Today I received a comment from a gentleman named "Tony". Those of you that can access the comments, please read. The skinny on his comment; Tony's son is a Naval Aviator deployed to Iraq in the same capacity that I will be. Tony let me know that all the feelings that I have about this deployment are far-reaching, including his son, INITIALLY. His son is now at a point that the job he is performing has had far reaching effects about his satisfaction with his deployment. He (Tony's Son) feels a huge sense of job satisfaction. The fact that the job we are tasked with is making a huge difference in Iraq and within the military is the genesis for this satisfaction and it is beginning to put my mind at ease. From a different perspective, the fact that Tony took the time to comment, as well as, what his message was is a huge morale boost to me. One person's support of us, can change a waning morale immediately. In short; Thank you, Tony...you are making as significant a difference as any serviceman or woman in theater with the support you give.
Though I am far from being an overly pious man, I want to post a prayer. This prayer was given at a large military function by a Naval Aviator named "BUG" Roach. Bug's service spanned from the 1960s to the 1990s. Bug died during an ejection attempt from a wounded A-4, while he was flying as an adversary. Bug was far from being a traditional Naval Officer and Aviator. In fact he would have probably been ostracized in today's Navy. His biography can be found at the Tailhook Association's website. Anyway, read the below prayer and think about what he's saying.
Lord, we are the nation! We celebrate our birthday on July 4th, 1776, with the Declaration of Independence as our birth certificate. The bloodlines of the world run in our veins because we offer freedom and liberty to all whom are oppressed. We are many things and many people. We are the nation.
We sprawl from the Atlantic to the Pacific, to Alaska and Hawaii. three million square miles throbbing with industry and with life. We are the forest, field, mountain and desert. We are the wheat fields of Kansas, the granite hills of Vermont, and the snow capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada. We are the Brooklyn Bridge, we are the grain elevators in the farm belt, we are the Golden Gate. We are the nation.
We are 213 million living souls, and yet we are the ghosts of millions who have lived and died for us. We are Nathan Hale and Paul Revere. We are Washington, Jefferson and Patrick Henry. We are Lee, Grant, Abe Lincoln and George Bush. We are the famous and the unknown. We are presidents, we are paupers. We are the nation.
We stood at Lexington and fired the shot heard around the world. We remember the Alamo, the Maine, Pearl Harbor, Inchon and the Persian Gulf. When freedom calls, we answer. We left our heroic dead at Belleau Wood, on the rock of Corregidor, on the bleak slopes of Korea, in the steaming jungles of Vietnam and under the rubble of Beirut. We are the nation.
We are schools and colleges, churches and synagogues. We are a ballot dropped in a box, the harmonious voice of a choir in a cathedral, the crack of a bat and the roar of a crowd in a stadium. We are craftsmen, teachers, businessmen, and judges. We are laborers and nurses. We are parents and we are children. We are soldiers, sailors and airmen. We are peaceful villages, small towns and cities that never sleep. Yes, we are the nation, and these are the things that we are.
We were conceived in freedom, and dear God, if you are willing, in freedom we will spend the rest of our days. May we always be thankful for the blessings you have bestowed upon us. May we be humble to the less fortunate and assist those in need. May we never forget the continuing cost of freedom. May we always remember that if we are to remain the land of the free, we must continue always to be the home of the brave. May our wishbone never be found where our backbone should be. May we possess always, the integrity, the courage and the strength to keep ourselves unshackled, to remain always a citadel of freedom and a beacon of hope to the world.
We are the nation.....this is our wish...this is our hope and this is our prayer...Amen