Why You Serve So Far Away
As you stand vigil in the cold night air this Christmas Eve, looking up into a starry Iraqi sky, I know you miss home, just as we are missing you. If there is a doubt in your mind why you are there, let me remind you, my son, my daughter, the flower of American youth, it has nothing to do with the claim that this is a “president’s war;” nor “blood for oil.” And you are most definitely not nation building, even if that is what you have been told.
What you are fighting to protect is what most of your countrymen have long forgotten, or taken for granted, and that is the Light of Liberty. You carry it with you as free men and women, and it is evident to all who behold you wherever you go.
Surely you don’t think that gaze of amazement from those children’s soft brown eyes is just for the pieces of chocolate you give them? They stand in awe at the sight of free men and women working together to bring about something they don’t fully understand, yet they intuitively want: Freedom.
America came into being as a bold experiment over 231 years ago: That free men could govern themselves through free choice, by the rule of law, not by the reign of Monarchs- a reign that inevitably devolves into a rule of tyrants.
America is illuminated by The Light of Liberty for the entire world to see, and if that light is extinguished, or worse, allowed to go out by neglect- then the entire world will be cast into darkness.
If you think about it, that is what America’s enemies are striving for- extinguishing The Light of Liberty- that never again will a child look up and see a free fighting man or woman and have hope that one day they can be free, too.
So, that is why you are there. It is a burden that I carried, that my father carried, and every father before him stretching all the way back to the founding of this Great Nation. It is why free men and women die on foreign soil and why we honor them as heroes. It is because of them- it is because of you- that The Light of Liberty yet burns and Old Glory still waves.