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Posted: 5/14/2004 3:32:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/14/2004 3:33:34 PM EST by ARnutt]

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> > > 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 howizzitor. 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.
> > >
his> > > 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. And now we even have woman
> > > over there in danger,
> > > doing their part in this tradition of going to
> > > War when our nation calls
> > > us to do so. As you go to bed tonight, remember
> > > this shot.. A short lull,
> > > a little shade and a picture of loved ones in
> > > their helmets.......
> > >
> > > Prayer wheel for our military... please don't
> > > break it. Please send this on after a short
> > > prayer.
> > >
> > > Prayer Wheel
> > >
> > > "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."

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