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To the editor:
Active-duty servicemen, women and veterans have and
continue to provide service to their country. They served on ships,
in airplanes, tanks, Jeeps, Hummers, helicopters, trucks and on
foot. They have given their word and taken an oath to protect and
preserve "our way of life" in the United States even to the point of
dying to allow each of us to remain free. Around the world they have
marched through mud and fire, eaten swill, frozen in foxholes, fried
in deserts, and been eaten by mosquitoes in the jungle. They have
been in grave danger under enemy fire, tortured by enemy as
captives, and sustained emotional trauma as they have been aware of
their loved ones at home suffering on wages that sometimes qualified
them for welfare.
And yet for some of them, even though their tour of duty finished
and provided opportunity to return to American civilization, they
have stood tall and marched right back into the "hot zone" for
another tour because of their sense of honor and duty.
Take heed to notice them, and notice them you will; they will
Those men and women will be the ones whose hands are firmly
planted over their hearts when the colors pass by during the
Their stand will be straight and tall to the extent they are able
as the national anthem is played at the game.
[to top of second column in this letter]
You will notice them as they quickly wipe a falling tear as the
names of fallen comrades are read at the memorial service.
You might see one standing alone in the middle of a national
cemetery by a white cross or Star of David, with head bowed,
standing at parade rest.
When you see them or notice them, watch them for a moment or two
and remember as best you can the sacrifice they made for you. You
are able to walk the streets of America free, live the American
dream, relish the full rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the
United States because that man or woman stood on foreign soil, faced
the onslaught of the full force of a powerful enemy, and stood his
or her ground -- all of it in your place so you could remain free.
If the situation is right, move toward that person, take his or
her hand in yours, and simply say, "Thank you."
November 11, 2011]
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