Waiting at the Airport

Waiting at the airport. Waiting for the unknown. This may seem strange but I feel much better now than before. The chance to serve and contribute is comforting for me. I know there are my kids, my Mom, and my girlfriend who are concerned for my safety but they and my friends know that the cause is just and not taken lightly. There is a purpose. To have the opportunity to pay back in a small portion the benefits I have enjoyed is done without reservation. It is my privilege to be called and I hope that I'm up to the task, no matter what it is. To go into this affair and be anxious about what may happen is understating the fact that no one knows how long this operation to track down terrorists will take. While looking at the faces of the grieving victims' goes straight to my soul. And then I look at the children playing near the gate area – laughing and playing and running around – just being kids gives me hope that we can make this world safer for them. Not free from fear but free from terror. Hearing one little girl sing "Jesus Sure Knows How To Color" gives me enormous joy, knowing that little children have the wealth of hope in this world.

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While talking to my oldest daughter (a senior in high school) before leaving for duty, she mentioned that some of her male classmates would go to Canada and not serve if drafted. For those young men who make comments like that, I feel they are very misguided in their understanding of civil liberties and freedom. Freedom is a gift handed down to us from our Fathers and Grandfathers who sacrificed a portion of their lives to preserve this precious country – and in too many cases made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. How can these young men look at their forefathers and tell them without shame that their freedom isn’t worth fighting for? They would desert a bounteous country, abandon their personal liberty and freedoms to live in exile as a fugitive? Do they truly understand the enormity of that choice?  I will not stand by and dishonor those who served in World War 1, World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, or any of the multitudes of other conflicts that America has been engaged. If you hear “Stars and Stripes Forever” in the background perhaps you understand my deep-seeded passion to defend this country with honor and integrity. To serve with my brothers and sisters in the military unified with a single purpose, “to preserve and defend this country against all enemies foreign or domestic” is a solemn oath I took as an officer. For whatever faults this country may have there is no other place in this world that I would live and no other people I would sacrifice myself to save regardless of ethnic origin or ancestry, religious beliefs, or political persuasion. I hope that the events of the terrorist attacks and the rallying of the nation do not end after a few short weeks when the news coverage wanes. Let’s not dwell on the despair of the events but focus on the nation as it galvanizes in support of the victims and the healing of our communities.