Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Thanksgiving

November 23rd, 2006 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

What it means to be away from home:

A year ago, I sat in a Marine Corps chow hall, looking at a giant turkey made out of who knows what and covered in corn flakes. It was a great attempt to make you feel good during a time when you realize your loved ones were gathering for a nice meal, some red wine and great times. I remember sitting with my friends, my other family, seven thousand miles from home, in a war that the average anonymous guy does not understand, wishing I were home. For that instant, time stood still; the fear of a rocket attack passed as I sat on my plastic seat, eating a tray full of turkey and dressing made by the cooks who haven’t a clue as to what Thanksgiving is all about, but who try. I only thought about my family and friends who were still fast asleep in bed. I looked around and watched these young men and women as they bowed their heads to pray; some did the sign of the cross. I understand now that they, too, are were thinking the same thing as they sat there with an M-16 strapped across their back, weighed down with a twenty-some pound flak jacket and Kevlar helmet, heads bowed, lips moving.

They say that there are no atheists in combat and I believed it as I witnessed each person sit and pray. Iraq is now passing into the evening just as the sun starts its slow march over the horizon to wake up America into a new day. Thanksgiving Day. What are you thankful for? I’m thankful now that I was able to serve my country; that I have a wife who would support my going back into the Marines; children who love their daddy, and parents who support their son through thick and thin. I’m thankful for the loyal corps of supporters I made friends with last year who not only took care of my Marines and me, but countless others. I’m thankful that there are young men and women in our country as I type this, who knowing all the dangers military life involves, still choose to join the service with about a ninety percent chance of going to combat. They weren’t drafted. They, on their own volition, raised their right hand and took an oath to serve. They are my Heroes and have accomplished more in their lives then most Americans can dream of.

They will make better citizens out of our fellow countrymen; maybe run for office one day remembering this day, Thanksgiving, one of the many holidays they will be gone from friends and family. To all the men and women of every branch who are over in harms’ way, I will pray for your safe return tomorrow as we bow our heads here in the U.S. over our dinner. You all are the only heroes this country has right now. When the job is over and we leave Iraq and Afghanistan, you will still earn the respect of many people for many decades. They will make movies about this war, write books and as the dust of time passes, it to will be recognized for what it was–the western world against the Islamic Fascists. When the IED’s start exploding on I-95 south of DC, only then will the rest of this broken country come to understand what you were up against. They will start praying for our help then.

Happy Thanksgiving to our Marines/Troops/Airmen and Sailors and God Bless you!!

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