Death panels. Cash for clunkers. Guns at protests. Racism! Racism? Card check.
Everyone is debating and discussing, arguing and accusing on all these issues. Average American is concerned about whether he can get $4500 for his old car or whether Uncle Sam is going to pay for his Viagra.
Meanwhile, here are some friends of mine that I have never met –
Army Pfc. William Z. Vanosdol 23 Ad Diwaniyah, Iraq
Army Pfc. Morris L. Walker 23 Paktika Province, Afghanistan
Army Staff Sgt. Clayton P. Bowen 29 Paktika Province, Afghanistan
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Adam F. Benjamin 34 Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Marine Lance Cpl. Leopold F. Damas, 26 Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Army Sgt. 1st Class William B. Woods Jr., 31 Ghazni, Afghanistan
Army Cpl. Nicholas R. Roush, 22 Herat, Afghanistan
These are all young men who willingly put their lives on the line every day. Unfortunately, neither you nor I will now get a chance to meet them. Each of them died this week in incidents directly related to enemy action in OEF/OIF.
Those of us in the military are still fighting, and dying, because YOUR lives and freedom depend on it. You maybe didn’t know it because casualty counts are no longer a tool for one particular political party to gain power. In addition, Dancing with the stars, Michael Jackson’s death and what might or might not be in Tom Ridge’s book are much more interesting to the news media’s talking heads.
We don’t ask for much, you all know that. Indeed, without exception, we are a little embarrassed when we are thanked on the street. I don’t think it is too much to ask that people at least remember we are still out there, rough men prepared to do violence on your behalf so that you can sleep peaceably in your beds at night.
Regardless of the occupant of the oval office, regardless of the party in charge or the policy du jour, my brothers and sisters and I put on our uniforms and go into harm’s way, because we love this country and we revere the Constitution and the freedom that makes this country such a unique place in all of history.
Don’t forget us!
Note: I am currently preparing for another deployment to Iraq (at last word, we might still be shifted to Afghanistan) but will not be leaving until the beginning of next year as it stands right now.