An indelible print...

My nephew who is currently serving in Afghanistan e-mailed yesterday.

He wrote about the hardships and the losses.

I thanked him and praised him for his valor and courage.

I also reminded him of the indelible print that they will leave behind. 

It made me think about Pericles' speech to the families of the Athenian war

dead, in which he said, "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in

stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."

Thousands of our courageous young men and women have died across

the waters..  in Iraq and now Afghanistan.

They each went over believing in the mission at hand.

Took their marching orders and executed on them.

No matter how far they've traveled.. all  military men and women have

a special bond.

Many have seen their fellow soldiers shot, maimed or killed.

Yet these kindred spirits, this community of special warriors always

find ways..  to live with compassion in the midst of tremendous chaos.

Their hardship is without a doubt desperate and painful.

Enduring heartache where they turn their pain into wisdom and their

suffering into strength.

Their very lives, and actions are all a part of the special memorials,

that honor the very people they have lost.

As they battle, they know that peace is more than the absence of war and a

good life..  for the locals it entails more than the absence of suffering.

They are there for a cause.

Seeking an enduring democracy, a worthwhile one, a democracy in which

communities can flourish.

One where even in their absence, the people there can build upon. 

Our soldiers, never once ask if the people that they are defending

deserve better.

They after all have a purpose and meaning in their lives.

The military life they've chosen, is one where others can enjoy the

fruit of their sacrifices.

A solemn agreement.

A promise and personal choice that they have made to live with purpose.

They all leave a tremendous legacy behind and a legacy for all

those who will come to serve.

There's no doubt that they are making a difference. 

Their sacrifice will live on.

Make it a great día!

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