Sunday, May 30, 2010

If You're Reading This...

"True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost."

- Arthur Ashe

Louisiana Army National Guard

Major Ronald "Wayne" Culver, Jr.

Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Nephew, Cousin, Neighbor, Friend...

Lay down his life May 24, 2010 in Iraq in the name of freedom.

United States Army

Spc. Joshua Tomlinson
(Promoted to Sargeant Posthumously)

Husband, Son, Grandson, Brother, Cousin, Nephew, Friend...

Lay down his life May 18, 2010 in Afghanistan in the name of freedom.

I know neither of these two men...

I never had the honor of meeting them...

Shaking their hand...

Or wishing them Godspeed as they left behind all they loved and cherised to go fight a war which was much bigger than either of them.

Major Culver is just about my age with children younger than mine.

Sgt. Tomlinson could be my son.

I would imagine on the days of their separate departures their hearts were full of worry over the families they were leaving behind, counting the seconds until they would see them again.

I can imagine they both saw horror over there that you and I cannot even fathom.

I can imagine there were nights with no sleep when the sand threatened to consume them, the immeasurable heat of the desert ready to overtake them at any second.

And, each second of each day, I am sure they thought of home.

They both returned home this week.

I cannot imagine believing in freedom for others as much as believing in freedom for myself...

I cannot imagine fighting for the rights of children on foreign soil as hard as I fight for my the rights of my own...

I cannot imagine the heart of a soldier.

Willing to live and willing to die for those who, sometimes, are the very people fighting against you.

But you continue to fight, believing the heart of the human condition is bigger than the human condition.

How beautiful are the hearts and souls of our men and women fighting so that we can have the right to speak out against their very mission...

Giving us the right to dishonor everything that they honor...

Devaluing their values.

Willing to pay the ultimate price for freedom for all men.

Freedom isn't free, my friends.

Just this week it cost us two of the finest.

Major Culver and Sgt. Tomlinson, I take this opportunity to say thank you.

May your lights continue to shine...

May your mission be accomplished...

May one day all this world live in freedom.

And, when that day comes, the two of you, as well as all those who have gone before you and those who go after you in the name of liberty, will be the victors.

You two have touched me this week.

I just wanted you to know that...

If you're reading this.

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