Monday, May 31, 2010
A Solemn Promise
Thank you, each and every one of you, for keeping us free. The single biggest regret I have in my life is that I've never served; I've never put my life on the line for what I believe in. Freedom is not free; your brothers and sisters who didn't come home serve as a grim testament to that truism. We all benefit from your sacrifice; our nation simply could not exist without your sacrifice, your perseverance, and your honor.
We're fighting a war right now, on many different fronts and many different ways. Some of your brothers and sisters in arms won't come back whole from the conflict; others won't come back at all. Some will carry the scars - emotional as well as physical - for the rest of their lives; others will seek escape from the horrors of war in a bottle, a needle, a thousand different ways of taking the edge off the brutality witnessed. Witnessing the darkest side of man, in the many ways he can be evil, vicious, and violent, takes its toll on the strongest of us; you do it out of a sense of honor, obligation, duty.
Thank you. Thank you for doing a job I was unable to do. I've never had to leave my family and friends to travel halfway across the world so someone could take shots at me, or blow things up as I went by. I've never had to go to sleep in a cloth tent in 130º weather, nor march 20 miles in sub-zero cold while shouldering an 80 pound ruck. You have. And for that, you have my respect, my admiration, and my eternal gratitude. If you're out and about in the Northeast and see a shaved head biker looking at you with a mix of awe and longing, that's me. I'm wishing I was half the person you are.
And f I ever witness some dirty hippie disrespect you, I solemnly promise to punch their fucking teeth straight down their neck for you.
That is all.