I know it’s late, but I was busy today. Busy doing what other veterans do: work. Unlike many others–from WWII to Iraq and Afghanistan–I am physically unscathed and mentally better off than I was in November 1984. That’s when I left St. Louis MEPS for Navy Recruit Training Center, Orlando. Military life is military, but the submarine force ain’t bad duty, if you can get it. I got it. The Cold War was fun – sort of. At least we were doing something important for the $500 every two weeks they paid us. And were working for a great, great man in President Ronald Reagan. God, how I loved that man.Enough about me. My nephew, John, is on the USS Ronald Reagan. He’s in harm’s way frequently. Not as directly as the thousands of men and women with boots on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia. Did you know that we’re still in Bosnia? When some wise-ass lefty asks when Bush will get the troops out of Iraq, are you tempted to answer, “Right after Clinton gets them out of Bosnia?” I am. Why doesn’t Hillary’s campaign plant that question with a student or a reporter?If you’re reading this and you wear a uniform or wore one, God bless you. We at home eagerly await your return. We hope the last leg has been lost, the last life shortened, the last terrorifying night erased by God’s morning light. We pray that your families find peace each day, especially on the day that peace finds you here where you belong.We also know that supporting you means supporting your mission. Just as we hope our favorite hockey player avoids injury, we cheer for him to win, too. I am your fan. You have a lot more than me. In fact, the lefties who cheer for the enemy are very few. And they’re concentrated in press rooms, television and movie studios, and colleges. They’re not here among the patriots.Last, please hurry home. Win one more for the Gipper. You know that right now, he’s there with you, in the sand, his head cocked to the right, his lips pulling back as if he’s battling to suppress a joke that, if told, will offend the media. Then he tells it anyway. Win one for your family. Mom and dad, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, husbands and wives, kids and friends. They love you and cheer your great successes. They can’t wait to throw arms around you and embarrass you by telling strangers of your heroic victory against heathen sons of bitches. Be proud, though, because you earned it. And when you get home, we’ll have a drink. The ones, like me, who had an easy road will buy a round for you who didn’t.
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