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Don't Forget That They Are There For You !!!

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Hi All,

Every holiday season I think back on my Army days and wonder what my troops are doing. It seems like only yesterday, and not nearly 9 years ago since I was in uniform. I miss being able to help them work through problems. I miss teaching them. I miss being their "Sarge" and I miss being called "Top". Most of all, I miss the sense of family that is an Army platoon.

I find myself wondering whether any of the soldiers who entered the Army under me as Privates are now NCO's or Officers in harm's way in Iraq. With what's happened in Iraq the past few days, it's been heavy on my mind.

I was surfing the net trying to keep up with the happenings this morning when I came across the link below. I hope you'll enjoy it and take some time to send a card to a relative or child of a relative or friend who is serving in the military as a way to say thanks.

As you watch this, remember that when our troops don that uniform, raise their right hand and repeat that oath they know that regardless of their own religious or political convictions they have an important job to do and they take is seriously.

I know from experience that many of them deeply despise many of the politicians that lead this country - even the President - and disagree strongly with the direction that those in government send them. This time of the year and given some of the bruhaha at home, many will feel especially alone and disenfranchised.

Soldiers hate war and conflict more than any other. They know that some of them risk returning home crippled, with broken spirit or in caskets. Yet, because it is ingrained in us from the time we are toddlers that America, regardless of its faults, is an idea and a place worth fighting for, they'll do their duty bravely and without question because that's what being an American is all about. One Team - One Fight.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you from those of us here at TIJ and thanks for remaining loyal to the TIJ family and what this site stands for.


OT - OF!!!


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I’m old enough to remember Viet Nam. The draft ended the year before I graduated from high school. Some of my friends volunteered or were drafted. Some of them left body parts in south east Asia. When one of them was shipped home after only 2 months in country with part of his leg missing they ask me if I would like to go visit him at Valley Forge Military Hospital. I was 17 years old and had no idea what to expect. A military hospital is nothing like what you see in the movies. It was perfectly clean and you could see that everyone was getting the bet of care.

What I saw changed my life. Young men not more than 1 or 2 years older than me with every conceivable injury. Missing limbs, eyes, wheel chairs, walkers, traction. There was one black soldier, that the only way that you knew he was black was because I could see the tip of his nose. He also had all 4 limbs in traction. Another thing struck me about them, even in that condition they still had a sprit of winning that would not go away.

When I hear someone criticize our youth and say that the future of our country is in doubt because of the quality of the youth. I think about those men and the men and women who are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world and I answer them by saying you are looking at the wrong kids.

They know that freedom isn’t free and they have volunteered to put their lives on the line to prove that point.

When I see a uniform or inspect the home of or for someone in the military I take a minute to thank them personally for what they are doing for me and my family. The response is priceless. To a person they are embarrassed and they rarely say much in return but Thank You, we’re doing our best.

I urge everyone to thank a vet. Active or not, because without them life as we know it would not exist.

Thanks Mike

From one who did not serve but enjoys that freedom just the same.


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  • 1 month later...

Speaking as an Ex-Service Member who has done three tours of duty in the Mid-East and was wounded in action during Desert Storm we thank you for your support and thank you for sending the little things. It is very hard to get comfort items that we in the States take for granted. There are no 7-11s on the corner.

Also, let us not forget about the families of the troops killed in action. Here is a link http://www.freedomalliance.org/ to Oliver North's (Honorary Chairman and Founder)web site. They provide scholarships for children of soldiers killed in action. They also do tons for families of all service members.

Thanks again,


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James - what a nice surprise to see you here!

The guys didn't tell me you were a vet... that's terrific. Thank you for your service to our country. [:-angel]

I stopped by the site you suggested, and am going to put together a donation from the A-Pro crew. Hope to talk to you after you're back from New Orleans!

- Marilyn

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