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Day of thanks, remembrance for those who fight

Thursday is the day we, as a nation, sat down with our families and offered thanks for all of the blessings we’ve received this past year even as we deal with a multitude of problems both at home and abroad.

Our economy is in the tank. There’s the credit crisis and floundering housing market. Millions of Americans can’t afford adequate healthcare. We’ve yet to find a solution to immigration problem. And our soldiers are fighting a war on two fronts half-a-world away.

The last sentence brings me to a poignant email that was sent to my account on Monday.

While I can’t share the pictures included with the email, I can share the words; words that effectively capture the sacrifices our soldiers are making in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Here they are:

You stay up for 16 hours, while a soldier stays up for days on end.

You take a warm shower, while a soldier goes days or weeks without running water.

You complain of a headache and call in sick, while a soldier endures gunfire and keeps moving forward.

You put on your anti-war shirt and go protest with your friends, while a soldier fights for your right to wear that shirt.

You ‘talk trash’ about your ‘buddies’ who aren’t near you, while a soldier knows he may lose some buddies along the way.

You go out to lunch and complain when your order is wrong, while a soldier may not get the chance to eat today.

You go to the mall and get your hair done, while a soldier may not even have time to brush his teeth.

You’re angry because your class ran five minutes over, while a soldier is told he may be held over for two months in a combat zone.

You call your girlfriend and set up a date, while a soldier anxiously awaits a letter from home.

You hug and kiss your wife every day, while a soldier holds a letter close just to smell his love’s perfume.

You roll your eyes when a baby cries, while a soldier looks at a photograph of his newborn baby and wonders if they will ever meet.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents and don’t, while a soldier does what he’s told, even if it puts his life in danger.

You spend endless hours in front of a television, while a soldier takes whatever free time he has to write home, sleep and eat.

You crawl into a soft bed and get comfortable at bedtime, while a soldier tries to sleep, but is awakened by mortar shells, bombs and helicopters all night long.