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born on the 4th of july
wedding 3
Daddy was an Air Force man who served our country during the early fifties in such exotic locations as the Azore Islands. Service to his country interrupted his college education as an agriculture major at the University of Tennessee at Martin, but after his discharge he got the degree and I was born during the last year. After graduation, he went on to serve our country in a different capacity working the Plant Pest Control Division of the US Dept. of Agriculture. I remember visiting his office as a kid, looking at all those push pins on the US map and not realizing what they meant. My daddy was watching the progress of the Japanese beetle as it spread through our nation's farmland and plottin' revenge. Boll weevils? They're almost history as I type.

Daddy still remembers what it was like to be away from home and loved ones at special times like an anniversary or holiday. Says it's the loneliest feeling in the world for an enlisted one. Sometimes it's necessary to make that sacrifice in order to keep our country safe. Other times, well. It just happens.

I get frequent email dispatches from an independent reporter embedded with troops in Iraq. There are cute pictures of the kids who are unfortunate enough to be born into a society where there is a civil war and the soldiers who signed up for tours hoping to make a difference. There is no draft like there was back during 'Nam. If that were to happen, I imagine there would be a whole lot more Canadians than citizens of the USA right about now. Let's give it a break and think about the conflict in terms of human lives, both Allied and Iraqi. One "liberal mainstream" reporter stated today that our presence in that area is like fuel on the fire of hatred that Al Quaeda stokes with every living sacrifice to Allah. I seriously doubt there's enough virgins in heaven to go around for all of 'em.

Here's the guy on my MIA-POW bracelet as he headed off on his last mission to Laos back in '69. I bet his Mama and Daddy are still proud.

God bless America....land that we love.
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