With trembling hands I hung up the phone. The voice on the other end had
just said bye and was off on his first hazardous deployment to the
Middle East. I was hoping by some quirk that you would be spared this
trip at this time. Of course I knew you were going to have to go
sometime, but just not now. Something deep inside me wished I was going
with you. How cool would that be grandfather and grandson off for an
adventure, maybe something akin to Harrison Ford and Sean Connery in one
of Indiana Jones scenarios or better yet that I was going in your stead.
Your life is just beginning and mine is just about done so why not send
those who can no longer build and make things or cause industry and
business to flourish for a better and safer tomorrow. But wait, isnít
that what you are doing?
It seems only yesterday that you running around my backyard, just
learning to talk well, being chased by the dog. At one point she had
grabbed your diaper from behind and gave it a tug. You stopped and
turned around and said "Iím just a little kid dog." In no time it seems
you were in high school and taking ROTC. Being promoted and soon you
looked like a young trooper. Now your uniform is the real thing. The
training and gear is the real thing and you are off to a real war.
I have looked on the maps and have seen the area where you are going.
Personally I wouldnít trade you two acres of the worst land atop Muddy
Creek Mountain in West Virginia for the whole region even if you tossed
in the oil.
I remember my mother, during World War ll and the Korean War, spending a
lot of time on her knees praying for my brothers. I will likewise be
spending a lot of time on my knees praying for you and your comrades in
To say that I am proud of you is a gross understatement. Sometimes I
hear of you getting another promotion or recognition and my heart swells
out of my chest. Now its completely broken because they are taking what
I have come to know as one of the best and smartest young men in the
world and have sent him off to battle. I donít think I am alone in my
thinking. There are millions of parents and grandparents around this
great country who feel the same for their children and grandchildren who
are serving in the armed forces as I. There are millions of us who
cringe when people make light of what you and your comrades in arms are
doing and your purpose. We swell up in tears as we hear you and your
comrades being used as political fodder or hear that they make the rules
of engagement so strict that it is almost a violation for you to even
try to protect yourself when you are in harms way.
It would be wonderful if your mission was the last mission. After World
War 11 they kept saying that it was the war to end all wars, but there
were other wars and those who study the Bible know that there will be
wars and rumors of wars until the end of time. I wish that this would be
the last mission because I have more grandsons and they are fast
approaching the age when they will have to make decisions that could put
them in the same war with the same enemy trying to keep them at bay over
there so we donít have another 9/11 here.
I along with most people in this country that use at least five percent
of their brain would like to thank you for the job you and your comrades
in arms are doing. We know that freedom has a price and defending
freedom has a higher price. We donít take you for granted and we know
that down deep you donít want to really be there, but you volunteer to
go and take the risk so that we can enjoy our life and freedom here.
So go forth young warrior. You carry the family honor and blessings with
you as you go. Through you, our unfinished adventures and pilgrimages
can be fulfilled.