Monday, July 11, 2005

July 4th Retrospective - A Soldier's 4th of July

This young soldier is a romantic, a patriot, a warrior, and a future politician. I hope! He wants to run against Maxine Waters when he gets home from Iraq! Please help me pray for his safe return!

I had e-mailed him, having read his July 2nd post, "My Country 'tis of Thee" I felt I had to share our July 4th celebration with him, in lieu of his own:

"Thank you again, RC! I want to share our Texas hill country 4th of July, because you guys were a great part of it. Our little town, just north of San Antonio, had our annual family picnic. Collector cars were on display for our parade later. The local Boy Scout troop (we still have them in Texas) posted the colors, and the National Anthem was sung while we all had our hands on our hearts. We enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon slices 2 for 50 cents, homemade brownies 50 cents a piece. A silent auction with donated treasures benefitted our Police Auxiliary Academy. A barbershop quartet entertained us. We were there from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in 105 degree heat. Anytime any of us heard someone complain about the heat, we reminded them of the awful heat in full regalia y'all were enduring so we could have the freedom for this celebration. God bless you all, you are in our prayers."

In return, he wrote:

"Dagney T,

I can almost smell the grass underfoot, and I can indeed feel the Texas heat. I have to admit I have loved in Texas before, Watauga, and Near TCU. I was stationed in San Angelo. I used to hate Texas. I was born in Illinois, and lived in Missouri, used to hate them to. It took me a trip to Iraq to realize just how genuinely wrong I was. I landed in Dallas when I went home on leave and it was Texans that were there to greet me, it was the Big heart and warm hug of Texas that I walked into. Texans hugged me, handed me beer and saidf thank you. SO, to Texas I owe a Texas sized apology. It was Texas air that I breathed when I walked outside the terminal, and it was Texas that made me feel safe for the first time in a long time.

I guess it is just the fact that I am getting older, but Texas, Missouri, Illinois, hell even Oklahoma, the people in the heartland are real Americans. The intellectuals in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, et al... You know the ones, the real pains in the rear that are always on the television telling us how wrong our PRESIDENT is. Yeah well, they aren't Texans... Texans are as American as America gets! I used to hate the phrase Cowboy up, but now, before I go out into Iraq, (real honest to God not the safety of the Greenzone, but real this is the food chain Iraq) I always tell my snipers...Cowboy up!

I am glad beyond words that you were able to enjoy the 4th, this 4th of July I understand sacrifice, this 4th I understood the price of freedom. I can only in my mids eye picture the day you enjoyed, it seems a million lifetimes away from where I am now. Next year, I hope to enjoy a glass of fresh lemonaide, and a hotdog, and I hope to be walking hand in hand with my wife, in "somewhere" USA. Yet after this 4th of July, and everyday that I am in Iraq, the rest of my life will be spent differently. This year has as all my deployments altered my perception of reality and the world I live in, and the world I know exists outside the safety of America.

Enjoy the summer, and treasure all the time you have with your family. God bless you and yours, and God bless America!

Regards,"

I know we've said for 60 years that the World War II soldiers were a part of "The Greatest Generation". I beg to differ, this generation is the Greatest Generation!