I'd like to share with you something I heard Tuesday night.
I was honored to attend the 228th birthday celebration of the U.S. Marine Corps here in New York City. There were speeches and jokes and songs, the usual stuff of black tie dinners. Folks chatted, sipped wine, blah-blah-blah.
But then the commandant of the Marine Corps stood up and took the microphone. He talked about the troops currently serving in Iraq. He said, "These troops don't wanna die! -- But -- they're willing to."
He went on talking about how these folks are willing to sacrifice their tomorrows in service to our country. They're willing to miss holidays with their families. They're willing to live in crummy conditions. They're even willing to lose a limb -- and give their lives -- for the cause of freedom.
It's stuff we all know intellectually. But for some reason, when Gen. Hagee said it last night, it hit me in the gut. I pictured Thanksgiving dinner tables with an empty chair... children trick-or-treating without Mommy or Daddy because Mommy or Daddy is in Iraq. And I thought of the soldiers riding in that Chinook when a shoulder-fired missile shot it down.
I'm telling you this because I'd like you to join me in saying "thank you" to those military personnel who are serving in Iraq right now. Whether or not you agree with White House policy, these are good men and women who are sacrificing so much. And we're all the beneficiaries.
If you get the chance to communicate directly with a soldier and thank him or her, terrific. But even if you don't, just taking a moment to think of our soldiers over in Iraq and appreciating them is a good start.
Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you think.