Sunday, December 07, 2008


"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."
--General George S. Patton

Today is December 7th, 2008... 67 years to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, which was the final catalyst for the United States' entry into World War II. The vast number of Allied soldiers who gave their lives in the years following stand as a testament of sacrifice... to put your life on the line so that others may live in freedom.

You'd think everyone would be grateful for these brave men and women... and you'd be wrong.

All you have to do is talk to soldiers who were spat upon when they returned from Vietnam... or who were called "butchers" and "baby-killers." All you have to do today is read the "intelligent" musings of folks like Ted Rall and Stephen King, who think that our soldiers are somehow beneath contempt.

No matter your thoughts on what is going on in the world today, please remember it is not the soldier's responsibility to dictate foreign policy. His or her job is to merely carry it out. If you have an issue with the foreign policy, take it up with the lawmakers. Don't be cowardly and insult and demean the very men and women who are making sure you sleep in your beds tonight safe and sound.

I don't agree with a lot of what President Bush has said or done in the past. But that doesn't give me the right to act like an ass and harass these brave men and women who are putting their lives on the line for a putz like me. And anyone who thinks otherwise are bigger putzes than me!

Finally, I'd like to direct you to the story of Captain Rob Yllescas. Captain Yllescas was seriously injured while serving in Iraq. Despite a valiant struggle, Captain Yllescas passed away December 2nd. My friend and former KJAM Board Op Vince Mathis was selected as part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln ROTC honor guard which escorted Captain Yllescas' body from the plane to his family. Needless to say, it moved that goofy kid, and it moved this goofier kid, too!

But it's not the intelligentsia or the academics who keep us free. It's not the auto executives and the banking big-wigs that keep us safe from our enemies. It's not even me and my media brethern who make sure these blessings of liberty remain secure... it's ordinary men and women like Captain Yllescas, Cadet Mathis, and the soldiers that served in World War II, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and countless other military engagements that have always been willing to put their lives on the line when others would not.

In closing, I leave you with this thought...

Law and our civil rights, for all our too precious moral insecurities, are worth little without someone willing to secure them at the risk of losing life and limb. We decide, in the end, where the frontiers of liberty and security intersect and that decision cannot ever be cost free. In a borderless world those frontiers are becoming increasingly harder to detect and defend. And yet defend them we must if we are to preserve our way of life: this experiment called America. The cost we pay for daring to be free is our own lifeblood: that of our own sons, daughters, husbands, wives. It is a price that will always be too high. And it is a price that we will never get used to paying: one we should never get used to paying.

I am humbled by these real heroes... Thank you, one and all.

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