To the veterans. This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Dear the Brave,


I've no respect for the wars or for a government waging wars for all the wrong reasons, but for the men and women fighting those wars for the sake of our people, the “American ideal”, and the terms of our freedom, I have respect. I hold reverence for them, for their bravery, for their belief. The American ideal needs support, not blind faithful followers, but respectful, intelligent, living, breathing support. The government, a thing or idea, is nothing personal. Not like your uncle, your neighbor, your best friend's sister, who have lived and who have loved and who are now fighting a war that they may not have supported. No, the respect lies not in a government waging war, but in those fighting the war.

I appreciate so deeply your efforts in preserving this unique way of life. The American ideal of freedom, opportunity, a new life; it is truly a dream for some, a hope for others, and a supposed birthright that some living it take for granted. However, those who understand the sacrifices of the people fighting for us know that you don't leave home willingly, you don't risk your life for no reason, and that you are not just a proponent of the terrors of a war. You choose to represent your home, the “Land of the Free”, and keep it as such. You choose to do more than others can; to exercise your bravery, strength, and love.

I am in favor of no war, no bloodshed. I support those who do what is necessary and respond when the nation calls for help. Despite the fact that I am not eligible to participate in the government, the war, or anything of that nature, I wouldn't be able to do what you have done, were I able. My courage lies in my words, my ability to speak the ideals and truths and freedoms, and in the fact that I can exercise my rights. I could never pick up a gun, though, to defend those words or ideals. I hope, all the time, that one day the violence won't be necessary, but it keeps right along; it's always occurred and each time, you and your predecessors were on the front lines, carrying a nation. You did more than most and that is a brilliant thing.

Year after year, I've accepted soldiers will die in a war. The overwhelming risk of death or trauma is terrifying and you may have been scared, but you overcame that. This nobility is something of a fiction story, a brave knight forging ahead to save the damsel in distress. You, the knight, and American standards and values, always the damsel, are entwined in history forever. Through our Revolution, gaining our identity; our Civil War, falling apart, together; the second World War, where we were a driving force of freedom; the Vietnam War, of a tumultuous and confusing time; and to our current Invasion of Iraq, a catalyst of dispute and anger and confusion, but also salvation for a helpless people; our involvement was always in the name of freedom, the American way of life, and humanity.

My brave knights, in shining armor of camouflage gear, the women and men of a strong nation, I thank you. You have held up through chaos and fear and overwhelming odds. You've answered when people have needed help. Your gallantry, your intrepidity, and your daring is reminiscent of Atlas who bore the world upon his shoulders. Of my veneration, you are held in high esteems. I hope for the best for you, as a person; for the best for you, as a soldier; for the best for you, as a propelling force of a nation. I can only hope my words against the war, but supportive of the soldiers steer clear of anything but an expression of gratitude. Thank you for everything.


Sincerely,

A student.





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