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He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being... a

person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the

service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others

would not have to sacrifice theirs.

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He is the POW who went away one person and came back

another... or didn't come back at all.


He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia

sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel

carriers didn't run out of fuel.


He is the barroom loudmouth, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior

is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours

of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.


She (or he) is the nurse who fought against futility and went to

sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.


He is the Parris Island drill instructor who has never seen combat

... but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy,

no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and

teaching them to watch each other's backs.


He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and

medals with a prosthetic hand.


He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and

medals pass him by.


He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns,

whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever

preserve the memory of all anonymous heroes whose valor dies

unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's

sunless deep.


He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket... palsied

now and aggravatingly slow... who helped liberate a Nazi death

camp & who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to

hold him when the nightmares come.


He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness,

and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on

behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.


So remember, each time you see someone who has served our

country, just lean over and say:



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That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more

than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.


It's the soldier, not the reporter, who gave us our freedom of the press.


It's the soldier, not the poet, who gave us our freedom of speech.


It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gave us our

freedom to demonstrate.


It's the soldier, who salutes the flag,


Who serves others with respect for the flag,


And whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester

to burn the flag.


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Prayer for our Servicemen.

Lord, hold our troops in Your loving hands.

Protect them as they protect us.

Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform

for us in our time of need.




(Author Unknown)




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World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words
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Updated on 30 April 2003...0817:05 CST

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