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America at Large

Over a Hundred Reasons to be Thankful this Holiday Season
By Ricky Allen
Dec 4, 2003 - 9:43:00 AM

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Last week, as I sat at my dinner table with my wife and two sons, I asked myself," What am I thankful for?"

Every time I watch the news, the answer is simple.

America should have had no problems answering that question either, after seeing the casualties of post-war Iraq everyday on TV.

It seems that an average of two U.S. soldiers are dead a day over in Iraq. It hits me hard to hear about the death toll because I have a brother on the warfront.

When I served in Operation Enduring Freedom, I was thankful my deployment wasn't extended, and I was thankful to see my family again. This year, I'm thankful to be here with my family for the holidays and not somewhere in the Middle East.

However, I'm also thankful for the vast majority of Soldiers overseas and in the U.S. that sacrifices holidays to make sure I enjoy mine. I was on that side of the fence, and it is hard.

So as you get ready for Christmas, and begin shopping, wrapping gifts, and going into debt for the New Year, be thankful to the soldiers that are serving our country, and to those who paid the ultimate price in duty.

I heard on a commercial that "You want to make the other person die for his country." Sad to say-that is the price of war, postwar, and rebuilding. America needs to realize that this is not a dream world. This isn't G.I. Joe where people fight and don't die. These bullets are real, and you do go into the military to train to fight for your country, not for the college tuition or the travel. Those are just the perks that come with the job. So for those who are thinking about joining the service - don't take your eye off the ball. You will only exist for one purpose. Just take a look at our soldiers over there in Iraq. That will give you a clear definition of what I'm saying.

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