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Yesterday I called my cousin up .He is currently stationed in Alabama.Eric was a US Border Patrolman until 911. Right after the towers fell Eric's mom called him and asked him if he was going to enlist AGAIN. He'd already searved in the military before he became a Border Patrol officer.She already Knew the answer.He was already jump qualified so he ended up at Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airbourne.He went to Afghanistan for 9 months.Right before he came home he was asked to transfer to the Army's Criminal Investigations Division.He said OK.A short time after his transfer he was talkining with his old Captain and was asked if he would like to hook back up with them and this time head out to Iraq.He said yes. Five months after getting to Iraq ,Eric's wife Tried to commit suicide.Eric came home through the efforts of the Red Cross.He still felt guilty about leaving his buddies behind.In Jan.2005 one of his best friends was killed by an IED (roadside bomb).Eric has since finished his explosives,ordinance,and demolitions training and looking foreward to going back to Iraq this November.I asked him why he wanted to go back again and his responsewas "I want to be remembered like the generation of people who fought WW II."
Then, last night ,while at a wedding reception,I noticed a young man with a " High and Tight " hair cut.I asked if he was military.He told me he was a member of the US Marine Corp.In our brief conversation I learned that he is shipping out to Iraq next month.I told him thank you for myself and mostly for my children.I told him to be safe and God speed his safe return. Please remember these wonderful people and tell the thanks when ever you see them.Even if you don't believe in the war ,try to understand that they are fighting it in Iraq and Afghanistan so that it won't be fought on our cities streets.
 

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I think of these guys daily. If like me, many folks have a son or sons - it registers most acutely. I have been in contact with one or two of the guys at the sharp end - and know how much they appreciate contact from back home.
 
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