Tribute To Our Troops
This is what I believe (heart and soul) and no matter what, I will not disclaim writing and feeling this with every atom of my being. This being a political time, and some may say this a political subject, I have placed a political disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
I want to thank all of the men and women who have gone to war for us over the years. Those who served in the first wars -- The Revolution against King George III, the Spanish American War, the Civil War: North vs South and others -- I cannot tell in person because they are gone. They gave their sacrifices long before I had the chance to say how much I appreciate it. I do appreciate it. Very much. Without their sacrifices, America would not be the great country it is today. It was the Founding Fathers and those who fought for our freedom from the tyranny of King George III who laid the foundation for our greatness.
The Founding Fathers thought that America needed to be a different country: one that had freedoms no other country on earth had. A country that beckoned to people around the world who wanted to be able to worship God the way they wished, who wanted a chance to make something of themselves by the sweat of their own brow. Called out to those who would be free, dreamed of it, tasted it in their sleep, and woke up mornings to the reality that it was not going to happen; not there in the country they were in. Our Founding Fathers pledged their "lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor" and some gave their lives; most gave their fortunes; their sacred honor they kept. This is what built the foundations of our nation and set the example for those who followed.
The Revolutionary War was fought to secure that which our Founding Fathers wrote about. King George was not going to let go of us without a fight and so he sent more troops to our shores and (with those already housed here) our land was stained with our blood and with the blood of Britain's soldiers. Our men, our boys, and, yes, some of our women, lost their lives to rid us of foreign rule; tyrannical rule. And they, as those after them, set the example for those to come.
Every war after that, there has been another cause. Some the participants have believed in (the Civil war) and some there were doubts about (Vietnam) and yet, our warriors, our heroes, went and served, fought and some died. Some came back with wounds of more than flesh and bone; some never returned (and I hope someday they shall). The point is: They went. They fought. They obeyed the orders (most did) that were given them. They didn't always understand the ways of the orders, the ideas behind them, why do things that way, but they did it anyways. And sometimes it meant massive casualties. Sometimes it meant certain death. Sometimes it meant writing home one last time and knowing that the child they kissed goodbye over two years ago would never know the person saying, "After this, it's just two weeks until I'll be headed home." They knew better, and they wrote it anyways, and they went anyways.
The "Great Wars" both were long and hard, but every war is for those who serve. No one knows how hard unless and until they've been there. Until they've held their buddy in their arms as he lay bleeding to death and making you swear that you would get his body home; even though there wasn't much to get home. No one knows how hard it is to be away from those comforts of home, the life they knew, the people they miss, the love gone wrong unless they go over and do the jobs our troops do every war: they fight, they are killed and they kill. They serve our country, our freedoms, our children, so that those who come after may have the life they can no longer live. All the while, in darkness and daylight, in sweat and cold, in rain or drought, they do what is necessary for our freedoms to survive. And when it seems no longer possible to think of those they love, or the sweetness of a child's joyous giggle, no longer possible to believe that it was all worthwhile, one of those brave souls will speak up. They'll say something that makes it all make sense and returns them to the place that is so hard to be: serving because America is worth it. Serving because when it hurts so bad that death seems better, they are there to prevent us: the ones comfortable at home from having to go through what they are going through.
They serve so that we may live; and not just live, but live free and comfortably and have the freedoms we currently enjoy, even when we do not notice them or take them for granted. Our freedoms live because someone from our own neighborhood lost a brother, a sister, a dad, an aunt, a son. Lost, forever gone except in our hearts and always, the price paid because they were willing to stand up and say, "Whether I agree with it or not, I will go." A decision of obedience, courage, determination, love. They may agree with the idea of this particular war, may see the necessity of it; or they may not. But they go, knowing the possibilities, knowing the cost they may pay; knowing it may not be just their cost, but a cost to their families as well. They bravely put their uniforms on, kiss the people they love and go face whatever is out there for them; and, not knowing, stand.
They see things that no one should see and they were unprepared to see it. They hear things that shouldn't be heard; and it has its effects on them. They do things that they were taught to do, knowing it is the correct thing, but also knowing that it is difficult to kill another human; even if it is a "him or me" situation. It's still hard and it hurts them to their very souls. The horrors add up and they handle it as well as they can, knowing that it will be over someday and that because they are there, the ones they love at home will live on and live better lives because of them. Because they served in World War II, America's (nor France's, nor Great Britain's, etc.) children of that time did not grow up with Hitler as their tyrrant.
Because our troops serve today, we can live free and not worry about attacks like those of 9/11. Because they are over there now, living with the heat, sleeping in tents (if they're lucky), risking it all for us, our children are more comfortable snug in their beds. Because our troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan now, our children and theirs will not have to go there, too. Our troops protect us from more than immediate: they protect our future as we sit, watching television in air conditioning, drinking ice tea. And our troops do it because they obey; ; they love the United States of America; they don't want another 9/11; they must serve our country because their hearts tell them to.
Some pay the ultimate price: some pay in blindness, loss of their legs, arms, ear, or in mental instability. Some recuperate and ask -- yes, even beg -- to go back and finish the job, rejoin their buddies and make sure that the tomorrows of those of us at home are as comfortable as on the day they lost their leg, arm, or ear. Some wish to go back, but cannot. And, even though they are homebound, their hearts are still with their units; still out there, doing what is necessary to allow us to watch baseball on this Saturday afternoon; go shopping for the clothes we want to wear; style our hair the way we wish; worship God the way we see fit. They're all different wars, but they're all fought for the same idea; liberty for ourselves or for a country who would like assistance getting it. "Freedom isn't free" is the saying. Our troops know that and have paid/are paying the price. They pay the price for our freedom as some of us sit at home, air conditioned and easy-chaired, and complain about it.
That is not what you will get here. I want to thank our troops for serving, for obeying, for doing what you don't always want to do; for being the person America needs you to be at that particular moment to make this life possible. You are paying the price for me to type this and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it. As a "military brat" and military wife, to all military men and women out there who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, I want to say, humbly and with all my heart, "Thank you!" And to all the troops who are elsewhere in the world (even those who are stateside), "Thank you!" And, especially, to those who have been injured or who have given all, I want to say, "Thank you!". I don't know if you'll ever know how much this one means.
Thank you, our brave American troops: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard. You are all my heroes and you are the ones keeping my sons alive and free. This mother could never tell you how much that means to me. Whether you fought in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, the first Gulf War, or this one, I sincerly and deeply appreciate it. I am in your debt for the very air I breathe and I owe you my sons' comfort and freedoms. I can never repay that, but I can say it again, "Thank you!" It is to you I pay tribute.
My Original Poetry in Honor of Our Heroes
Remember: Anyone who does not give you a wake-up call when they see you being stupid, self-destructive, or both, just plain doesn't care about you. It's those of us who do wake you up who care.
This website created by, maintained by and copyright 2008 by Linda McKinney; because Freedom isn't Free,
but speech supposedly is!
Do NOT copy without prior written permission from the author.