. I can’t help but wonder if they have any real connection with a military that has been at war for over eight years, two WWII’s.
“As I looked at these young men I was filled with a sense of pride. No matter how poorly thought out the political strategy, they were willing to do their duty. They were willing to go find the enemy, anywhere, to keep us safe at home; safe to complain, safe to whine, safe to live comfortably. Everyone of them was a volunteer.
“We can go days now and not hear about Iraq or Afghanistan on the news, yet every day one of them is a target. Everyday they wake to the reality that they might not be in one piece at the end of the day. The public and the politicians have lost interest in this decade-old war, yet we still have men and women fighting in places that haven’t changed in a thousand years and will be the same after we leave.
“I looked around the room and gave a silent prayer to keep each of them safe, I thanked God that America still produces these silent heroes that stand ready to go anywhere to push out the borders and keep the great majority of disinterested Americans safe this summer. We all need to stop and thank these almost invisible soldiers and sailors and airmen for fighting a war none of us really understand, a war that seems to have no end. They go quietly, unrewarded and many times they go again and again.
“Thank you 91st Military Police Battalion, 563rd Military Police Company. Thank you to everyone going downrange. I don’t think we, the comfortable majority of America, has earned your sacrifice.”
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We have not earned their sacrifice, indeed… Pray for peace…