Found this link on another site. Perfect for today ...... Happy 4th everyone, Happy Birthday USA!!
"A MESSAGE FROM AN OLD WARRIOR
Wayne D. Leeper
Quoted from NationalMorality.com
"Real warriors hate war. They hate the conditions, the bloodshed, and the fear that fills every heart. They are not brave and courageous heroes staring death in the face and laughing at it. They are just young men who stepped forward to meet a challenge they did not fully understand, yet in their hearts knew must be faced. They don't want to fight or to take the life of others. Each would rather be back home dating his girl, or loving his wife and playing with his kids. They want to be living life like all the others. But the young warrior is not like all the others. He has answered a call which others have ignored. He understands the concepts of patriotism, duty, and love of family. He understands that there are some things in this world that really are worth fighting for, and yes if necessary, even dying for. Never-the-less, the last thing the young warrior wants is to die for his country. I know; I was a young warrior and I was there.
I remember the nights as if yesterday. I remember the loneliness that fills a young man's heart. Standing high on a cliff after midnight in a land far from home, or on the deck of a ship looking out across the wide expanse of endless sea. Or maybe it is on a desert of sand, or in a foxhole half filled with water. The place and the day are not important because for the young warrior time and place have no meaning. The hours became days and the days months; that's just how it is. Only two days are fixed in the young warrior's heart. The day he left home and the day he will return. He remembers departing among tears and brave words. He remembers a feeling of pride tempered with a large, yet unspoken, feeling of apprehension. In his wallet is a picture of the girl he left behind and in his heart is a vision of her greeting him home. His great sustaining hope is that she will be there when he returns to the "big green island," our name for the United States of America.
I know because I was there. I was at Iwo Jima, Corregidor and Guadalcanal. I was in the Aragon forest, the cold of Korea and in the jungles of Vietnam. I was in the mountains of Afghanistan and on the shores of Guantanamo Bay. I was at Concord and Lexington, Saratoga and Yorktown. I was on the beach at Normandy and in a plane over Germany. Now I serve in the sands of Iraq. I have worn many uniforms but always American; carried many tattered flags but always the Stars and Stripes.
For me the bugles are silent and the sounds of battle have faded into the distant past. I was one of the lucky ones; I came home to marry my sweetheart, raise our children, worship our God, and grow old together in peace. The years have removed the vigor, vitality and energy of my youth and the ability to once again take up arms and go forward to defend the family and nation of my birth. Yes, I walk a little slower these days. Still, I thank God for the young warriors who have taken my place and go forth to do that which I am no longer able to do. Each generation is replaced by others who are able and willing to carry out the task. I know this is true because this is America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
As I set before my TV set I see two messages competing for my heart. I see young men in the uniform of their country serving in strange lands and on foreign fields and I remember. I remember the friends that did not come home, and the price they paid that we might live in peace, security and freedom. I see the tears streaming down the cheeks of wives and sweethearts and I remember. I see the ships sailing and the planes leaving and I remember. And now as I sit and watch TV in the safety of my home, the home that they have gone forth to defend, I close my eyes and pray that God will protect them and return them safely to their love ones just as He did me so long ago.
But as I view my TV I see another message; the message of the media. I see those who march in protest as the young warriors march forth to defend their right to protest. I see Senators and Congressmen opposing our President as he seeks to remind us of the message of Pearl Harbor and of September 11. I see organizations fighting to remove the name of God from the speech of our nation while the young warriors go forth praying to that same God that He will protect them on the field of battle. I see pacifist bemoaning the fact that young children may die as a result of war while at the same time claiming that the women of our land have a right to slaughter forty-three million unborn babies.
So tonight, as I prepare for bed, I will remember those long ago days and I will pray for our young warriors. I will also pray for those who oppose the war; that their eyes may be opened, to appreciate our great nation, to acknowledge and respect the God of our fathers, and to understand the price in blood that has been, and is being, paid that we might live in freedom and security and have the right to protest. And, finally, I will thank Him that while the world calls it the United States of America, our young warriors have preserved the right for us to call it home.
May God bless them and keep them safe, and may God bless America."