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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    The average age of the military man is 19 years.

    He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy.

    Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country.

    He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.

    He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away.

    He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm Howitzers.

    He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

    He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in
    the dark.

    He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

    He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

    He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.

    He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.

    He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.

    He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle.

    He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

    If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food.

    He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

    He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life – or take it, because that is his job.

    He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all.

    He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.

    He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them.

    He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.

    He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

    Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom.

    Beardless or not, he is not a boy.

    He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

    He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.

    Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

    "Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen."

    Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman, prayer is the very best one.

    Goal: $4500 per month by Christmas, 2003
    Sunset Beach Trading Company - Financially Free in 2003

  2. #2
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    your post gave me a goose bumps and tears!

    God Bless them!

    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-)

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Amen to that.
    God speed to all our young men and women.

    "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 reasons why it doesn't work"
    Thomas Edison

  5. #5
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    January 18th, 2005


  6. #6
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    Thank you for the very moving post.

    I was honored to lead the Ostara ritual this weekend and the main theme was an entreaty to our deities that the seeds of change being planted at this time be seeds that bear good and useful fruit.

    Since we cannot stop what is happening, we can only hope and pray that some good comes from it.

    May the men and women in our military be blessed and protected from all harm.

    May the people of Iraq not suffer in vain. But, may this lead to a better life for them and the generations to follow.

    So mote it be.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Mel, that's one of the most moving pieces I've ever read.
    I've re-read it numerous times and still it brings me to tears and the images of those captured soldiers paraded flash before my eyes.

    The fear in their eyes was heartbreaking, watching on television, they seemed so close I wanted to reach out and comfort them.

    Shauna, the young woman, the fear in her eyes, and they way she crossed her arms over her chest spoke more of her fears then words could ever say.

    "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 reasons why it doesn't work"
    Thomas Edison

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005

    Very touching post. Sounds like my kids are about the same age as yours. When I see this all panning out on TV I think of my 18 year old son and whats going on. You descibed my son almost to the T. Let us not foget the daughters also. Great Touching Post Mel!

    Coincidence Me baby!

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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    "The Army had failed to meet its recruiting goals for three of the previous five years, and research found that most 18- to 24-year-olds viewed enlistment as little more than a last-ditch job for losers."

    Business 2.0 - April 2003 Issue.

    Not to be misunderstood, my heart goes out to US troops who are being killed, captured and fighting for their countries.

    They're against this war as much as I am, but it's the system, and the people who run this system, that put them in front lines, to die for their own ambitions, ideas and fictions. While they comfortably sit at their home watch it on TV, with their army-age sons and daughters.

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