Monthly Archives: July 2010

Letter to the Troops

To the men and women of the U.S. military:

You’ve been on my mind a lot in the past few weeks.

Recently, I saw that a website leaked documents about the Afghan war. There’s been diverse reaction to that, and I’m not sure if it’s what the leakers intended. Whether the leaks are the result of sinister machinations or reckless activism, they have the potential to undermine America’s objectives and put U.S. troops at risk. That is beneath contempt. I have instant animus for anything that makes your job of fighting for us any more difficult than it already is.

I haven’t even looked at any of the leaked documents. I don’t need to. Nothing in them is going to change how I feel about you.

My life has been personally touched by those who served in WWII, Vietnam, the 1991 Gulf War, and both wars that began in the last decade. But even if I’ve never met you, if you’ve put it all on the line for this nation, you have a special place in my heart.

You should have the unconditional support of the leaders who send you forward to defend and represent this country. You deserve the unwavering support of the citizens on whose behalf you sacrifice so much.

The country’s leaders should take personal responsibility for sending you into action. They should back you without hesitation until your mission is complete. That necessitates a very sober understanding of what goes into military conflict, what victory is, and how it is to be achieved.

We, the citizens of this nation, should always encourage and salute you with unrestrained gratitude. This requires strength on our part to accept the reality of armed conflict with those who seek ill for this nation and our allies. Without any illusions about the nature of warfare, we must realize you might have had to see or do things most of us never will. So we support you in combat and embrace you when you return.

And we must always remember, as we put our kids to bed, that other children sleep with oceans between them and their parents. And while those children contend with uncertainty, there are still others who reckon with the finality of knowing a parent gave it all for this country.

A few years back, I saw this: “If you can’t stand behind the troops, please stand in front of them.”

I hope you always know where I stand.

I pray for God’s blessing, mercy, favor, and protection upon you and your families…every last one of you.

And I say, a thousand times over, thank you.