Today is September 11th 2010. It has been nine years since that terrible day. I am taking this moment to write to you and thank you for all you have done both here and abroad. You may have been the soldier on the front lines in Iraq, or battling in Afghanistan. You may have been the coast guard monitoring our own coasts. It's possible you were the Drill Instructor training the troops to go. Perhaps you never left the states to go over seas. Although it matters where you were/are, what matters most is what you stand for and what you are sacrificing your time for.
You could be home with your families, but you are not. You could be in college, but many of you are not. You could be taking your son hunting, or your father fishing. You could be on a camping trip with your family. You may be wondering about your child taking his or her first steps, but know you won't be there to see it happen. Perhaps your wife is home having your baby, but you can't be there by her side. Your life may change so drastically in the battlefield that when you get home your family has a hard time accepting the person you've become. You joined, knowing that all of this was possible, yet you joined anyway. For this I am eternally grateful.
Your services are not taken for granted. You are loved and honored. I have a respect for the American Servicemen that runs very deep. I am a veteran of the U.S. Army, so this is an important letter that I feel the need to write. I hope you will all be safe. Watch your buddy's backs, and come home to enjoy the land that you are defending and standing up for. When you get home, you may hear voices from individuals who protest that which you have stood for. Ignore them. It is highly likely that those people have never felt the irritation of a rifle slung over their shoulder. It's likely they have never had a canteen run dry or had to clean blood from their knives. It's likely they have never had to go to sleep with one eye open and through the night flinched at the sounds of explosions or screams. You went where they wouldn't. For this, you are most respected and I salute you!