Now, this day, you want each other. Someday, you will need each other.
Religion, practiced inclusively, unites people. Practiced exclusively, it divides people.
Much has been written about what constitutes support for "the troops." We do not much care for the rubric, it seems too impersonal. We prefer to say "our young American men and women." These newly-minted adults, many not long out of high school or college, are people we know - children and grandchildren, relatives, friends, or neighbors - youngsters whom we have watched grow up and mature, who have decided to demonstrate their patriotism and love of their country by joining the Armed Services.
There is naught but nobility in the mission our young people signed up for when they joined the Armed Forces - serving our country and undertaking the task of protecting it from harm. There is not, cannot be, any denial or denigration of that high purpose. Our young people understand going in that they are training for the dangerous business of war, and they willingly offer their physical and mental capabilities to their country in return for the fierce pride that they feel and the privileges that they receive, in the brightest spirit of selflessness. We who cannot serve as they do owe these young warriors the very best that we can offer them.
Our service members, our young American men and women, deserve the best training, the best equipment, the best of medical services, the best supportive services for the families that they leave behind and remuneration at the very least sufficient to their needs. They also deserve from us the very best leadership, military and civilian, that we the voters, their relatives, neighbors and friends, can give them.
One more thing that we think we owe them for their selfless service is to keep from unnecessarily placing them in harm’s way, only sending them to war when there is absolutely no other way to accomplish a worthy goal, and only then in defense of our country. We do not think it is worthy of us to require them to precipitate a war.
Tuesday is the day that we are privileged to exercise our democratic rights and responsibilities. Please go to the polls and vote, and as you do, spare a moment to think of our young American men and women, those who are fighting and dying on foreign soil, and vote in a fashion that respects their sacrifices. Demonstrate to them through your vote that we respect them and care for them, and want them to stay alive.
Bonnie and Walt