|May 1, 2011
Dear American Soldier,
You may not know who I am, but I know who you are. You’re an American solider keeping me safe from harm. You are fighting for my freedom, preserving our way of life and protecting the American dream. You’ve left behind your family, your friends -- all that you know -- and headed for parts unknown. You engage in battles every day and witness unspeakable acts that are unimaginable to most of us. There are not enough words for me to properly express my gratitude. I will try to do so, as best I can, with just a few of them.
On a daily basis, you are faced with the worst that humanity has to offer, and yet, you continue your efforts with dignity and pride. You might get discouraged, disheartened, and you may even get frightened, but you never give up. You never lose your faith in God, our country or yourself.
It is because of you, and those before you, that I have the freedom of speech which allows me to write this letter to you in the first place. You make it possible for me to proudly fly my American flag outside my home. Our flag, Old Glory, represents freedom, hope, patriotism and all that is good and just. You are as symbolic to our nation as our flag. When you look up the word “soldier” in the dictionary, there should be a cross-reference that says, “see also: hero”. That would be a more accurate definition.
As I write this letter, I'm watching my beloved Philadelphia Phillies play the Mets on the ESPN Sunday Night Game of the Week. While the game is on, the world has just been told that Osama bin Laden has been killed. The entire sold-out crowd at the Phillies game started to chant, in unison, "USA! USA! USA!" It was a sight, and sound, to behold. At that moment, it was no longer about the game anymore. It was about Americans uniting as one, celebrating a victory in the war on terror and showing their love of our country and those of you who fight for us. It took my breath away. I sat there stunned, speechless for several minutes. Seeing and hearing that left me feeling so utterly privileged to be a citizen of the greatest country in the world.
I am proud to be an American every single day of my life. Today I am honored and ecstatic to be an American. Your role in safeguarding us against the evil of terrorists like Osama bin Laden make me extremely proud of you! I am eternally grateful and will forever be indebted to you. There is no way that I could ever repay you for your selfless acts. My words are but a very small token of my appreciation.
So, you see, you may not know me, but I know you. You’re the reason we are, and always will be, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
May God continue to bless you and all of our brave men and women in uniform. Wishing you a safe return home. God speed.
God Bless America!
New Jersey, USA
Written for submission to "Letter from Home" , Round 1. This letter received Honorable Mention.
A very special thanks to PRAY4 GOBBLING SHERRI GIBSON and "SIMPLY POSITIVE GROUP" for listing this as one of the items for review for the week of May 12-18, 2011 on the "Simply Positive Forum " . My heartfelt gratitude for the awardicon they gave this. It means so much to me!
So many people that have reviewed this letter have said they would've loved to have seen the "USA!" chant at the Phillies game, so here it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35pfllMiLag (it's only 30 seconds long, but so cool to see and hear). That link, along with some analysis around the timing of the announcement and the synchronicity of it all, can also be found in this blog entry, "USA! USA! USA!" .
I have heard from other members that are either retired military or currently on active day. Each time I do, I'm amazed at their words of praise. Two of the active military members I have heard from are C. M. Allen and Michael I. Thompson . Please consider doing something (a review, a merit badge or an e-mail) to thank them for their service to our country.