I got an email from Don Cunningham, my dad-in-law, first thing this morning that really got me thinking. It got me thinking about America, and the things I take for granted. It made me see red at all the a-holes that stand in the street protesting our involvement around the World – and putting down our troops and their sacrifices. I’ve included the email below (I DON’T know if it’s legit or not, as it states – however, I think it’s still valuable and true). And I realize, I’m DAMN proud to be an American. I may not be able to carry a gun to defend our country – I have to rely on others for that. But I sure as hell appreciate those that do. And I (personally) LOATHE those that take this country not only for granted but that whine and complain about how unfair things are, and how poor [insert name] isn’t getting a fair shake in this world.
You know what? Life is hard. Nobody said it would be easy. Nobody said you’d get what you want. Here in America, our lives are BLESSED. We DON’T worry about getting on a bus in the morning for fear of a bomber. We DON’T have an entire nation starving to death or living in our own filth (I’m not saying that people aren’t starving or living in poor conditions – but that’s another rant…). I AM saying SHUT UP and STOP WHINING. We could have nothing. We could live in filth, or be starving, or not have a roof over our heads (much less a beautiful home built in 1900 that has character oozing out of every pore, and happens to be in one of our favorite towns in Washington…), or clothes on our back. We could be scrounging for every meal, every breath.
This is a poem being sent from a Marine to his Dad. For those who take the time to read it, you’ll see a letter from him to his Dad at the bottom. It makes you truly thankful for not only the Marines, but ALL of our troops.
We all came together,
Both young and old
To fight for our freedom,
To stand and be bold.
In the midst of all evil,
We stand our ground,
And we protect our country
From all terror around.
Peace and not war,
Is what some people say.
But I’ll give my life,
So you can live the American way.
I give you the right
To talk of your peace.
To stand in your groups,
and protest in our streets.
But still I fight on,
I don’t bitch, I don’t whine.
I’m just one of the people
Who is doing your time.
I’m harder than nails,
Stronger than any machine.
I’m the immortal soldier,
I’m a U.S. MARINE!

So stand in my shoes,

And leave from your home.
Fight for the people who hate you,
With the protests they’ve shown.
Fight for the stranger,
Fight for the young.
So they all may have,
The greatest freedom you’ve won.
Fight for the sick,
Fight for the poor
Fight for the cripple,
Who lives next door.
But when your time comes,
Do what I’ve done.
For if you stand up for freedom,
You’ll stand when the fight’s done.
By: Corporal Aaron M. Gilbert, US Marine CorpsUSS SAIPAN, PERSIAN GULF
March 23, 2003
Hey Dad,
Do me a favor and label this “The Marine” and send it to everybody on your email list. Even leave this letter in it. I want this rolling all over the US; I want every home reading it. Every eye seeing it. And every heart to feel it. So can you please send this for! me? I would but my email time isn’t that long and I don’t have much time anyway. You know what Dad? I wondered what it would be like to truly understand what JFK said in His inaugural speech.
“When the time comes to lay down my life for my country, I do not cower from this responsibility. I welcome it.”
Well, now I know. And I do. Dad, I welcome the opportunity to do what I do. Even though I have left behind a beautiful wife, and I will miss the birth of our first born child, I would do it 70 times over to fight for the place that God has made for my home. I love you all and I miss you very much. I wish I could be there when Sandi has our baby, but tell her that I love her, and Lord willing, I will be coming home soon. Give Mom a great big hug from me and give one to yourself too.
FREEDOM isn’t FREE … someone pays for you and me.