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I hope we're all feeling a little Yankee Doodle Dandy today. Tomorrow is the big day... fireworks and pigging out on potato salad and whatever burned thing comes off the grill .

But if I may remind you, we have about 150,000 young men and women sitting in a desert half a world away, not having much of a Fourth of July.

Somebody is going to be shooting at them. It's hot, and while they have to go ride around in those Humvees, they may come across those deadly, drive-by insurgents.

Our folks are doing an important job, and it's dangerous. At some point in the day, they're all sitting ducks, and it takes both smarts and luck to not get hurt or killed.

I hope we can spend some part of this holiday weekend thinking of them, because I know they want to come home. I know they don't want to get shot at. I know they don't want to be put in the position of shooting some poor Iraqi who's in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But they have a job to do, and they're doing it well. The proof of that is that Saddam Hussein's boys are coming at them so hard. We must be getting close to the butcher himself, or he wouldn't be turning up the heat.

They're our folks in uniform in a foreign land doing a job the world knew had to be done — a job that only Americans and our cousins, the Brits, had the cojones to actually go and do.

So happy Fourth of July to the troops. May you return to your town and family in good health.

And to the rest of you... don't drink and drive.

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