And now for my first rant...
So folks, for what it's worth, here are my thoughts on the matter:
My *personal* short list of reasons why Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Marines deserve the unwavering support of the American people:(Yes, it's *my personal* list and yes, it's biased...I'll cover that in a moment.)
1. December, 1970:The Man I proudly call "Dad" wanted a son when he and my mother set out to adopt a child. He learned that a baby girl awaiting adoption lost her biological father while fighting with the 101st AIRBORNE in Vietnam three months after she was born. He tells me to this day that the idea of "His" son fell easily to the idea of ANY soldier's daughter growing up not knowing a soldier's love. "Dad" was in The Korea War, in a different division and from different place in history - but because soldiers love each other, I've been able to love two of them as only a daughter can for 35 years.
2. September 11th, 2001: I was rolling 1 3/4" hose line after a "normal" bread & butter structure fire when I heard about the attacks. That is my job. When 343 of my brothers died doing their jobs that day, the men and women of the US military did far more than demand a reckoning. They set out to ensure a future where our professions cross over only on our terms and no one else’s. They have delivered on both counts.
3. Fast forward to August 24th, 2005: I have “adopted” many individual service members and entire platoons over the last two years and to a man their gratitude for the smallest thought is overwhelming. But on this day I sat in tears reading the most touching thank you note I have ever received in my lifetime. What merited a personal letter of that caliber? A few pounds of Starbucks Coffee and a card. I sent those simple things to a group of men who volunteer for training & tours in Hell just to earn the right to demonstrate their intense love of this country. Unlike the folks who sparked this rare rant of mine, their protests signs are written in their *own* blood and no one else’s. They shed it willingly because that is how men of this breed express outrage against terrorism – they act. And in their darkest hour of grief, their commanding officer did not seek public platforms to complain. He shared private moments of hope and pride and gratitude by taking the time to personally thank people like me for a decent cup of coffee, a piece of printed cardboard, and a few words of prayers and appreciation that were woefully shy of honoring him and his fallen brothers as fully as they deserve.You may have read about this particular group of men here at Froggy’s Blog. Froggy held our hands while we prayed for them, rejoiced with us as the “ONE” came home, and granted us the privilege, worthy of it or not, to say goodbye to them at their memorial services. So, you see, for me, this is so very simple and all the debate in the world can’t change it – I love my defenders. I support their mission, their Commander In Chief and in my eyes, there simply is no other way to support THEM!
*Yes, this is my personal short list and I have no doubt that my opinion is biased. But I can take away any of the factors that make it so and one final unifying factor remains...I am an American. I know many, many people who do not have the ties to these men and women that I do. To them, it makes no difference. I know many who's ties are much closer and more personal. They do not need them. They all love our troops. They honor and support them just as fiercely as I do. They are Americans...and that is all they need.