The Soldier: What He Stands For...

I want you to close your eyes and picture in your mind the soldier at Valley Forge,

as he holds his musket in his bloody hands.

He stands barefoot in the snow, starved from lack of food,

wounded from months of battle

and emotionally scarred from the eternity away from his family

surrounded by nothing but death and carnage of war.

He stands tough, with fire in his eyes and victory on his breath.

He looks at us now in anger and disgust and tells us this......

I gave you a birthright of freedom born in the Constitution

and now your children graduate too illiterate to read it.

I fought in the snow barefoot to give you the freedom to vote

and you stay at home because it rains.

I left my family destitute to give you the freedom of speech

and you remain silent on critical issues, because it might be bad for business.

I orphaned my children to give you a government to serve you

and it has stolen democracy from the people.

It's the soldier not the reporter who gives you the freedom of the press.

It's the soldier not the poet who gives you the freedom of speech.

It's the soldier not the campus organizer who allows you to demonstrate.

It's the soldier who salutes the flag.

It's the soldier that serves the flag.

It's the soldier whose coffin is draped with the flag.

It's the soldier that allows the protester to burn the flag!!!

"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. Amen"



I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America,
And to the republic for which it stands,
One nation under God, indivisible,
With liberty and justice for all...


The average age of the military man is 19 years. (and many have babies and toddlers at home)

He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy.

Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country.

He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities,

drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be

waiting when he returns from half a world away.

He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm Howitzers.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to

well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and

reassemble it in less time in the dark.

He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.

He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle.

He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food.

He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.

He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them.

He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the

burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop

talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom.

Beardless or not, he is not a boy.

He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.

Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.



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