On this Thanksgiving...
Most people seem to forget that the politicians they voted for are the ones in charge of the military, the ones who give us our orders. The ones who sent us to Vietnam, to Iraq, to Afganistan, and a hundred other places far from our homes, for causes and reasons valiant or futile or simply bureaucratic.
But they didn't have to go, and you didnt either. We did. And we did it, not because we wanted to, but because that was one of the freedoms we willingly gave up...for you.
We were the ones who saw our fellow soldiers, our brothers and sisters in the service, killed before our disbelieving eyes...not you.
We were the ones who had their minds and souls scarred forever by what we experienced...not you.
We were the ones mutilated by terrible devices that shouldnt exist in a supposedly sane and civilized world...not you.
And what of when we got home, after so long?
Yes, we may find love, and warmth, and comfort. By all rights we should. We've earned it for our service.
But sometimes, too often...we don't.
We find people who moved on, who couldnt care enough to find the strength to wait and share even a tiny part of our suffering.
We find loved ones who turn their backs on us, because we come back changed, and they don't feel that we're worth enough to help us through our pain, our darkness, our struggle, to heal from wounds inflicted not only on our bodies, but on our minds, and on our hearts.
We find people...no, not people, monsters who pervert a freedom they have never understood nor truly appriciated in order to justify continuing their dispicable agendas of hatred and ignorence against us.
Yet we still go on.
Because our will and our courage is far too much. We are soldiers, after all, not cowards.
Because we can truly understand what it is we defend, and we deny those who don't, or can't.
Some of us stumble, some may even fall, but we will never leave a brother or sister behind.
So, to those who pledge their support to us and give it with even the smallest kindness,
to those who would help us with all their strength and love back into the light,
to those who would stand up for us and those we love,
We thank you, with all of our being, for your understanding, your nobility, your honor.
We do this for you, and you alone.
Even in death, we can not fail you, for you are the reason we exist.
-Shawn Denny, 11-25-2010