Gentleman, I want to thank you for your service to our great nation. I want you both to know that I care for you and am very grateful that you did what you did. I too am a Marine, and I am very proud of that. My time serving was much later than yours, I was almost a year old in December of 1971. I served from 1993 to 1997, in between two wars, it just worked out that way. I can never thank you and your generation enough for doing what needed to be done. I have read and studied our history and I quite frankly am ashamed of how our society treated our Veterans during that time. If I am being honest I am ashamed of most of our society today. Thank you both for your service as you have given me, a mere infant when you were serving, a beautiful life and I am forever grateful for that. Most of society does not understand that the American way, our freedom comes at a very high cost. As a nation we are spoiled, but there are people like me that are very grateful that men like you were there.
You see, its about 0100 hours on Christmas morning, unfortunately I have to be at work today at 0800 and I will get off 24 hours later on the 26th at 0800.........the life of a Firefighter. But wait, I had a choice, i became a Firefighter because I wanted to be a Firefighter. There are no holidays, I just work every third day....my choice. Anyway, I just finished putting all of the gifts under our Christmas tree from Santa. Our only child, my little girl, is now 13 years old and our Santa days are coming to an end. She finally fell asleep, and my beautiful wife of almost 20 years is asleep in our bedroom. My beloved yellow lab is laying at my feet as I type this in my warm, cozy little home that sits far back in the woods, my own little piece of paradise. I live in the woods in the country, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. For me as an American citizen I have that right, to chose where I want to live. I visited many people today, since I have to work on Christmas day we celebrated today. Once again I had the right to travel in a vehicle that I chose to buy....freedom...my choice. I had the right to leave my home when I wanted to, arrive when I wanted to and to stop in the local Sheets gas station to say Merry Christmas, and grab a cup of coffee. Tomorrow morning, really in a few hours, I will travel to work and I will respond to a host of emergencies. Some funny, some sad, some horrifying, some baffling, etc. Those people that I will respond to today pick up a phone and dial 911, very quickly many resources are coming to fix whatever problem they have. I could continue typing all of these things to illustrate my point but I'm hoping you understand. You provided this. You have given me and my family freedom. My child is getting educated. She is smart and healthy. My small home is pretty, I don't have much but what I have is mine and I am free. My family and I are safe in our home tonight because you...and many like you have provided that freedom. There are men and woman today that stand up, raise their right hand and swear to defend this nation at all cost. Protect her against foreign enemy and domestic. They lay it all on the line, they raise their hand and take an oath.
So please know that there are people that have not forgot about your service. I know you hurt, I know there are things in your brain that you can never get rid of, I wish I could make that go away. I sir am grateful for your service.
I took the oath as well, but I never made it to combat. I sure as **** was trained to fight and would have done so when the order came down, it just didn't for me. I am not saying I wanted to go to war, nobody wants to go to war, but if there had been one than I guess thats why our country makes Marines. I remember the day I came home, April 18, 1997.
Merry Christmas to you both, and to our brothers and sisters around the globe. Merry Christmas to the many that wear our nations uniform, today they provide the blanket of freedom that so many Americans take for granted. They as well are not forgotten, at least not by me and my family. So Merry Christmas gentleman. Know that there is a small family towards the western part of Virginia that love you and can never thank you enough for giving us our freedoms. God Bless America. Semper Fidelis.